Which Credit Score Is Most Important for Buying a House

Which Credit Score Is Most Important for Buying a House

Buying a house is a significant milestone for many individuals and families. However, it is no secret that purchasing a home requires careful financial planning and a strong credit history. Lenders typically rely on credit scores to determine an individual’s creditworthiness. But which credit score is most important when it comes to buying a house? In this article, we will explore the different credit scores and discuss their significance in the homebuying process.

Understanding Credit Scores

Before delving into the various credit scores, it is essential to understand what a credit score is and how it is calculated. A credit score is a three-digit number that represents an individual’s creditworthiness. It helps lenders assess the risk of lending money to a borrower. The most commonly used credit scoring models are FICO® and VantageScore®. These scoring models use information from credit reports to calculate the credit score.

FICO® Scores

FICO® Scores are widely used by lenders and are considered the industry standard when it comes to credit scores. FICO® Scores range from 300 to 850, with higher scores indicating better creditworthiness. The FICO® Score is calculated based on several factors, including payment history, credit utilization, length of credit history, types of credit, and recent credit inquiries.

When it comes to buying a house, lenders typically look at your FICO® Score 8, which is the most commonly used version. However, some lenders may also consider other versions, such as FICO® Score 5 or FICO® Score 9, depending on their preference and underwriting guidelines.

See also  How Many Credit Card Good for 711 Credit Score


VantageScore® is another credit scoring model used by lenders. While not as widely utilized as FICO® Scores, it is gaining popularity. VantageScore® ranges from 300 to 850, similar to FICO® Scores. However, the scoring criteria may differ slightly.

For homebuying purposes, VantageScore® 3.0 is often used by lenders. This version considers factors such as payment history, age and type of credit, credit utilization, total debt, recent credit behavior, and available credit.

Which Credit Score Is Most Important?

While both FICO® Scores and VantageScore® are important, FICO® Scores tend to hold more weight in the homebuying process. Most mortgage lenders rely on FICO® Scores to assess an individual’s creditworthiness and determine the terms of the loan. However, it is worth noting that each lender may have its own criteria and may consider other factors alongside credit scores.


Q: Will checking my credit score for a mortgage application lower my score?
A: No, checking your credit score for a mortgage application will not lower your score. Multiple inquiries within a short period, such as when shopping for a mortgage, are treated as a single inquiry to minimize the impact on your credit.

Q: What credit score do I need to qualify for a mortgage?
A: The minimum credit score required to qualify for a mortgage varies depending on the type of loan and the lender. However, a FICO® Score of 620 or higher is generally considered a good starting point.

Q: How can I improve my credit score to increase my chances of buying a house?
A: To improve your credit score, focus on paying your bills on time, reducing your credit card balances, avoiding new credit applications, and reviewing your credit reports for errors.

See also  How Much Credit Score Is Needed to Buy an Ipghone

Q: Can I buy a house with bad credit?
A: While it may be more challenging to purchase a home with bad credit, it is not impossible. There are options available, such as FHA loans, that cater to individuals with lower credit scores. However, it is advisable to work on improving your credit before applying for a mortgage.

In conclusion, when it comes to buying a house, FICO® Scores are generally more important than VantageScores®. It is crucial to maintain a good credit history, pay bills on time, and keep credit card balances low to increase your chances of securing a mortgage. Remember that each lender may have different criteria, so it is wise to shop around and find one that suits your specific needs.