First-time Homebuyer 101: Credit
Your credit will never be more helpful (or harmful) than when you buy your first home.
Your credit score is used by mortgage lenders to:
- Determine if you qualify for a loan
- Set the interest rate (or price) for your mortgage
What is a “good” score?
- 🙂 580 is typically the minimum requirement
- 😃 620 is a good target to increase your options
- 🤩 700 is your stretch goal to maximize buying power
Which credit score do mortgage lenders use? A combination of FICO 2, 4, and 5 (a lender will pull all three and take the middle score). VantageScore and/or FICO 8, which are more common, are not used by mortgage lenders.
How do I build my mortgage credit score?
- Pay your bills on time, every time
- Pay off anything in collections or past due
- Do not carry a balance on your credit cards
- Ask for credit limit increases on current cards
- Find and fix credit report errors
- Do not close old accounts (even if you don’t use them)
- Get added as an authorized user to someone else's healthy credit account
How do I find out my mortgage credit score? Let us help! Gravy is one of the only places you can track your FICO 4 score without impacting your credit. You can also get real-time credit alerts, use mortgage credit score simulators, and see detailed information about your mortgage credit profile.
Get started right from the Gravy app! Start a free Gravy+ trial to see your score right now.
❤️ Gravy also partners with a select group of credit-builder companies that have a track record of success helping first-time homebuyers. Check them out in the app!
Check out our other first-time homebuyer guides:
- Meet Gravy, your digital homebuying concierge
- Real Estate Agents
- Mortgage Lenders
- Homebuying Power
- Income & Debt
- Process Timeline