What Credit Score Do You Need to Buy a House?

Your credit score is a good indicator of how well you manage your debt. Your chances of getting a mortgage are better if you have a higher credit score. A good credit score can make it easier to qualify for mortgages with better terms.

It depends on what type of mortgage loan you are planning to take out to determine the minimum credit score required to purchase a house. Credit scores of at least 500 may qualify you for a government-backed mortgage, even if your conventional loan requires a minimum score of 620.

It's not enough to meet the minimum credit requirements for a mortgage. A higher credit score can help you qualify for home loans with lower mortgage rates.

Minimum Credit Scores by Loan Type

The mortgage credit score requirements can vary depending on several factors including the type of loan, the amount, and even the lender.

For conforming conventional loans that are not backed up by a government agency and do not meet Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac's criteria, a credit score of 620 is required. The eligibility requirements of Jumbo Loans, which exceed conforming loan limits, are stricter. They include credit score and down payment as well as income.

Government-backed mortgages, on the other hand, are insured by federal agencies, such as the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the Department of Agriculture, or the Department of Veterans Affairs. This guarantee is provided by the government to protect lenders in case you default on your loan.

Conventional loan: 620 for fixed rate loans, 640 for adjustable rate mortgages. Lenders may have more stringent requirements. FHA Loan 580 with 3.5% downpayment; 500 with 10% downpayment. USDA Loan No minimum score required; borrowers who have a credit score of 640 and above may be eligible for a simplified credit analysis. VA Loan No minimum score required; however, lenders may insist on a minimum of 580. Jumbo loan 700 depending on the lender. Higher loan amounts can require higher credit scores. A buyer who borrows a mortgage exceeding the conforming loan limits.

Why credit score matters when buying a home

A higher credit score will generally allow you to qualify for a better rate of mortgage repayment, as well as a better loan repayment term. It doesn't matter what type of mortgage loan you choose.

Your credit score is directly correlated to your mortgage rate for conventional loans through price adjustments at the loan level. Borrowers who have a FICO score of 780 or higher and make a minimum 40% down payment will receive the lowest financing rates, while those below this score could be charged the highest.

A small difference in the mortgage rate can result in thousands of dollars of savings over the course of the loan. A $250,000 loan at 6% interest rate will cost you $289,595 over the course of the loan. A 0.25 percent rate increase would result in an additional $14,550 of interest charges by the time you have paid off the loan.

You can save money on your monthly budget by lowering the mortgage interest rate. A 6% rate would mean a monthly payment of $1,499 for principal and interest, while a 6.25% mortgage rate would result in a $1,539 payment.

Other Criteria to Qualify for a Mortgage

Credit score is only one factor that mortgage lenders consider in determining eligibility for a loan. These are some other criteria that can affect your mortgage approval.

The debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is the total of your monthly bills divided by gross monthly income. The loan-to-value is calculated by dividing the amount of the mortgage by the price of the home. Negative credit history such as foreclosure, defaulted loans or bankruptcy. Savings and investment accounts are liquid assets. Profits and Losses

Compare Top Mortgage Lenders





Check Offers 3%

Check Offers 3%


VA Loans: 0% Offers for 620

How to prepare your credit score for buying a home

Start building credit if your bad credit is preventing you from purchasing a house. It could take months, or even a whole year, to improve your credit score and qualify for a home loan. You can improve your credit rating before you apply for a mortgage by following these steps.

Check your credit score and report

You'll first need to know where you stand before you can create a plan for improving your credit score. You can check your FICO credit score without damaging your own credit with many banks and financial apps.

Get a copy from each of the three credit bureaus, Equifax Experian TransUnion. You can find their contact information at URL. Your credit report gives you a detailed look at your financial history. It includes your outstanding debts and total accounts, as well as your payment history. You can dispute any errors you find on your credit report with the bureau.

Improve Your credit score by identifying areas of improvement

Look for ways to improve your credit score and report before applying for a home loan. Here are some common credit problems and how to fix them.

Sign up for automatic payments on credit cards, auto loan and other bills if you have a poor payment history. Also, ensure that any monthly bills (such as rent, or buy now and pay later installments), are reported to credit bureaus.

Reduce your credit card debt if you have a high credit usage rate. You can request an increase in your credit limit, but be careful not to go into more debt because of it.

Low age of the credit: Keep older accounts that are well established open. Consider charging your credit card once every few month and paying the balance off to keep it active.

Avoid applying for new credit while you are shopping for a home

A new account such as an auto loan or credit card can reduce your credit age and result in a hard inquiry which could lower your credit score by several points. Applying for new credit once you have been preapproved for your mortgage could cause major issues in the underwriting phase.

Erika Giovanetti Sept. 9, 2022