Update on What Credit Score is Needed to Buy or Refinance a Home???

Credit PigI get ask this question a lot and wrote a blog on this back in October 2013 and since the lending industry does change often I thought I would update you on Lender Requirements on credit scores.

Lenders have become a little more open when it comes to their credit score requirement, typically now it is 620 for government (FHA, VA & USDA) loans.  Conventional loan requirements for credit scores are typically higher than government, this is due to the face that government loans are “guaranteed” or “insured” by the government.  So that lessens the lenders risk.

The credit score the lenders go off of is your middle score of the 3 credit scores they get when they pull your credit.  If the loan has more than 1 borrower the lender will go off of the lower of the 2 middle scores.

The higher your credit score is the smoother the loan will be underwritten “typically” and the better your interest rate.  So someone with a 760 mid score typically gets a better rate than someone with a 620 mid score.  The reasoning behind this is risk factor, the lower your score the higher the risk taken by the lender to extend the mortgage loan to you.

The down payment amount / percentage plays into the approval!  Let’s say you have a 640 credit score and you will be putting 40% down on your new home.  Since the lender is taking less of a risk the chances are pretty good that you will be approved.  The larger down payment lessens the lender’s risk and they are more open to doing the loan.  This of course is contingent on what derogatory credit is reporting on your credit report.

While some lenders say they will loan to borrowers with scores lower than 600 but I have yet to see one close.  I am from Missouri and “You have to Show Me”!!! LOL

Bottom-line you will need a middle credit score of 620 or higher.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask and I will answer.



Cindy Seely

NMLS # 245378, Mo 10-1649-MLO, Ks 0009720





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