When lenders look at any borrower, whether it is someone purchasing their first home or their fifth, they consider the individual’s credit score. This number tells the lender whether or not the borrower is a safe risk. Many factors work together to create the credit score, including past debt repayment history, debt-to-income ratios and previous financial problems such as bankruptcy or debt charge-offs. Each lender will have its own minimum requirement for credit scores, but most buyers with a FICO score of 640 or higher find many mortgage options available to them. A score lower than this does not necessarily disqualify a potential buyer from getting a mortgage, but keeping the rating above the 640 mark means more loan options to consider.
Many first-time home buyers are surprised to learn that their credit ratings are lower than average, not because of any credit difficulties in the past, but rather because they have a limited history from which to draw. A high rating requires an established credit history and young home buyers may not have the benefit of years of credit payments to help establish them as a safe risk. The good news for those interested in buying their first home is that several loans and programs for those with less-than-ideal credit scores exist. Buyers who wish to buy a home now rather than spending time building up their credit scores can do so with the right mortgage product such as an FHA or VA mortgage. A home loan will even help to establish a positive credit history.
If you are ready to take the next step and purchase your first home, you should speak with one of our home loan officers today. Our experienced mortgage specialists will be able to identify a loan product with a competitive interest rate to fit your current financial state, even if your credit score has room for improvement.