Not too long ago, getting a mortgage for a home was easy. Bad credit, good credit, all it seemed like you needed to do was sign away and show a little income and you could be a homeowner. This is exactly the reason we are having a housing market meltdown in the USA right now. The willingness of the lenders to give a loan to people who would not be able to pay has opened up a flood gate of problems just a few years later. So a common question people have these days is what is the minimum credit score or requirement to get a home mortgage today?

Generally, if your credit score is below 650 you will have a harder time getting approved for a mortgage with decent terms or conditions. That does not mean that if you try to improve your credit score, which I recommend, before applying for a mortgage refinance it will not help. Improve your score and your rates go down and approval rating goes up. Even a little bit of saving in terms of percentage means a lot of savings in the long run. Pay off any debts in full that you can afford to entirely pay off. A lot of people actually can pay off an entire debt on a credit card but choose not to. They choose to keep cash in their pocket and pay minimum payments. This is not a smart financial decision to make and bad for your credit. Making minimum payments is ok but shows no effort to pay more. If you can not pay off an entire credit card, at least make sure you are not maxed out on any. Pay down credit cards to within at least 25% of their maximum limit. This shows you will not over extend your credit and can be responsible as a borrower. The bottom line of it all is the exact credit number and mortgage approval can vary but generally a credit score of 650 or higher will make things a lot easier for you. Although it is not impossible to get a mortgage with a credit score lower than 650, it will just take a little more patience and research.

-M Petrone

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