As a rule of thumb, however, a credit score below 640 will make buying a home very difficult. A FICO score below 640 is considered sub-prime. In the past there were mortgage companies that specialized in sub-prime mortgages. Because of the challenges in the credit market over the last year or so, however, sub-prime loans have become difficult if not impossible to obtain.
A FICO score between 600 and 640 is considered fair to good credit. But keep in mind, this range of credit scores does not guarantee you will qualify for a mortgage, and if you do qualify, it wonâ€™t get you the lowest interest rate possible. Still, to buy a home aim for a score of at least 640, recognizing that other factors weigh in the decision and that some banks may require a higher score.
What credit score do you need to get a low rate mortgage?
It use to be that a score of about 720 would yield the lowest mortgage rates available. Today, the best rates kick in with a FICO score of 760. And interest rates go up significantly as your credit score drops. To give you an idea, the following table shows current rates by credit score and calculates a monthly principal and interest payment based on a $300,000 loan: