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What credit score should you have for a mortgage?

Minimum Credit Score for a Mortgage

Get Approved for a Mortgage

When you apply for a mortgage, your credit score is one of the fundamental factors a lender will consider before making you an offer. For new and first-time homebuyers, it can be unsettling to learn that the future of your homeownership relies heavily on your past credit history.

What is the minimum score accepted by lenders? How will my credit score affect my loan interest rate?

Keep reading for a better sense of the role your credit score plays in applying for a mortgage.

Minimum Score Requirements

When you apply for a home loan, one thing is clear: There are a lot of mortgage types to choose from. Here are the minimum credit requirements for most major programs.

Type of Home Loan Minimum Credit Score
VA No minimum (comprehensive profile review)
FHA 500
USDA 580
Conventional 620

Depending on how severe your credit actually is, a score of 580 may be enough to buy a house. Credit scores between 580 and 620 are generally considered poor but could be enough for a lender to consider your approval for a mortgage.

Getting the Best Interest Rates

While different types of mortgages and various lenders are going to have individual credit score requirements, it’s important to understand that merely having a good enough score to get approved for a home loan doesn’t mean you’re going to be offered a great deal.

Your credit score has the greatest impact on the types of interest rates you are offered. Poor credit scores may often lead to high loan rates, raised closing costs, and higher monthly payment. Typically, the higher your credit score, the lower these numbers will be.

While it is up to your bank or lending agency to determine what type of score a borrower needs to gain access to their lowest interest rates, a variation of a few points can affect your monthly payment by as much as hundreds of dollars.

For example, a $200,000 30-year loan at a 4% interest rate (foregoing other fees) would translate to a monthly payment around $950. However, take out the same loan at an interest rate of 5%, and your monthly payments will rise to just below $1,075. Raise the same loan to 8%, and you are looking to pay almost $1,500 every month.

Looking at More than Just Your Credit Score

It’s no secret that your credit score is a big deal when it comes to getting approved for a mortgage, but buyers with a less than perfect credit history are not out of luck entirely.

When considering your application for approval, lenders will look at more than just your credit score. Being able to show re-established credit, that there was a specific economic event that caused the lapse in excellent credit, and that you have since recovered from this financial hardship can be the difference between an approval and denial.

Lenders will also take a close look into your debt. Having little to no current debt is a healthy compensating factor for less than favorable credit. Compensating factors are elements that lenders consider to reduce the borrower’s risk, allowing for the approval or low and poor credit scores.

Mortgage agencies will want to see a solid and recent payment history with no collection accounts and late payments within the past 12-months, a low debt-to-income ratio, and a consistent and reliable employment history.

Compensating Factors for Poor Credit:

  • Down payment of 10%+
  • Significant money in savings
  • High Income and long employment history with current employer
  • Low debt-to-income ratio
  • Positive credit history of 12+ months

Need help getting approved for a mortgage? We can help! Call 480-478-4304 for a free consultation.

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Credit Absolute
4.8
Based on 117 reviews
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Ulysses Martinez
Ulysses Martinez
21:06 05 Jun 20
Credit Absolate is helping me get my credit score up. They have done by far a fantastic job. I couldn't be more happy with the experience and the customer experience is phenomenal as if your part of the family. They make sure you understand your credit usage and the educational videos are very clear. They are changing my life around. Just being with them for 2 months I got my score from poor to fair and dropped of some accounts from my cresit report. I cant thank them enough. Truly a success story
Angel  Maldonado
Angel Maldonado
14:27 30 May 20
They are amazing! Not just Derk but the whole team is great. The videos they provide are so helpful. They just don't help you improve your credit score, they also teach you how to manage your credit score. If you have bad credit contact them 1st before you even start trying to fix your credit on your own!!!
Keith Russell
Keith Russell
23:40 29 May 20
Easy to work with. Very fact based and focus on teaching me how the credit scoring system really works. My credit score increased by 100 points. Best investment in my credit worthiness. Great customer service, this is the real deal.
Fanisha Vela
Fanisha Vela
16:05 05 May 20
This is a wonderful team to work with. They have made the process so easy and efficient. Results seen within the first round of action!
Brandon Dickinson
Brandon Dickinson
01:04 26 Mar 20
What an awesome team. They work hard and get things done. My credit has jumped amazingly and the coaching videos are very informative to every detail. Would recommend this company to anyone looking to better their credit.
Bre Udave
Bre Udave
22:59 04 Mar 20
this has been one of the best experiences i've had working with a company! i am very happy with my success thus far and everyone (especially Leslie) has been so helpful with everything! If you're looking to fix your credit, stop searching and use this company!!
Steven Lasseson
Steven Lasseson
14:51 28 Feb 20
I've tried a few other credit repair companies and Credit Absolute has provided the best service I've come across. In just over a year, they were able to get numerous items removed from my credit report. The process is simple, the staff is easy to work with, and the results are everything you'd hope for. If you are looking for help in your journey to financial freedom, do yourself a favor and give Credit Absolute a call.
Kade Deeyor
Kade Deeyor
21:51 19 Feb 20
Credit Absolute has been a huge help for me. Since the beginning I’ve seen an enormous increase in my credit score. Felicia and Leslie are especially helpful, concise, and very informative. They both always get back to me within minutes if I have any questions or concerns. I would highly recommend Credit Absolute to anyone seeking a better understanding of how Credit Scores actually work or if you’re looking to increase your scores.
Phuong Mai Pham
Phuong Mai Pham
17:56 13 Feb 20
Credit absolute has helped me tremendously over the past few months. My scores for all 3 credit bureaus have increased by 50+ points. I appreciate the education on credit. I am now much more knowledgeable and strategic about when I should and should not use my credit cards. I look forward to my progress as my goal is to purchase a home by the end of the year!
Doug Donaldson
Doug Donaldson
06:13 21 Dec 19
I noticed a few changes on my credit report that had lowered my score which concerned me and after looking at reviews online I decided to set an appointment with Derek at Credit Absolute. I was fully expecting to spend hundreds of dollars for his advice on what I should do to get it back up to where I had it. After consulting with him and looking in depth at my report, he gave me some tips and helped me understand how the 3 bureaus work and what I could do to increase my score. Best of all..... he didn't charge me a penny. Derek is an honest guy, running an honest business, and if you are looking to build your credit score then he is the guy to turn to. It was about a year ago that I met with him and my score is up over 90 points. 10/10 would recommend Derek at Credit Absolute!
Ashley Krolak
Ashley Krolak
21:58 25 Nov 19
Thank you to entire team at Credit Absolute! We have accomplished so much in a short amount of time. They have helped my whole family increase our scores. They are organized, helpful and get the job done all while teaching you helpful hints along the way. I highly recommend this company for any credit needs.
dan uyematsud
dan uyematsud
21:29 13 Nov 19
Simply the BEST!!!!!!! Derick, Felicia and Becky are extremely good at their job. They work very hard to teach one how to improve their credit as they work very hard on their end to build your credit. I am very pleased as I see my credit score increasing in a short period of time. Thank you again, Dan U
nestor victore
nestor victore
22:14 04 Nov 19
You guys have done an amazing job, I'm very happy with my score has improved over 100 points. I'm happy with you guys services and help, thanks.
Tina Abbott
Tina Abbott
02:07 01 Nov 19
My experience with Credit Absolute has been nothing but wonderful! The entire staff are very knowledgeable and understanding. Felica is the one of the nicest people.
Christopher Moore
Christopher Moore
15:10 03 Oct 19
Communication with Derick and the team couldn't be better. I spoke directly to Derick and he was upfront, honest and didn't waste time. I would certainly recommend Credit Absolute to anyone who is looking into credit repair. They'll give you an honest overview of where you are and what they can do to help you reach your goals!
David Burgess
David Burgess
19:02 20 Aug 19
Derick and his team have been extremely helpful and informative throughout this entire process. I would recommend to anyone who wants/needs to repair credit quickly! Worth more than the money without question!
steve moore
steve moore
23:32 16 Aug 19
Derick and his team were awesome! I would highly recommend their services if you are looking to refurbish your credit score!!! +A all around for his team and the willingness to help me out !
Zacary Roberts
Zacary Roberts
03:00 26 Jul 19
Felicia helped me out so much, the company is professional l, but they treat you like your their only client. They are thorough and honest and my credit score has gone up remarkably ever since I started working with them. Thank you so much!
Chris Gunn
Chris Gunn
18:50 25 Jul 19
Good folks. Money well spent. Their service works! I finally got my credit straightened out to where I could buy a home because of them.
Christy Russell
Christy Russell
15:37 25 Jul 19
This company provides a great service! Friendly staff, plain-spoken, direct, no nonsense. They really make you feel like they care. Simple and straight-forward approach. They analyze your credit report and quickly make a plan to step-by-step repair any flags. I highly recommend their program.
Christian Wunder
Christian Wunder
19:35 18 Jul 19
They have been great to work with. Going on 3 months now and my score has taken a huge jump. I've had items removed from my credit and every month we go over our strategy to maximize the improvements. Highly recommend :)
Baron Adelmann
Baron Adelmann
21:59 26 Oct 17
Derick and his team have helped me tremendously! He explains the process of improving your credit and does all of the work for you! My credit score has improved drastically and I know that I couldn't have done it without the help of Credit Absolute. Because of them, my business has continued to thrive in a way I never thought possible. Thank you Derick and the Credit Absolute Team!
Gabriela Lovelace
Gabriela Lovelace
23:17 30 Jun 17
I want to thank the wonderful team of Credit Absolute for all the work they did in help me clean my credit! They have teach me how to keep my credit clean and how to make it grow! I will be their customer for life and I recommend to anyone who needs help with their credit! Credit Absolute you are awesome!!!!
Sho Sho Smith
Sho Sho Smith
22:31 16 Feb 17
Derek just made my day when I thought my credit was being compromised due to a balance on my late husband's credit card. He checked it out my credit health and assured me that I lost no points and the balance was forgiven. Great news! He gave me pointers on how to get my credit score even higher to put me into the premium level and coached me on getting back on my feet, credit-wise, after my husband's death. A great experience!
Vanity Hernandez
Vanity Hernandez
20:15 19 Jul 16
I was referred to Derick when my credit score dropped 3 points as I was in the process of trying to get a mortgage loan. Derick gave me GREAT advise and also helped confirm all the credit myths I have overheard on how to improve your credit score. Not only did he give me advise, he not once tried to have me hire him like others usually do. Derick was genuine and that's hard to come across with business. :)
Ian Farruggio
Ian Farruggio
19:29 05 Jul 16
Derek was completely professional and offered helpful suggestions to help me improve my credit. He was honest, in that his services were really not needed and helped to point me in the right direction free of charge. If you have any questions regarding your credit, this is the only place to go!!!
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