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VA Home Loan Credit Score Requirements for 2018

The Department of Veterans Affairs doesn’t set a minimum credit score for VA home loans, but lenders do. Higher scores may yield better rates and terms.
July 31, 2018
Finding the Right Mortgage, Mortgages
VA Home Loan Credit Score Requirements for 2018
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VA home loans are a benefit of military service, making homeownership possible for many service members and their spouses. If you’re wondering whether your credit score meets VA loan requirements, here’s what you need to know.

No minimum credit score

You read that right: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which insures all VA home loans, doesn’t require a certain credit score. But the private lenders that issue VA loans may have their own minimum credit score requirements, typically ranging from 580 to 620.

» MORE: Get your free credit score

Better credit score = better rates and terms

Although a low credit score won’t necessarily prevent you from getting a VA loan, a higher score may mean better interest rates or loan terms.

A higher credit score may mean better interest rates or loan terms.

“Each lender determines the percentage they are willing to offer individual borrowers,” Curt Cashour, VA press secretary, said by email. “Generally speaking, lenders are able to give their best rate to borrowers with excellent credit.”

» MORE: How improving your credit score can affect your mortgage rate

It’s about more than your credit score

To determine your ability to repay a VA loan, lenders consider a variety of financial factors, including employment record and current income. You also will have to meet requirements such as length of service, duty status and character of service.

» MORE: See if you’re eligible for a VA loan

Shopping VA mortgage lenders is essential

VA home loan requirements, including minimum credit score requirements, vary by lender. That’s why it’s so important to compare quotes from at least three VA lenders before choosing one for your mortgage. Besides rates, be sure to evaluate customer service ratings, closing costs and the company’s level of experience with VA loans.

“Veterans should make sure that they shop around for multiple lenders when using their home loan benefit to ensure that they acquire the best rates and terms available,” Cashour said.

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