What Credit Score Do You Need to Buy a House?

Most borrowers have scores in the high 600s to 700s. Lenders set their own minimum requirements by loan type.
Kate Wood
Bev O'Shea
By Bev O'Shea and  Kate Wood 
Updated
Edited by Dawnielle Robinson-Walker Reviewed by Michelle Blackford
The Credit Score Needed to Buy a House

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Nerdy takeaways
  • Most mortgages, including conventional loans, require a credit score of 620 or higher.

  • It’s possible to get an FHA loan with a credit score as low as 500, but many lenders require higher scores.

  • Borrowers with higher credit scores get better rates and terms than those with low scores.

Nerdy takeaways
  • Most mortgages, including conventional loans, require a credit score of 620 or higher.

  • It’s possible to get an FHA loan with a credit score as low as 500, but many lenders require higher scores.

  • Borrowers with higher credit scores get better rates and terms than those with low scores.

Often, a mortgage is the biggest loan you’ll take out in your lifetime, so it makes sense that lenders require a minimum credit score for mortgages. A good score suggests to lenders that you can make your payments on time.

If you have below average credit, you still have options when it comes to a mortgage. But if you have a higher credit score, you'll generally qualify for more loan options and lower interest rates.

Credit score requirements differ by lender and loan type. For example, conventional loans typically require a higher credit score than government-backed loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration.

Whether your credit is flawless or average, here’s what to expect when you apply for a mortgage.

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