What Credit Score is Used for a Mortgage?

What credit score is used for a mortgage? This is a common question among home buyers, and the answer can vary depending on the lender. Find out what credit score is used for a mortgage and how you can improve your own score to qualify for the best loan terms.

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The Different Types of Credit Scores

There are four types of credit scores: FICO, VantageScore 3.0, Experian PLUS Score, and Equifax Credit Score. FICO is the most commonly used credit score by lenders, however, each lender may have their own proprietary score that they use. VantageScore 3.0 is a newer credit score that is becoming more popular. Experian PLUS Score and Equifax Credit Score are two other types of credit scores that are used by some lenders.

FICO Score

FICO scores are the most widely used credit scores, and you’re likely to encounter them if you apply for a mortgage, auto loan or credit card. Your FICO score is calculated based on information in your credit reports, including:

-Your payment history
-How much debt you have
-The types of credit you have
-How long your credit accounts have been open

FICO scores range from 300 to 850, with the average FICO score in the U.S. hovering around 700. A score of 720 or above is considered “excellent” by most standards, while a score of 650 or below is considered “poor.” If your score falls in the “good” or “fair” range (670-719 or 580-669, respectively), you may still be able to get a mortgage, but you might pay a higher interest rate.


VantageScore is a credit scoring model developed jointly by the three major national credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. It was created as an alternative to the FICO score, which has been the most widely used credit score in the United States for over two decades.

The VantageScore model is based on a similar premise to the FICO score: namely, that certain characteristics of a borrower’s credit history are predictive of future creditworthiness. However, there are some important differences between the two scoring models.

One key difference is that the VantageScore model uses a more “granular” approach to scoring than the FICO model. This means that it takes into account more than just a borrower’s payment history when determining their score. The VantageScore model also considers things like the age of a borrower’s accounts, the types of credit they have (e.g., installment loans vs. revolving lines of credit), and recent inquiries on their file.

Another key difference is that the VantageScore model uses a different scale than the FICO score. The VantageScore scale runs from 300 to 850, with 850 being the highest possible score. By contrast, the FICO score scale only goes up to 800. This means that there is potential for borrowers to have higher scores under the VantageScore model than they would under the FICO model.

The VantageScore model has been adopted by several major lenders in recent years, including Bank of America and Citigroup. However, it should be noted that not all lenders use the same scoring models when making decisions about loan approval and pricing. As such, it’s always important to check with each lender to see which scoring models they use before applying for a loan.

Which Credit Score is Used for a Mortgage?

There are many factors that go into getting a mortgage, including your credit score. Your credit score is a number that lenders use to determine your creditworthiness. A higher credit score means you’re more likely to get approved for a loan. So, which credit score is used for a mortgage?

FICO Score

The FICO score is the credit score most lenders use to determine your credit risk. It’s a number between 300 and 850 that represents your creditworthiness. A higher score means you’re a lower credit risk, and a lower score means you’re a higher credit risk.


VantageScore is a credit score developed by the three major credit reporting bureaus – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. It’s designed to give lenders a more consistent picture of a borrower’s creditworthiness, and it’s become increasingly popular in recent years.

Mortgage lenders have traditionally relied on FICO scores to make lending decisions, but many are now using VantageScore as well. The two scoring models are similar, but there are some important differences to be aware of.

For one thing, VantageScore is a little more forgiving when it comes to late payments. A late payment will still damage your score, but it won’t have as severe an impact as it would on your FICO score. That’s because VantageScore considers the age of your late payments, while FICO does not.

Another difference is that VantageScore uses a different scoring range than FICO. While a FICO score can range from 300 to 850, a VantageScore ranges from 501 to 990. That means that a “good” VantageScore is lower than a “good” FICO score.

It’s important to note that not all lenders use the same scoring model. Some may still prefer FICO scores, while others may use their own proprietary scoring system. So even if you have a strong VantageScore, there’s no guarantee that every lender will consider you to be a good risk.

That said, having a strong credit score – regardless of which model is used – is always going to improve your chances of getting approved for a mortgage. So if you’re thinking about buying a home in the near future, make sure you start working on your credit now.

How to Improve Your Credit Score

Your credit score is important if you want to get a mortgage. A high credit score means you’re a low-risk borrower, which could lead to a lower interest rate on your mortgage. A lower credit score could lead to a higher interest rate and could mean you won’t be approved for a mortgage at all. There are a few things you can do to improve your credit score.

Pay Your Bills on Time

One of the single most important things you can do to improve your credit score is to pay all of your bills on time, every time. That includes credit card bills, utility bills, cellphone bills, and any other recurring payments you might have. A history of on-time payments is one of the biggest factors in your credit score, and even one missed payment can have a serious impact.

If you’re not already doing so, set up automatic payments for all of your bills. That way, you’ll never have to worry about forgetting or being late. If you can’t set up automatic payments, make sure to at least put reminders in your calendar or budget so that you always know when a bill is due.

Keep Your Credit Utilization Low

One of the best things you can do to improve your credit score is keep your credit utilization low. Credit utilization is the ratio of your outstanding balances to your credit limits. For example, if you have a $1,000 balance on a credit card with a $5,000 limit, your credit utilization would be 20%. The lower your credit utilization, the better it is for your score.

Ideally, you should keep your credit utilization below 30%, but the lower the better. If you have a high balance on one or more of your cards, pay it down as soon as possible. You can also ask for a higher credit limit from your card issuer, which will lower your credit utilization without costing you anything.

Monitor Your Credit Report for Errors

One way to improve your credit score is to monitor your credit report for errors and dispute any that you find. You’re entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) once every 12 months. You can get your free credit reports at AnnualCreditReport.com.

Check your credit report carefully for any errors, such as incorrect balances, incorrect information about accounts that have been paid off, or accounts that don’t belong to you. If you find any errors, file a dispute with the appropriate credit bureau.

It can also be helpful to check your credit score periodically so you can see how your score is trending over time. You can get your free credit score from a variety of sources, including CreditKarma.com and Quizzle.com.

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