Buy a Home

Qualify for a mortgage.

When it’s time to apply and qualify for a mortgage, your credit score is a big piece of the puzzle. But whether it's practically perfect or needs some help, you can always improve it. Ready for a credit crash course, plus some savvy techniques that could help you improve your credit score? Great! Or if you’re ready to take the next step, let's go.

Credit matters

Here’s the bottom line, "homebuyer": The stronger your credit, the better chance you can qualify for a mortgage at a fair rate. Does that always mean you’re out of luck if you don’t have an astronomical credit score? Of course not.

If you have a low credit score or significant issues in your credit history, it may be more difficult to qualify for a mortgage. But it’s not impossible. With some hard work and time invested, you can get the right credit score to buy a home, qualify for a mortgage, and get into your dream home.

Your options

Blemished credit doesn’t mean you’re out of options. One major option to consider is Federal Housing Authority (FHA) loans. These tend to have different requirements for applicants’ credit scores. Not to mention, they have programs for people managing credit issues.

There are plenty of options to help you learn how to qualify for a mortgage, even with a bumpy credit history. Our mortgage professionals know the ins and outs of the industry and can help you learn more.

Things that make lenders go uh-oh

To qualify for a mortgage, lenders want to make sure you can handle your new payment. One of the first things they’ll look at is your total credit card debt. They’ll compare that to how much available credit you have left to your total credit. High total debt and not much credit left available usually spells trouble.

Lenders will also look at your debt-to-income ratio. This figure starts with your monthly debt obligation—which includes what you owe to things like rent or mortgages, student loans, car payments, and credit cards. Your ratio is this number divided by your monthly pre-tax income.

Some odds and ends

You can always try to ask your credit card company for a lower rate. They may say no, or they might surprise you and say yes. But you do have to ask to find out.

It might seem like a pain, but taking the time to raise your credit score and take care of blemishes is great preparation for managing a mortgage. You can do it, and you’ll be better off because you did.


Keep going to learn more about the home buying process! The next section talks about all things rate related.

Ready to buy or refinance?