What Is A Good Credit Score To Buy A House?

Updated: Apr 25



One of the most important factors in determining whether or not you will be approved for a mortgage loan is your credit score. Mortgage Lenders use this number to gauge your financial responsibility and it can make a big difference in the interest rate you are offered.


So, what is a good credit score to buy a house?

Most mortgage lenders consider a credit score of 740 or higher to be excellent and will offer the best interest rates. A score between 700 and 739 is still considered very good and you will likely be approved for a mortgage with a decent interest rate.


What type of interest rate can I get with a 740 credit score?

As of April 2022, according to cnet.com the average interest rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 5.07%. However, if your credit score is on the lower end of the spectrum, you could end up paying as much as half a percentage point more in interest.


For example, someone with a credit score of 680 could be offered an interest rate of 4.23% for the same type of loan. Over the life of a 30-year mortgage, that would mean paying an extra $39,000 in interest.

So, if you’re hoping to get a competitive interest rate on your mortgage, aim for a credit score of 740 or higher.


This Is Why Having a High Credit Score Is Important.

If you’re not sure where your credit score stands, you can check for free on sites like Credit Karma or Credit Sesame. These websites will also give you tips on how to improve your credit score so that you can get the best possible interest rate when you apply for a mortgage.




Credit Scores Below 700

If your credit score is below 700 you may still be able to get preapproved for a home loan. However, you may not get the best interest rate and you may need to put down a larger down payment. A score below 600 is considered poor and you will likely have difficulty getting approved for a mortgage.


Why Do I have to put a down payment on a house?

A down payment is the portion of the home’s purchase price that you pay upfront. The remaining balance is paid in monthly installments over the life of your loan.


The purpose of a down payment is to show that you have skin in the game and are less likely to default on your loan. A larger down payment also means that you will have equity in your home from the start, which can be helpful if you need to sell or refinance your home down the road.

How much of a down payment do I need?

The size of your down payment will depend on the type of mortgage you get and how much you can afford to pay. For conventional loans, you will typically need to put down at least 5% of the purchase price. For government-backed loans like FHA and VA loans, you may be able to put down as little as 3.5%.


If you have a lower credit score, you may need to make a larger down payment in order to get approved for a loan.


Other things to help get you a lower interest rate

Making a larger down payment can also help you qualify for a lower interest rate, even if your credit score is on the lower end of the spectrum.


For example, let’s say you have a credit score of 680 and you’re looking at a $300,000 home. If you put down 5 %, your down payment would be $15,000. But if you increase your down payment to 10%, your down payment would be $30,000.


The higher down payment would likely lead to a lower interest rate, which could save you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.



Mortgage lenders

Mortgage lenders typically like to see a down payment of 20% or more to approve a loan, but it’s possible to get approved with a smaller down payment.


Nowadays it's typical to hear about people only putting a 3% down payment or even 0%. While this is possible, your interest rate will be much higher and you'll likely have to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI).


So, if you can afford it, aim for a 20% down payment so that you can avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI) and get a lower interest rate.


What Is PMI Insurance?

PMI is insurance that protects the lender in case you default on your loan.

The cost of PMI varies, but it’s typically around 0.5% to 1% of your loan amount. So, on a $300,000 loan, you could be paying as much as $3,000 a year – or $250 a month – for PMI.


Fortunately, there are ways to get rid of PMI if you build up enough equity in your home.

You can also avoid paying PMI by getting a government-backed loan.


Are there any home loan programs for people with low credit scores?

There are a few programs available for people with low credit scores. The FHA loan program is one option. This program requires a down payment of 3.5% and allows people with credit scores as low as 580 to qualify. There are also VA and USDA loan programs that can help people with low credit scores get into a home.


What is an FHA loan?

The FHA loan program is administered by the Federal Housing Administration. This program helps people with low credit scores get into a home by offering a down payment of as little as 3.5% and subprime interest rates.


What is a VA loan?

A VA loan is a mortgage loan that is guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. These loans are available to veterans, active duty service members, and their spouses.


What is a USDA loan?

A USDA loan is a mortgage loan that is guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These loans are available to people who live in rural areas and have low incomes.


How do I qualify for FHA, VA and USDS?

To qualify for an FHA loan, you must have a credit score of 580 or higher and a down payment of at least 3.5%. To qualify for a VA loan, you must be a veteran, active duty service member, or the spouse of one. To qualify for a USDA loan, you must live in a rural area and have a low income.


Why can't I get a conventional loan with a low credit score?

Conventional loans are not backed by the government and therefore, lenders are not as willing to take on the risk of approving a loan for someone with a low credit score.


Is a conventional loan better than a government-backed loan?

It depends. A conventional loan may have a lower interest rate, but you will likely need a higher credit score and a larger down payment to qualify. A government-backed loan may have a higher interest rate, but you may be able to get approved with a lower credit score and a smaller down payment.


What are the minimum credit score requirements for a conventional loan?

The minimum credit score for a conventional loan is typically 620. However, some lenders may require a higher score.


What if I have a low credit score but a high income?

If you have a low credit score but a high income, you may still be able to get preapproved for a home loan. However, you may not get the best interest rate and you may need to put down a larger down payment.


How can I improve my credit score?

There are a few things you can do to improve your credit score. First, make sure you pay all of your bills on time.


Second, keep your debt levels low.


Third, avoid opening new credit accounts unless you absolutely need to.


fourth, check your credit report regularly for errors and dispute any that you find.


So, What is the best thing to do?

The best thing to do is to focus on paying all of your bills on time and keeping your debt levels low. By doing this, you will gradually improve your credit score over time.




Check Your Credit Report With All Three Major Credit Bureaus.

Often times there are errors and mistakes on your credit report that will just sit there and continue to negatively impact your credit score if you do not try to dispute them. By checking your credit report regularly, you can catch these errors and dispute them before they do too much damage.


Some of the types of errors you may find are :

-Incorrect late payments

-Incorrect balances owed

-Inaccurate account information

-Duplicate accounts

-Incomplete information

-Inaccurate account numbers


It is very common to find inaccurate information on your credit report. Because of this, you should be sure to pay attention to the items that are being reported on your credit report. Just because it has been placed on your report does not mean that it is accurate.


What to do if you find errors on your credit report?

If you find any errors on your credit report, you should dispute them immediately. You can do this by contacting the credit bureau that issued the report.


If you are unfamiliar with how to dispute with the credit bureaus or your creditors it may be best to seek help from a reputable credit repair or credit counseling service.


Improving your credit score can take time, but it is worth the effort if you want to get approved for a home loan.


How can a credit repair company help me?

A professional credit repair company will have the knowledge and resources to help you improve your credit score quickly. The Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) protects consumers from unfair or deceptive practices by credit repair companies.


What to look for in a credit repair company

When choosing a credit repair company, make sure they are in compliance with CROA by doing a little research beforehand. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints against the company.


What is a good credit score to buy a house?

The answer to this question depends on the mortgage lender you are working with. You should speak with a lender and tell him your concerns and questions. He will do a hard pull on your credit report and be able to find out if your credit score qualifies or not.


Bottom Line

There are many things that go into getting approved for a home loan, but having a good credit score is one of the most important. By following the tips in this article, you can improve your credit score and increase your chances of getting approved for a home loan.


Foundation Credit Solutions

If you need advice or guidance in repairing your credit report contact Foundation Credit Solutions and schedule a free credit repair consultation today.


Denise Davis

Credit Repair Specialist


Denise Davis

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