Most lenders have a published 620 minimum FICO for conventional mortgages. However, files are typically underwritten through an automated underwriting system like Desktop Underwriter (Fannie Mae) or Loan Prospector (Freddie Mac). Although the 620 score is the ultimate minimum it does not mean that a 620 score qualifies. The automated underwriting systems use proprietary algorithms to rate risk based on debt-to-income ratios, available reserves, credit history, loan-to-value, etc. If the system calculates that the risk level is acceptable then an approval is issued. This only means that the loan officer can proceed and move the loan to underwriting, it does not necessarily mean the loan is approved but most of the time (barring any new information) the loan will be approved.
This answer is probably more than you had bargained for but unfortunately more goes into a qualification then just the credit score. I hope this helps.... more
It's a question for the folks you interviewed! They should be able to stand behind their conclusions. You say Agent(s), but is that two or three? I'm already skeptical of the agents you had, because if you were reviewing the units FOR SALE, as opposed to HAVE SOLD, I'd suggest you're looking at the wrong data. (For the record, listed property is not a comparable. Only sales are. Listed Property is good data, but much less so.).
Regardless of their methodology, they should be able to make you understand it. If you can't, find someone who does a better job of communicating with you.
If you are not closing until November, in order to lock a rate now it will cost you either a higher rate or an upfront fee. Most lenders will recomend a 30-45 day rate lock. Your best bet is to ask your loan officer what is available to you and what the rate or cost of each is. Good luck with your purchase.... more