Credit Score in Pittsburgh>Question Details

kneelbeforez…, Renter in Pittsburgh, PA

Are my scores good enough to get a mortgage?

Asked by kneelbeforezod, Pittsburgh, PA Sat Nov 16, 2013

After battling back from some problems, I've been able to pull off some magic by rehabbing my credit. While not ready to go apply and buy, I want to later in 2014. FICO ( Scores are: EX - 655 EQ - 661 TU - 648 (paying off CCs and a few older collections with small balances).

So, my questions are as followed:
1. Can I trust myFico to be somewhat close to lender scores?
2. Are my scores in a territory that I can start thinking more about buying, or should I crawl in a hole and die for a few years? Income about $80,000 a year
3. Any good lenders in the Pittsburgh area that work with scores above?
4. If I wanted to go FHA for a house about $125,000, how much should I think about having for down payment, closing costs, etc (average). I can't swing 20% down at this point in my life.

Your feedback appreciated.

Help the community by answering this question:


Yes. You can get an FHA loan even with under a 600 middle score with some lending institutions but not many. I would recommend finding a broker or service to help you locate a reputable lender like The Lenders Network. They have helped a lot of people with lower scores get approved for home loans.. Good luck!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 28, 2013

I work directly with a licensed mortgage broker and have submitted your questions to him. As soon as I hear from him, I'll get back with you.

2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 16, 2013
FHA is your best bet and myfico scores will not be accurate.. They could be way higher or lower when a lender pulls your credit.. I know some lenders offer FHA loans with a 580 credit score and you just need 3.5% down not 20. The Lenders Network is a good site I have heard about for people with low credit scores looking for a mortgage.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 18, 2013
The scores are not accurate unless you had a lender pull a tri-merged residential mortgage credit report. There are all kinds of formats for credit reports and everyone can use a different credit score matrix. I pulled a report this morning that was 50 points lower than the applicant was told it was using one of the paid subscriptions from one of the credit bureaus. Good luck,

Jim Simms
NMLS # 6395
Financing Kentucky One Home at a Time
I answer questions about financing real estate based on my decades of experience dealing with mortgage underwriters. This answer is my personal opinion, has not been reviewed or approved by the company I work for. I do not offer legal or tax advice, if you need answers from an attorney or CPA find one knowledgeable in your local market.
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 18, 2013
Hi, Here's Todd's response.

1) You never can tell, it is best pulled by a mortgage company because our credit bureaus use the lender’s algorithm

2) No his/her scores are good enough for FHA and some conventional products right now

3) Yes I know a great one Todd Stainbrook at AJM Mortgage...(866) 256-5626

4) 3.5% down if you negotiate with sellers assist which shouldn’t be a problem
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 18, 2013
Your scores are fine for FHA you may qualify for conventional if we pull current credit and some of those numbers have crept up a bit - minimum down pmt on FHA is 3.5 pct. conventional w private mortgage insurance is 5pct and I may be able to negotiate up to 6 pct of closing costs paid by seller - As long as your Debt to income ratio isn't out of whack you are definitely able to purchase w those scores and income not an issue - happy to help - Doug Caye 412-576-5561
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 17, 2013
Congratulations on doing the hard work that will pay off well in the end.
1. Your reported scores may not be. Keep up the good work until you are ready to apply and be prepared for what the lender tells you. It could be good news or bad.
2. If your scores are accurate, they will not impede you from qualifying for a mortgage. Scores are just one part of the process. You'll need adequate income, assets, residual savings, secure employment or income and all the documentation to support all of this.
3. Any FHA lender could help you, however there are some who are better than others. A great lender reviews your file completely in advance, advises you of issues which may present themselves and some will even help you with your credit repair. I did as a licensed lender for over 10 years, but not all do. Find a lender who you can trust and work with and you'll be in good hands.
4. FHA requires a minimum of 3.5% down. Closing costs can be 2% to 3% but can be paid by the seller, the lender or any combination of all three. Your lender can break down the specific costs. They will vary depending on the size of the loan, when you close and how you arrange the details.
I hope this was helpful.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 16, 2013

Well, this is great news. I didn't think you would need to crawl in a hole & die! :) When you are ready to look for a new home, I would be happy to help you find just the right one. Check out my website for looking at homes and for my contact information.…

I will get back with you when I hear from Todd Stainbrook:…

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 16, 2013

I have seen my fico and self monitoring scoring services be both spot on and way off so its hard to say for certain that those will be the same scores when they are run by a lender. The minimum score we have for conventional loans is 620 and we can do FHA loans with a 3.5% down payment with a mid score of 640.

You can learn more about these programs on my site at or feel free to contact me directly for a full consultation and pre-approval.


Derek Bayer
Branch Manager
NMLS# 130169

651 Holiday Dr, Ste 300 Foster Plaza 5
Pittsburgh, PA 15220
Office Phone: (412) 928-3946
State License Numbers PA - 30757 – 20371

“The postings on this site, and the opinions expressed herein, are my own and do not necessarily represent the opinions or positions of Guaranteed Rate, Inc.”
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 16, 2013
How is it going with your Home search. I did not see this earlier but you may have asked the wrong question. The score is not the only factor when getting a loan. The score sets the rate. Available income sets the price range and past unresolved Colections can stop even a much higher score. Collections need to be resolved in some way. IF you want to learn more I am happy to help you with getting to where you need to be. I live and work in both Allegheny and Washington counties, if you want some local assistance. Best of luck.
Benny Smith
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 31, 2013

1. You will need to have a lender pull the tri-merge report because that is what they will go on. They will not use other sites or copies of reports. However, the scores should be similar.

2. If your middle score is a 655, that more than qualifies for what you are looking to do (most likely an FHA loan 3.5% down).


4. If the final price is $125,000, you will need about $4,375 down (125,000 * 3.5%). You will also need to be prepared to pay the closing costs and any points associated with the loan (points buy down the rate).
****What you can do in a lot of cases is agree to a higher price with the seller if they agree to cover all or some of the closing costs (seller concession).

This is a good time to purchase homes now before the prices rise back up. Having a mortgage will also improve your credit as it is onf of the heaviest weighted and adds a different type of credit to your account.

I hope this helps. If you have any qusetions about anything i said feel free to contact me.

Let's go Steelers!

Brian Keenan
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 4, 2013
Good morning kneelbeforezod,
(luv the screen name! "Why does he not kneel before me? Does he not know I will kill him!?!")

Those scores you posted appear to be sufficient for most mortgage Lenders today. Many Lenders require a minimum 640 credit score. Since your middle score is 655 you appear to be in good shape.

Since you've been rehabbing your credit (and you're...ZOD!) be aware of any credit report "nastys" that might crop up when a Loan Originator reviews your credit report. If you've settled any collection accounts, charge-offs or judgments, be sure you have the proof in hand. Even though the account might show as "PAID" on the report, most Lenders still want to see the written proof. You'll also need to provide a written explanation for any derogatory accounts, even if you've settled/paid them. The Lender wants to know what happened that cause the credit problems, not in intricate detail, but enough to provide a basic explanation.

Two other things:
1. IF you've paid a collection/charge off/judgment and it does NOT appear as "PAID" or "SETTLED" on your report, be aware that when the creditor does update the report accordingly, your credit score will drop, albeit temporarily, due to recent activity on a derogatory account. Therefore, if you've decided to get Prequalified now, don't push the creditor(s) to update the status on your report until after you've met with your Local Mortgage Banker. She might suggest leaving that alone if you are otherwise qualified for financing.

2. Avoid the pitfall that many potential home buyers make of paying to zero all credit accounts. Since you've been working so hard to rehab your credit, be sure to maintain balances on at least 2 to 3 of your open and active accounts, even if it's $50. Underwriters want to see you are not afraid to use your credit, plus maintaining balances (and paying on time monthly) will help to "naturally" improve your credit scores over time.

Trevor Curran
NMLS #40140
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 19, 2013
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