To get the lowest mortgage rate, you need a good credit score. It will be the biggest factor in determining your interest rate. Just a half point difference can have a huge impact on your mortgage and mortgage payment. For example, the difference between a 3.5 percent rate and a 4 percent rate on a $200,000 mortgage is $56.74 per month.
If you’re hoping to buy a home, one number you’ll want to get to know well is your credit score. Also called a credit rating or FICO score (named after the company that created it, the Fair Isaac Corporation), this three-digit number is a numerical representation of your credit report, which outlines your history of paying off debts.
Credit History and Score Requirements For those interested in applying for an FHA loan, applicants are now required to have a minimum FICO score of 580 to qualify for the low down payment advantage, which is currently at around 3.5 percent.
Atlanta-based credit expert John Ulzheimer, who has worked for FICO and credit bureau Equifax, says a healthy range depends on what your goals are. If you want to buy a car, you probably need a score.
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As you can see, your credit score is the second most important individual factor that goes into your mortgage loan, only below your debt to income ratio. The best thing you can do when applying for a mortgage is to get your credit in shape beforehand which can help if your debt to income is not perfect.
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Let’s start with the good. If your credit score is above 700, you can probably expect to receive a 5 percent interest rate. As your credit score drops, your rates will creep up-and once you hit 500 or lower, your interest rate will probably be around 15 percent or higher; yikes!
Multiply Your Annual Income By 2.5 or 3. For example, the lower the interest rate you can obtain, the higher the home value you can afford on the same income. This is one reason why your credit score is so important. A good credit score of 760 or higher could net you an interest rate that is 1.5% lower than if you had a fair score of, say, 620.