what fico score do i need to be approved for a mortgage?

FICO scores are important to the home loan approval, but it is just one aspect of the loan approval process and there are several others. 

To find out more about FICO scores read below.

You should also read more about Debt to Income Ratios.



Additional Assistance

You Don’t Need a High FICO Score to Buy a Home

Credit scores are crucial to the home-buying process. But it’s only one of the important pieces of the loan approval process. 

Your FICO score will determine if you can qualify for a loan in the first place, but it will also have an impact on your interest rate you will pay on the house and what loan programs you can qualify for. 

What credit score is needed to buy a house?

You don’t need perfect credit to get a mortgage, but if you have bad credit the banks are not going to trust you with their money.

In most cases, a minimum FICO credit score of 620 is a starting point, and 640 is the starting point for some loan types. Those with a FICO score of 740 and above will get the best available rates.

A FICO Score of 580 – 619: With these FICO scores some low down payment programs start to become available. FHA loans also allow down payments as low as 3.5%, but to qualify, you’ll need a FICO score of 580 or better. Some lenders will also authorize mortgages guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, or VA home loans, at this level

620 – 699: With these FICO scores government-backed and conventional options become available, including some down payment assistance programs.

700 – 739: People who have these FICO scores and higher qualify for better interest rates. 

At this credit level, you’ll also find lenders who will consider you for higher value homes requiring “jumbo” mortgages, which people need to buy very expensive homes.

With a FICO score of 740 or higher, you’re likely to get the most favorable interest rate available, especially on a conforming (non-jumbo) conventional loan.

Conventional loans tend to require higher scores. Borrowers with higher scores also earn a break in the cost of private mortgage insurance (PMI), which is required if they make down payments of less than 20%. 

How to strengthen your credit score to buy a house

If your score won’t get you the best deals on a mortgage, it might make sense to keep renting for a while and use the time to polish your credit profile. Here’s how:

  • Pay all bills on time: Payment history is the biggest of all the factors that affect your credit score.
  • Keep credit card balances low: Experts recommend you use no more than 30% of the limit on any credit card, and much lower is much better. How much of your available credit you are using is called your credit utilization, and it’s the second-biggest factor in your score.
  • Check your credit reports: Look for score-lowering errors. If you find something, dispute it. You are entitled to at least one free credit report from each of the three credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, every 12 months.
  • Keep credit cards open: Closing a card reduces the amount of available credit you have, which can send your credit utilization up and ding your score.
  • Look at your credit mix: If you have only credit cards or only installment loans, consider adding the other type so you can demonstrate a good payment record across diverse credit lines. If you’re trying to build up a thin credit file, you could consider a secured credit card or a credit-builder loan.

Check your credit and monitor your progress

However, if you’re near or in the excellent credit score range on a free score source, you don’t need to pay to check your FICO scores. You almost certainly have good enough credit to qualify for the best rates.


I have had the pleasure of working with Peter Hudson for several years in various capacities and have the utmost respect for him. Peter is extremely professional and is one of the most talented gentlemen I have ever met. I would highly recommend Peter to anyone who is looking to hire someone with impeccable integrity and a wealth of knowledge. 

John M.

Peter has an eye for detail while maintaining a strategic focus on the big picture.  He is extremely professional, punctual, and pleasant to work with. I have always appreciated Peter’s willingness to go above and beyond his job expectations. His ability to bring a team together to focus on a common goal is remarkable. In the time I have worked with Peter I have seen his straightforward style push people to become the best version of themselves.

Annie J.

Peter is an amazingly intelligent professional in sales and marketing. If you choose Peter as your agent he will work incredibly hard, but more importantly, incredibly smart to be your advocate, protect your interests and use many tools. The most important thing about my friend and colleague, who I have known for many years, is that he cares and he uses his expertise to serve his clients.

Cathy C.

I had the pleasure of working with Peter and he was extremely professional in working with internal staff and external clients. Peter was a pleasure to work with and extremely knowledgeable in marketing and sales. He took a consultative approach that met or exceeded client expectations and was always quick to respond, helpful and seeking to expand his knowledge to stay on top of market trends. 

Brian V.

Our nephew and his wife just closed on a house using Peter Hudson. It was a relief for us that Peter took them under his wing. Peter was caring but firmly guided the couple. Once the house was found Peter, with his expert knowledge and understanding, got them a great price. But, he didn’t stop there he watched over all the details to make sure everyone was doing their best for the couple all the way to handing them the key! Nice follow-up Peter.

Duane A.

Peter provided professionalism and diligence to every detail necessary for the sale of our Mesa, Az. residence. 
If the need is presented again, the choice will be the same.

Jon and Belinda S.