What is a Good Credit Score to Buy a House?

If you are preparing to buy a house, you will need to know what a good credit score is to be approved for a home loan. The majority of conventional mortgages demand a 620 or higher FICO credit score to approve you. If your loan is backed up by the FHA Federal Housing Administration, then the required score drops to minimally 500 with a 10 percent down payment and to at least 580 with a 3.5 percent down payment. 

Credit Karma has done a survey of over a million of its members who purchased a home with a first time mortgage between August of 2017 and 2018 to come up with average Vantage 3.0 credit score numbers for homebuyers. 

This survey revealed that the Vantage Score for first time American home buyers is 684. 

The figure varied widely by the state and city in which you live. The Vantage Score range of credit scores for first time home buyers was from 662 to 730 (again depending on the state in which you live). Buyers in states in the Northeast and West Coast (Washington, California, and Hawaii) showed the highest credit scores while those who live in the Gulf Coast and Appalachian states of the South had the lowest credit scores. 

The credit score you need to buy a house also depends on the price of the home involved. In states where the average homes are more expensive like Hawaii (at an average of around $528,000 for a first time mortgage), the average credit score of home buyers was 715. 

In states like Indiana where the average first time home loan is $196,000, the home buyer’s score averages at 670. So while you might get an FHA loan in the 500 to 580 credit score range and a traditional mortgage for at least a 620 score, first time homebuyers’ credit scores are often significantly higher, in the 662 to 730 range.

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