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    What FICO® Score Do You Need to Qualify for a Mortgage?

    While a recent announcement from CNBC shares that the average national FICO® score has reached an all-time high of 706, the good news for potential buyers is that you don’t need a score that high to qualify for a mortgage. Let’s unpack the credit score myth so you can to become a homeowner sooner than you may think.

    With today’s low interest rates, many believe now is a great time to buy – and rightfully so! Fannie Mae recently noted that 58% of Americans surveyed say it is a good time to buy. Similarly, the Q3 2019 HOME Survey by the National Association of Realtors said 63% of people believe now is a good time to buy a home. Unfortunately, fear and misinformation often hold qualified and motivated buyers back from taking the leap into homeownership.

    According to the same CNBC article,

    “For the first time, the average national credit score has reached 706, according to FICO®, the developer of one of the most commonly used scores by lenders.”

    This is great news, as it means Americans are improving their credit scores and building toward a stronger financial future, especially after the market tumbled during the previous decade. With today’s strong economy and increasing wages, many Americans have had the opportunity to improve their credit over the past few years, driving this national average up.

    Since Americans with stronger credit are now entering the housing market, we are seeing an increase in the FICO® Score Distribution of Closed Loans (see graph below):What FICO® Score Do You Need to Qualify for a Mortgage? | MyKCMBut hang on – don’t forget that this does not mean you need a FICO® score over 700 to qualify for a mortgage. Here’s what Experian, the global leader in consumer and business credit reporting, says:

    FHA Loan: “FHA loans are ideal for those who have less-than-perfect credit and may not be able to qualify for a conventional mortgage loan. The size of your required down payment for an FHA loan depends on the state of your credit score: If your credit score is between 500 and 579, you must put 10% down. If your credit score is 580 or above, you can put as little as 3.5% down (but you can put down more if you want to).”

    Conventional Loan: “It’s possible to get approved for a conforming conventional loan with a credit score as low as 620, although some lenders may look for a score of 660 or better.”

    USDA Loan“While the USDA doesn’t have a set credit score requirementmost lenders offering USDA-guaranteed mortgages require a score of at least 640.”

    VA Loan: “As with income levels, lenders set their own minimum credit requirements for VA loan borrowers. Lenders are likely to check credit scores as part of their screening process, and most will set a minimum score, or cutoff, that loan applicants must exceed to be considered.”

    Bottom Line

    As you can see, plenty of loans are granted to buyers with a FICO® score that is lower than the national average. If you’d like to understand the next steps to take when determining your credit score, let’s get together so you can learn more.

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    Carin Nguyen

    Carin Nguyen takes the business of real estate very seriously and she has the track record to prove it. She holds the recent prestigious title and ranking of the #1 realtor in AZ for sides as awarded by the Wall Street Journal. Carin is an Arizona native and fully understands the complexities and changing landscape of the Arizona market. She has been in the real estate industry for over 10 year’s full time and comes by her expertise honestly, having honed it during years in the finance and mortgage industries. Education and knowledge is key in getting her buyers and sellers what they what. A rich resume built with a tireless commitment to her clients, undeniable proven past success and an uncompromised vision for the future create the recipe for complete customer satisfaction. Carin understands the potential emotional stress and sometimes life altering experiences felt by clients during the real estate transaction process. Carin is unyielding in insisting on complete professionalism from herself and her team while understanding that real estate is a personal business. She thrives on managing the details and individuality of each transaction and client. Her clients know that having Carin on their side means they have an advocate who cares about them and their needs. Carin is convinced that building relationships will ensure continued satisfaction and be reflected in future success. There is no denying what provides Carin with her constant strength. Her family is “at the heart of my motivation to push myself to achieve my goals and to be forthright in all that I do. My husband, Son, is my biggest source of support, my coach and my best friend. I am truly blessed with a loving husband and four great children who collectively strengthen my resolve to be the best at all my endeavors. I can be a wife and mother and still be a successful Realtor because I tackle everything with all that I have. My motto is ‘Working Hard To Get Homes Sold’ for a reason. I am thrilled that so many families have made me their real estate consultant.” A commitment to professionalism, an empathetic and understanding approach to her clients and an unstoppable and dependable force from her family all ensures success for Carin and most importantly, her clients

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