What credit score do I need to get a mortgage? | Finder UK (2023)

If you’re just starting the home-buying process, you’ve probably read stories about just how much your credit score can influence your ability to get a mortgage. While it’s true that you need a good credit score for the best interest rates and loan terms, less-than-perfect credit doesn’t have to be a roadblock in your journey to owning a home.

By knowing the ins and outs of how your score can affect your mortgage rate, you can build and improve your credit before you apply. Before you continue, you can check your current credit score here.

(Video) What Credit Score do you need for a mortgage? credit score explained

What credit score do you need to buy a house?

There’s no magic number, but all credit scores sit within a range, such as “excellent” or “fair”. We’ve shown these ranges below. You’re much more likely to be approved for a mortgage if you have a credit score that is “good” or “excellent”. If your credit rating is “fair”, you should also be eligible for a mortgage provided the rest of your application is up to scratch.

However, if you have a “poor” or “very poor” credit score, you may find it difficult to get approved by a mortgage lender or will only be offered a loan with an extremely high interest rate and unfavourable terms.

Of course, your credit score is only one of the factors considered by lenders and even a perfect credit score can’t guarantee that you’ll be approved for a mortgage. If you don’t have a large enough deposit or are asking to borrow too large an amount, you’re unlikely to be approved regardless of your credit score.

(Video) Minimum credit score for a mortgage

The wider lending climate can also impact your chances of getting a loan. For example, lenders may be less likely to approve large mortgages during times of economic uncertainty, even if your credit score and overall application would likely be approved in more stable times.

How do you know what rating your credit score has?

There’s no such thing as a universal credit score and each credit reference agency uses its own rating system to determine your credit score. There are three major credit rating agencies used by lenders in the UK: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. What is considered a good score with one agency won’t necessarily be the same with another (to make life more interesting).

  • Experian: 0–999
  • Equifax: 0–1,000
  • TransUnion (formerly Callcredit): 0–710

Depending on your score, you’ll be classified as having excellent, very good, good, fair, poor or very poor credit:

(Video) Get a Bad Credit Mortgage in 2023 - The Easy Way!

Very poor
Very good
TransUnion (formerly Callcredit)0–550
1: Very poor
2: Poor
3: Fair
4: Good
5: Excellent

How your credit rating affects your mortgage rate

Your credit score is among the more important factors a lender considers before deciding whether to approve you for a mortgage, but it’s not the only factor. They’ll also consider the following when assessing your application:

  • Your debt-to-income ratio
  • Your savings
  • The size of your deposit

Beyond helping to determine whether you’ll be able to get a mortgage, your credit score also plays a large role in the interest rate and payment terms you’ll ultimately be approved for. If your credit score is below average, lenders may factor in risk-based pricing when quoting your mortgage, when means you could end up paying more.

To offset the perceived risk of taking on a borrower with a low credit score, a lender may also increase the interest rate on a mortgage. For example, if you have an Experian credit score of 750, you might get a higher interest rate than someone with a credit score of 900, which could cost you tens of thousands more over the life of your mortgage.

What’s the lowest score you can have without affecting your eligibility for a mortgage?

If your score is in the zone of “poor” or “very poor”, then getting a parent, spouse or someone else with better credit to act as a guarantor for your loan could improve your chances of approval for a traditional mortgage. Otherwise, you may need to work on improving your credit before applying for a mortgage.

(Video) Buying a home with bad credit | Bad Credit Mortgage

What interest rate can you expect with your credit score?

Credit scores are broken down into categories that can help you gauge the quality of your creditworthiness and how far you must go to improve it:

  • Very poor. You’re unlikely to be approved for a mortgage with a “very poor” credit rating. Instead, you should spend some time improving your score before applying.
  • Poor. Unless you have a guarantor or an underwriter is willing to make an exception, it’s not likely you’ll find mortgage approval with a poor credit score. If you do find a lender willing to take you on, expect a high interest rate on your loan.
  • Fair. You should be able to qualify for a loan with a fair score, but your interest rates will likely be high – sometimes significantly more so than with a good or very good score.
  • Good. Your credit score may affect your interest rate, but typically not by much. You should expect to get rates close to the APR (the rate that most people get).
  • Excellent. Your credit score will likely help you get the lowest interest rates and the best payment terms the market allows.

Should you check your credit report and score before looking for houses?

Yes, it’s definitely a good idea to check your credit report and credit rating before you apply for a mortgage. With your credit report and score in hand, you can:

  • Correct any inaccurate information or errors in your report before you apply
  • Anticipate your likelihood of approval as well as your interest rate
  • See where you can improve your overall creditworthiness before buying

How to improve your score before applying for a mortgage

If your credit isn’t where you’d like it to be to get you access to the lowest interest rates and best terms, there are a few tactics you can use to improve it before you apply for a mortgage:

  • Monitor your credit report. Keeping a close eye on your credit helps you more easily and quickly spot errors and gauge whether you’re heading in the right direction.
  • Save up for a large down payment. If your credit score is less than perfect, putting more money down can trim your loan amount, ultimately saving you unnecessary interest.
  • Hold off on other credit. Each time a potential lender runs your credit report, your credit score dips. Wait until your mortgage is approved before applying for your next credit card or loan.
  • Lower your credit utilisation ratio. Pay off as much debt as you can to lower your debt-to-income ratio and ultimately improve your score.
  • Pay your bills on time. To assure future creditors that you’ll repay what you borrow, build a history of on-time payments.
  • Hire a credit repair service. If you’re feeling stuck, call in professionals to get back on your feet.

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(Video) 5 Steps to Increase Your Mortgage FICO Score


What is the minimum credit score you need to get a mortgage? ›

The minimum credit score needed for most mortgages is typically around 620. However, government-backed mortgages like Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans typically have lower credit requirements than conventional fixed-rate loans and adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs).

What is considered a good enough credit score to buy a house? ›

It's recommended you have a credit score of 620 or higher when you apply for a conventional loan. If your score is below 620, lenders either won't be able to approve your loan or may be required to offer you a higher interest rate, which can result in higher monthly payments.

What credit score is looked at when applying for a mortgage? ›

The most commonly used FICO Score in the mortgage-lending industry is the FICO Score 5. According to FICO, the majority of lenders pull credit histories from all three credit reporting agencies as they evaluate mortgage applications. Mortgage lenders may also use FICO Score 2 or FICO Score 4 in their decisions.

What 3 credit scores do mortgage lenders use? ›

FICO® scores are the credit scores most lenders use to determine your credit risk and the interest rate you will be charged. You have three FICO® scores, one for each of the three credit bureaus – Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Each score is based on information the credit bureau keeps on file about you.

What is the easiest loan to get approved for? ›

The easiest loans to get approved for are payday loans, car title loans, pawnshop loans and personal loans with no credit check. These types of loans offer quick funding and have minimal requirements, so they're available to people with bad credit.

How big of a loan can I get with a 650 credit score? ›

You can borrow as much as $40,000 - $100,000+ with a 650 credit score. The exact amount of money you will get depends on other factors besides your credit score, such as your income, your employment status, the type of loan you get, and even the lender.

What credit score do I need to buy a $250000 house? ›

While credit score requirements vary based on loan type, mortgage lenders generally require a 620 credit score to buy a house with a conventional mortgage.

How much do I need to make to buy a $300 K house with no down payment? ›

Home affordability FAQ

Home buyers using either a VA loan or a USDA loan can qualify for a mortgage with zero down payment on a $300K home. How much do I need to make to buy a $300K house? You'll likely need to make about $75,000 a year to buy a $300K house.

What is the average US credit score? ›

Credit scores help lenders decide whether to grant you credit. The average credit score in the United States is 698, based on VantageScore® data from February 2021.

Do banks look at credit score for home loan? ›

Your credit score can have an impact on your chance of approval, interest rate and deposit required. Understanding your score is important if you're looking to get a home loan or refinance an existing home loan and wanting to improve your chance of approval, it may even help you negotiate a better rate.

Do lenders look at FICO score 8? ›

Though FICO 8 is the most popular scoring model, it isn't currently used for home lending. The scores used for mortgages are FICO 2, 4 and 5. FICO 8 is what's referred to as a base score, which means it's used to determine whether an applicant is generally likely to repay their debt on time and in full.

Can I get a home loan with a 580 credit score? ›

An FHA loan requires a minimum 3.5% down payment for credit scores of 580 and higher. If you can make a 10% down payment, your credit score can be in the 500 – 579 range. Rocket Mortgage® requires a minimum credit score of 580 for FHA loans.

Which FICO score do most lenders use? ›

For other types of credit, such as personal loans, student loans and retail credit, you'll likely want to know your FICO® Score 8, which is the score most widely used by lenders.

How accurate is credit karma? ›

Here's the short answer: The credit scores and reports you see on Credit Karma come directly from TransUnion and Equifax, two of the three major consumer credit bureaus. The credit scores and reports you see on Credit Karma should accurately reflect your credit information as reported by those bureaus.

What is the minimum credit score for FHA loan? ›

To qualify for an FHA-insured loan, you need a minimum credit score of 580 for a loan with a 3.5% down payment, and a minimum score of 500 with 10% down. However, many FHA lenders require credit scores of at least 620.

What is the hardest type of loan to get? ›

Unsecured loans are harder to obtain and interest rates can be higher, as lenders rely heavily on your credit and other financial information to determine your loan eligibility. The better your credit score, the better the interest rate you're likely to get.

Which banks are easy to get loans from? ›

The easiest banks to get a personal loan from are USAA and Wells Fargo. USAA does not disclose a minimum credit score requirement, but their website indicates that they consider people with scores below the fair credit range (below 640). So even people with bad credit may be able to qualify.

How can I get a $50,000 loan in one day? ›

Essential documents for a 50,000 instant cash loan
  1. Aadhaar Card Number linked to your mobile number for one-time password verification.
  2. Pan card Number.
  3. Photo ID proof on a prompt basis via the in-built camera in the loan app.
  4. Electronic signature.
Sep 11, 2022

Can I get a $50000 loan with a 700 credit score? ›

You can borrow $50,000 - $100,000+ with a 700 credit score. The exact amount of money you will get depends on other factors besides your credit score, such as your income, your employment status, the type of loan you get, and even the lender.

How long does it take to go from 650 to 800 credit score? ›

Depending on where you're starting from, It can take several years or more to build an 800 credit score. You need to have a few years of only positive payment history and a good mix of credit accounts showing you have experience managing different types of credit cards and loans.

What raises credit score? ›

One of the best things you can do to improve your credit score is to pay your debts on time and in full whenever possible. Payment history makes up a significant chunk of your credit score, so it's important to avoid late payments.

What credit score is needed to buy a 500 000 house? ›

Credit Score

While the exact requirements vary by lender, most lenders want to see a credit score above a minimum of 620. The higher your credit score is, the better interest rates and loan terms you'll receive. So before you try to buy a $500,000 home, make sure that your credit score is where it should be.

What credit score do I need to buy a 200000 house? ›

You'll typically need a credit score of at least 620 for conventional loans. To qualify for the best interest rates on a mortgage, aim for a credit score of at least 740.

How much income do you need to qualify for a $250000 mortgage? ›

You'll also have to meet the lender's requirements regarding income. Most experts agree that you shouldn't spend more than 28% of your income on housing payments. So, to afford a $250,000 mortgage, you'll need to show at least $45,000 in annual revenue (although exact requirements depend on the lender).

Can I afford a 300K house on a 70k salary? ›

The house you can afford on a $70,000 income will likely be between $290,000 to $360,000. However, your home-buying budget depends on quite a few financial factors — not just your salary.

How much income do you need to qualify for a $400 000 mortgage? ›

The annual salary needed to afford a $400,000 home is about $165,000. Over the past two years, home prices have skyrocketed amid the combined impacts of a global pandemic and housing inventory shortages. Between 2020 and 2022, home prices soared 30%, according to Freddie Mac.

How much is a monthly payment on a 300K house? ›

On a $300,000 mortgage with a 3% APR, you'd pay $2,071.74 per month on a 15-year loan and $1,264.81 on a 30-year loan, not including escrow.

How many people have 800 credit score? ›

Your 800 FICO® Score falls in the range of scores, from 800 to 850, that is categorized as Exceptional. Your FICO® Score is well above the average credit score, and you are likely to receive easy approvals when applying for new credit. 21% of all consumers have FICO® Scores in the Exceptional range.

Can you have a 900 credit score? ›

Depending on the type of scoring model, a 900 credit score is possible. While the most common FICO and VantageScore models only go up to 850, the FICO Auto Score and FICO Bankcard Score models range from 250 to 900.

How rare is a 700 credit score? ›

You're within the good credit score range, which runs from 690 to 719. Your 700 score is better than 37.2% of consumers, according to credit scoring company FICO. FICO says 16.4% of consumers had scores from 700 to 749 in 2021.

How many months do banks look at for mortgage? ›

Lenders will usually ask for bank statements dating back to at least 3 months, and the underwriter may use these statements to determine your eligibility on a variety of factors.

How far back do mortgage lenders look on your bank statements? ›

How far back do mortgage lenders look at bank statements? Generally, mortgage lenders require the last 60 days of bank statements. To learn more about the documentation required to apply for a home loan, contact a loan officer today.

Do lenders use Equifax or Experian? ›

Lenders may consider reports from one of the credit rating agencies such as Experian or Equifax to determine your creditworthiness. Make sure to keep a close eye on your score from both the agencies so that you know whether you meet the minimum qualification criteria when you apply for any product.

Why is my FICO score different from Credit Karma? ›

Some lenders report to all three major credit bureaus, but others report to only one or two. Because of this difference in reporting, each of the three credit bureaus may have slightly different credit report information for you and you may see different scores as a result.

What is a very good FICO 8 score? ›

FICO 8 scores range between 300 and 850. A FICO score of at least 700 is considered a good score. There are also industry-specific versions of credit scores that businesses use. For example, the FICO Bankcard Score 8 is the most widely used score when you apply for a new credit card or a credit-limit increase.

Which credit score do banks use? ›

CIBIL is quite popular as it has been in the business for a long time. Non-Banking Financial Companies and banks use the credit score provided by CIBIL, Experian and Equifax to determine the potential risk of lending to a customer. The lenders make use of these scores fix the credit limit for all eligible customers.

What will fail a home appraisal? ›

Anything from deferred maintenance on the home to cool market conditions can lower a home appraisal. Recent sales in the neighborhood will help determine the market value of the home. So if sales have been slow, or if sellers have been accepting lower offers, the value of all homes in the area can be affected.

How can I raise my credit score from 580 to 640? ›

Steps to Improve Your Credit Scores
  1. Build Your Credit File. ...
  2. Don't Miss Payments. ...
  3. Catch Up On Past-Due Accounts. ...
  4. Pay Down Revolving Account Balances. ...
  5. Limit How Often You Apply for New Accounts.

What is the easiest type of loan to get with bad credit? ›

The easiest loans to get approved for would probably be payday loans, car title loans, pawnshop loans, and personal installment loans. These are all short-term cash solutions for bad credit borrowers.

Which credit score is most important for home loan? ›

One of the most common scores used by mortgage lenders to determine creditworthiness is the FICO® Score (created by the Fair Isaac Corporation). FICO® Scores help lenders calculate the interest rates and fees you'll pay to get your mortgage.

What's better Equifax or TransUnion? ›

Neither score is more or less accurate than the other; they're only being calculated from slightly differing sources. Your Equifax credit score is more likely to appear lower than your TransUnion one because of the reporting differences, but a “fair” score from TransUnion is typically “fair” across the board.

What is the best FICO score to buy a house? ›

A conventional loan requires a credit score of at least 620, but it's ideal to have a score of 740 or above, which could allow you to make a lower down payment, get a more attractive interest rate and save on private mortgage insurance.

How far off is Credit Karma from FICO? ›

Your Credit Karma score should be the same or close to your FICO score, which is what any prospective lender will probably check. The range of your credit score (such as "good" or "very good") is more important than the precise number, which will vary by source and edge up or down often.

Which is better Experian or Credit Karma? ›

Our Verdict: Credit Karma has better credit monitoring and more features, but Experian actually gives you your “real” credit score. Plus it offers the wonderful Experian BOOST tool. Since they're both free, it's worth it to get both of them.

Why is my Experian score lower than Credit Karma? ›

This is mainly because of two reasons: For one, lenders may pull your credit from different credit bureaus, whether it is Experian, Equifax or TransUnion. Your score can then differ based on what bureau your credit report is pulled from since they don't all receive the same information about your credit accounts.

What is the easiest type of mortgage to get approved for? ›

What type of mortgage is the easiest to qualify for? An FHA loan will typically be the easiest mortgage to qualify for because it offers the lowest credit score requirement — far lower than for a conventional loan — and requires only a 3.5% down payment.

What will disqualify you from an FHA loan? ›

The three primary factors that can disqualify you from getting an FHA loan are a high debt-to-income ratio, poor credit, or lack of funds to cover the required down payment, monthly mortgage payments or closing costs.

What disqualifies a home from FHA? ›

The FHA's three requirements are that a property must be safe, secure, and structurally sound to qualify for one of their loans. Properties cannot have adverse conditions that might imperil the homeowner, and must meet proper building codes. As a buyer, these standards protect you from buying an unsafe property.

Can I get approved for a mortgage with a 600 credit score? ›

A 600 credit score is high enough to get a home loan. In fact, there are several mortgage programs designed specifically to help people with lower credit scores. However, you'll need to meet other lending requirements too.

What is the highest credit score you can have without a mortgage? ›

Depending on your age and credit history, it may be challenging for you to reach a perfect credit score of 850. It's possible, but you'll need to have a very low credit utilization rate and a robust credit history. But achieving a credit score of 700 or higher is entirely possible.

Can I get a mortgage under 600 credit score? ›

For most lenders, you'll need credit scores between 620 and 680 as a minimum to a mortgage. That being said, you may still qualify for a mortgage with a 600 credit score with certain private mortgage lenders. However, they often charge very high-interest rates which can drastically increase the cost of your mortgage.

What credit score do you need for a $250000 mortgage? ›

A $250,000 mortgage is relatively easy to find and will be offered by virtually every lender offering home loans. However, you must meet the lender's requirements to be approved for a loan. Most conventional lenders will want a credit score in the mid to high 600s but may go as low as 620.

How much income do I need to qualify for a 600 000 mortgage? ›

What income is required for a 600k mortgage? To afford a house that costs $600,000 with a 20 percent down payment (equal to $120,000), you will need to earn just under $90,000 per year before tax. The monthly mortgage payment would be approximately $2,089 in this scenario. (This is an estimated example.)

How big of a loan can you get with a 600 credit score? ›

How much can I borrow with a 600 credit score? You can borrow anywhere from a few thousand dollars to $100,000+ with a 600 credit score. The exact amount of money you will get depends on other factors besides your credit score, such as your income, your employment status, the type of loan you get, and even the lender.

Which lender is best for bad credit? ›

5 Best Bad Credit Loan Companies of 2022
  • BadCreditLoans: Best overall.
  • CashUSA: Best for installment loans up to $10,000.
  • PersonalLoans: Best for personal loans up to $35,000.
  • Upgrade: Best for low APRs.
  • Avant: Best for flexible repayment terms.
5 days ago

How to get 850 credit score fast? ›

Tips to Perfect Your Credit Score
  1. Pay your credit card bills often. ...
  2. Keep a solid payment history. ...
  3. Consider your credit mix. ...
  4. Increase your credit limit. ...
  5. Don't close old accounts. ...
  6. Regularly monitor your credit report. ...
  7. Only apply for credit when you really need it.

How many people have 850 credit score? ›

1.6% of Americans have a perfect 850 credit score, but here's the only one that matters, according to experts.

Can you get a 900 credit score? ›

Depending on the type of scoring model, a 900 credit score is possible. While the most common FICO and VantageScore models only go up to 850, the FICO Auto Score and FICO Bankcard Score models range from 250 to 900.

Can I buy a house with a 620 credit score? ›

Generally speaking, you'll need a credit score of at least 620 in order to secure a loan to buy a house. That's the minimum credit score requirement most lenders have for a conventional loan. With that said, it's still possible to get a loan with a lower credit score, including a score in the 500s.

How far back do mortgage lenders look at credit history? ›

How Far Back Do Mortgage Lenders Look at Credit History? Mortgage companies and other lending institutions may review any data contained within your credit reports. Data from the past 24 months is the most important information that mortgage lenders look at.

What credit score do you need to buy a $200000 house? ›

You'll typically need a credit score of at least 620 for conventional loans. To qualify for the best interest rates on a mortgage, aim for a credit score of at least 740.

What is a good credit score for a 300K house? ›

Some mortgage lenders are happy with a credit score of 580, but many want 620-660 or higher. Shop around if your score is low.


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