Home ownership is still a major part of the “American Dream”. It creates long term financial stability as the mortgage is paid down and the home appreciates. It also creates a sense of pride, satisfaction and enhanced well-being.
However, being able to buy a home with less than perfect credit is much more difficult than it was even just 5 years ago. The guidelines to qualify for a home mortgage, or receiving any kind of credit, now require a larger down payment, a lower debt to income ratio, and a higher FICO or credit score.
Do you have a 620 to 640?
Mortgage brokers are telling us that it takes a minimum 620 credit score to be considered for a loan to purchase a home. Given the current guidelines, the estimated 43 million people who have a credit score of 599 or lower cannot purchase a home without cleaning up their credit history and increasing their credit score. This is also true for people that want to refinance a high interest, adjustable rate loan.
If you have less than a 620 credit score there is good news! You can eliminate the derogatory items from your credit report and sufficiently increase your credit score to the 620 mark or even higher. With a 620 FICO score you will pay higher points and a higher interest rate on your loan but the purchase of a home and on time payment of the mortgage each month will increase your score over time. You can then potentially refinance at a lower rate in the future.
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Eliminating these negative items from your credit report does take time. So even if you do not yet have a sufficient amount of money for the down payment you should begin to clean up your credit report and increase your credit score now. Then when you do have enough for a down payment you’ll be able to act upon that purchase immediately.