So you’re thinking about buying a house? Congratulations! Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or just ready for a change, buying a home is a big milestone and we’re sure you’ve got some questions (such as what credit score you’ll need to buy a house here in Florida) so let us answer them for you.
Let’s Talk About Credit Scores
First, a quick reminder: A credit score is a number between 300-850 that banks use to determine your creditworthiness (how likely it is that you will repay your debt).
The better your score, the more lenders will be willing to give you a loan. Now, that isn’t to say that you have to have a perfect credit score or you’ll never be approved for a loan. It’s possible to get a loan with a not-so-great score, but keep in mind that your credit score also affects the mortgage interest rate—as a rule, the higher your score, the better rate you’re eligible for.
Lenders willing to offer loans to those with riskier-looking credit scores may protect themselves by increasing the interest rates—meaning that you end up paying more over time. Don’t underestimate the importance of a good credit score when getting a mortgage.
What Is the Minimum Credit Score Needed to Buy a House in Florida?
Generally, a credit score of 580 is considered the minimum credit score you’ll need to buy a house in Florida. With this score, you can qualify for an FHA loan (a mortgage insured by the government) that comes with a low down payment of just 3.5%. If your score is lower than 580, you still might qualify for an FHA loan, but you’ll have a higher down payment of 10%.
Different mortgage lenders are given flexibility about what types of loans they offer and the lowest credit score they will accept. It’s a good idea to reach out to your lender and ask them if their required rates differ from the national standards. Feel free to contact us at any time to find out what credit scores we require.
If your credit score is too low for you to get a loan or a good interest rate, it might be a good idea to work on improving your score before trying to buy. If you can get your number up to the minimum credit score needed to buy a house in Florida (or above it), you’ll be much better off.
How to Improve Your Credit Score
If you think you might need to get your credit score up before buying a home, here are some tips to help you:
- Pay your bills on time
- Keep the balance low on your credit card
- Pay off debt
- Make frequent debt payments (even if they are small)
- Check your credit report
Even if you have a long way to go, don’t lose hope. A little patience and consistent efforts to raise your score will pay off and eventually, you’ll be able to achieve the credit score you need to get a mortgage on your new dream home.
Fort Myers Mortgage Experts Can Help You Get Qualified
A good credit score is really the key to qualifying for a mortgage. While the credit score needed to buy a house in Florida is at least 580, it doesn’t hurt at all to work to get your credit score above the minimum. It will only expand your options.
If you have a less-than-perfect credit score, there are still possibilities for you. With continued effort, you can improve your credit score in order to qualify. And, there are many options out there for people with lower credit scores, so don’t give up!
Talk with a professional from Fort Myers Mortgage Experts today to find out how you can qualify for a mortgage.