What credit score do you need to buy a home?
Learn more about minimum credit scores for homebuyers
When you are buying a home, a good credit score can help make getting approved for a mortgage easier. It can also help you qualify for a lower minimum down payment or get a lower interest rate. That’s because lenders often see homebuyers with good credit scores as customers who are most likely to meet their financial obligations.
You don’t always need a great credit score to buy a home. Different loans have different credit score requirements, and minimum credit scores can vary from lender to lender for buying houses too. Read on to learn more.
What are minimum credit scores to buy a house?
At Freedom Mortgage, our minimum credit scores to buy a house vary depending on the loan type. Please note these credit scores are for purchase loans only and do not apply to refinancing.
- We often require a minimum credit score of 620 to buy a house with a conventional loan.
- We often require a minimum credit score of 550 to buy a house with a VA loan.
- We often require a credit score of 550 to buy a house with an FHA loan.
- We often require a minimum credit score of 640 to buy a house with a USDA loan.
Why are credit scores important in homebuying?
Your credit score is one piece of information lenders use to help decide whether they will approve your mortgage application to buy a house. Meeting the lender’s minimum credit score is important because you are unlikely to have your application approved if your score is below the minimum. Having a higher credit score can make it easier to get your application approved and might help you qualify for a lower interest rate or better terms too.
Lenders will also look at your income, debts, assets, and finances as well as your credit score when you are buying a home. All these factors can influence the approval of your mortgage application.
How do you check your credit score before you buy a home?
One way to check your credit score is to buy it from one of the three major credit reporting agencies. By law, credit reporting agencies are required to provide you with a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months, but those free reports do not include credit scores.
When we prequalify you for a mortgage to buy a house we will do a “soft” credit pull, which generally does not have an impact on your credit score. When you give us permission to pull your credit for prequalification, we can often tell you your current credit scores.
Prequalification can also give you an estimate of home prices you can afford, based on an estimate of the amount of a mortgage for which you might get approved.
Last reviewed and updated July 2023 by Freedom Mortgage Corporation.