What Credit Score Do You Need for a Mortgage?



The average FICO® score on closed loans reached 753 in February 2021. Many first time home buyerts are concerned over whether or not their credit score is strong enough to qualify for a mortgage. Many buyers may be surprised by the options that are still available for borrowers with lower credit scores.

As someone’s score rises, they’re building a stronger financial future. We see a natural increase in the FICO® scores of closed loans, as shown in the graph below:


If your credit score is below 750, it’s easy to see this data and fear that you may not be able to qualify for a mortgage. However, that’s not always the case. While the majority of borrowers right now do have a score above 750, there’s more to qualifying for a mortgage than just the credit score, and there are still options that allow people with lower credit scores to buy their dream home. Here’s what Experian, a global leader in consumer and business credit reporting, says:

  • Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans: “With a 3.5% down payment, homebuyers may be able to get an FHA loan with a 580 credit score or higher. If you can manage a 10% down payment, though, that minimum goes as low as 500.”

  • Conventional loans: “The most popular loan type typically comes with a 620 minimum credit score.”

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans: “In general, lenders require a minimum credit score of 640 for a USDA loan, though some may go as low as 580.”

  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loans: VA loans don’t technically have a minimum credit score, but lenders will typically require between 580 and 620.”

There’s no doubt a higher credit score will give you more options and better terms when applying for a mortgage. When planning to buy a home, speaking to an expert about steps you can take to improve your credit score is essential. However, don’t rule yourself out if your score is less than perfect – today’s market is still full of opportunity.


Don’t let assumptions about whether your credit score is strong enough put a premature end to your homeownership goals. Visit us at hfamiami.com/homebuyers for information about our first time buyers mortgage and down payment program. You will be glad you did.


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