Can You Buy a House With No Credit?

Your record of on-time payments for things like rent, utilities and insurance can fill in for a credit history with some lenders.
Barbara Marquand
By Barbara Marquand 
Updated
Edited by Mary Makarushka Reviewed by Michelle Blackford
Can You Buy a House With No Credit?

Some or all of the mortgage lenders featured on our site are advertising partners of NerdWallet, but this does not influence our evaluations, lender star ratings or the order in which lenders are listed on the page. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners.

MORE LIKE THISMortgages

It's possible to get a mortgage if you don't have a credit score, but you'll probably have to look harder to find the right lender — and be prepared to provide extra documentation to show a record of paying bills on time.

Here's what to know.

What are credit history, credit report and credit score?

  • A traditional credit history is a record of how someone has repaid debts such as car and student loans, mortgages and credit cards.

  • Your history is contained in credit reports compiled by the three major credit-reporting companies — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

  • A credit score is a three-digit number based on information in someone's credit reports. Two of the most important elements are whether a person has a history of making on-time payments and the amount of money they owe compared with their available credit. Lenders use credit scores to assess the likelihood that applicants will repay money they borrow.

If you've never taken out a loan, had a credit card or been an authorized user on someone's credit account, then you may not have a credit report or credit score.

The smart home for your credit
NerdWallet tracks your credit score and shows you ways to build it — for free.
home affordability calculator

The difference between bad credit and no credit

  • Bad credit means you've had some missteps and your credit score is low. A score below 630 on a scale of 300-850 is typically considered a bad credit score. You may be able to qualify for a mortgage with a credit score in the 500s or low 600s, but you'll pay a higher interest rate than a borrower with good credit.

  • No credit means you don't have a track record of handling credit accounts, so you don't have a credit score. With no credit score to go on, it's more challenging for lenders to gauge the risk of loaning you money.

Mortgage loans from our partners

New American Funding - PURCHASE logo
Check Rate

on New American Funding

New American Funding

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
New American Funding - PURCHASE logo

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score 
500

Min. down payment 
3.5%

Check Rate

on New American Funding

Better - PURCHASE logo
Check Rate

on Better

Better

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Better - PURCHASE logo

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score 
620

Min. down payment 
3%

Check Rate

on Better

NBKC - PURCHASE logo
Check Rate

on NBKC

NBKC

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
NBKC - PURCHASE logo

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score 
620

Min. down payment 
3%

Check Rate

on NBKC

Rocket Mortgage - PURCHASE logo
Check Rate

on Rocket Mortgage

Rocket Mortgage

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Rocket Mortgage - PURCHASE logo

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score 
620

Min. down payment 
1%

Check Rate

on Rocket Mortgage

Guaranteed Rate - PURCHASE logo
Check Rate

on Guaranteed Rate

Guaranteed Rate

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Guaranteed Rate - PURCHASE logo

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score 
620

Min. down payment 
3%

Check Rate

on Guaranteed Rate

Mortgage loans from our partners

New American Funding - PURCHASE logo
Check Rate

on New American Funding

New American Funding

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
New American Funding - PURCHASE logo

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score 
500

Min. down payment 
3.5%

Check Rate

on New American Funding

Better - PURCHASE logo
Check Rate

on Better

Better

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Better - PURCHASE logo

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score 
620

Min. down payment 
3%

Check Rate

on Better

NBKC - PURCHASE logo
Check Rate

on NBKC

NBKC

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
NBKC - PURCHASE logo

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score 
620

Min. down payment 
3%

Check Rate

on NBKC