Is My Credit Score Good Enough to Get a Mortgage?

Q: I’m at the point in my life where I want to buy a home. Is my credit score good enough to get a mortgage? Caroline, Tinton Falls, NJ

A: Caroline, your correct that your credit score is the number that lenders use to estimate the risk of lending you money and is a key factor in determining whether you will get approved for a mortgage.

However, many lenders view your credit score as just one piece in the puzzle, so a low score won’t necessarily prevent you from getting a mortgage. You can be approved for a mortgage with a lower credit score if, for example, you pay a big down payment and don’t have much other debt in your name.  There is no “official” minimum credit score that lenders have to approve or deny a mortgage loan and lenders can (and do) take other factors into consideration when determining if you qualify for a mortgage.  Also, each lender is different, so one lender may approve your mortgage while another may not approve your mortgage.

FHA offers mortgage loans that are backed by the government and in general, the credit requirements for FHA loans tend to be more relaxed than the requirements for what are often referred to as conventional loans.

In general, the higher your credit score, the lower your mortgage interest rate will be, so it’s always a good idea to improve your credit score before applying for a mortgage so you get the best terms possible.

Thanks for your question, Caroline, good luck.

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