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Mosprigg

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Minimal credit score to buy home

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1st time homebuyer?

I believe FHA loan approval only requires a FICO score of 580 to only have to put down a 3.5% down payment.  Under 580, you can still qualify for the loan but need to put down 10%.  For a traditional private mortgage, 640 seems to be a line in the sand, but the down payment could range from 10-20%.  So, if you're a first-timer with credit under 600, go for FHA.  If not, you really should make sure you don't have any outstanding collections/judgments because even if your FICO is in the 600s they will likely deny you until those debts are paid.

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There are lenders who will do an FHA and/or VA loan for as low as 580, but you'd better have a solid down payment, and/or be prepared to eat a higher interest rate. The minimum that most reputable lenders will do VA or FHA is 620 (if you want a decent rate that won't kill you each month.)

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