How To Get A Mortgage With Bad Credit

Can you get a mortgage if you have bad credit? With certain loan programs and lenders, it may be possible—especially if you can make a big down payment, prove large cash reserves and have a low debt-to-income ratio.

About 15% of American consumers have credit scores in the 500 to 599 range on an 850-point scale, which is considered poor to fair credit, according to FICO. Another 10% are in the 600 to 649 range, which is considered fair credit. You’re in good company if your score is less than ideal, and the right lender can help you get a mortgage or explain how to get approved in the future.

What Is a Bad Credit Score for a Mortgage?

A bad credit score for a mortgage[1] is one that doesn’t allow you to get a loan, only lets you get a more expensive loan or requires a larger down payment[2] in order to qualify for a loan. What’s considered “bad” depends on the type of loan you’re applying for: conventional, FHA, VA or USDA. Most successful homebuyers—about 93%—have credit scores of 650 or higher, according to Ellie Mae, a technology solutions provider for mortgage lenders.

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