What credit score is needed to buy a house in Washington State? That depends. Mortgage lenders have their own standards, and different loan programs have different credit requirements. Generally speaking, a score of 600 or higher will put you in a pretty good position to buy a home in Washington State.
Why Credit Scores Matter for Mortgage Applicants
When you apply for a home loan, the mortgage lender will review your finances to see if you’re capable of repaying the debt. They’ll consider your monthly income and assets, your recurring debts, and other aspects of your financial situation.
They’ll also look at your credit score, and this can partly determine whether or not you’re able to buy a home in Washington State.
Credit scores are three-digit numbers that give mortgage companies insight into how you’ve borrowed and repaid money in the past. For example, a person who has always repaid his or her debts on time will likely have a high score. A person with a pattern of late payments and delinquencies will have probably have a comparatively lower score.
Buying a Home in Washington State
A good credit score will help you qualify for a mortgage loan to buy a home. An excellent score will also help you qualify for a low mortgage rate, which could save you money over time.
Bad credit tends to have the opposite effect. It could make it harder for you to get a mortgage loan and may also bring a higher interest rate.
The FICO credit score — the one that is most commonly used by mortgage lenders and other financial companies — ranges from 300 to 850. Higher is better.
So, what credit score is needed to buy a home in Washington State? Generally speaking, mortgage lenders today prefer to see a score of 600 or higher. But this number is not set in stone. The truth is, there is no single cutoff point for credit scores across the industry. It can vary from one mortgage company to the next.
Considering the Big Picture
Credit is just one facet of the mortgage qualification process. Lenders look at other factors as well, including income stability and cash reserves.
The important thing is to avoid making assumptions about your ability to qualify for a home loan. The only way to find out if you’re qualified for mortgage financing is to speak to a lender. (Feel free to contact us, if you’d like.)
Mortgage companies tend to look at the “big picture” when reviewing loan applicants. Credit scores are just one part of that picture.
How to Boost Your Numbers
So, what can you do if you find out your credit score is too low to buy a home in Washington State? The good news is you’re not powerless. There are certain steps you can take to improve your credit score.
The first, and possibly most important, step is to make sure you pay all of your bills on time going forward. Pay particular attention to the things that show up on your credit reports, like personal loans, credit cards, etc.
As you can see from the pie chart, your “payment history” accounts for 35% of your credit score under the FICO scoring model. That’s more than any other single factor. As a result, late and missed payments can seriously lower your score. So pay those bills on time. Setting up payment reminders and enrolling in automatic bill payments are two ways to keep up with your bills.
According to myFICO.com (which is owned by the company that actually created the FICO scoring system), reducing the amount of debt you owe might also improve your score. Having too much debt relative to income can lower a person’s score.
To learn more about FICO credit scores and how they work, visit www.myfico.com.
Get Pre-Approved to Find Out Where You Stand
Are you planning to buy a home in Washington State? Do you need a mortgage loan to make it happen? We can help. Sammamish Mortgage has been serving borrowers across the Pacific Northwest for more than 20 years.
Our loan experts can review your credit score, income, and other financial factors to determine if you’re a good candidate for a home loan. We can even pre-approve you before you start shopping for a home, to make you a more competitive home buyer.