Checking your own credit won’t hurt your credit scores.
When you check your own credit reports or scores, the request is processed differently than when a lender checks your credit. Checking your own credit won’t hurt your scores.
Credit scores range from 300 to 850.
Higher scores represent a better credit history and make you eligible for lower interest rates.
- As of March 2015, the median FICO score nationwide was 721 – half of consumers with a FICO score had scores above 721, and half had scores below 721.
The score you receive can differ depending on which credit reporting company is used.
Most mortgage lenders look at FICO scores from all three companies and use the middle score for deciding what rate to offer you.
- If you are applying for a mortgage jointly with a co-borrower, lenders typically look at both borrowers’ middle scores and use the lower one to decide the rate and approve the loan.
The rate you are offered on a mortgage can vary quite a bit depending on your credit score.
Your credit score is only one factor in a mortgage lender’s decision, but it’s an important one.
While there are no firm rules about exactly how your credit score affects the interest rates you may be offered for a home loan, in general:
- The best rates go to borrowers with credit scores in the mid- to high-700s or above. These borrowers typically also have the most choices available to them.
- Borrowers with credit scores in the high-600s to the low-700s typically pay somewhat higher rates.
- Borrowers with credit scores in the low- to mid-600s range generally pay the highest rates and have the fewest choices. Borrowers in this range may have trouble qualifying for a loan, depending on the loan type and the specific lender.
- Borrowers with scores below 600 may want to improve their credit before applying for a mortgage. If you need help improving your credit, contact a HUD-approved housing counselor.
Explore interest rates for different credit scores to get a sense of how much your credit score matters.
A housing counselor can help you get your credit report and check for errors.
A housing counselor can be a good resource throughout the home buying process. You can find a HUD-approved housing counselor online or by calling 1-800-569-4287.