"There aren't very many constants in our business, but that's a constant," she says.
Risk is a key factor
You might be wondering: Why wouldn't a lender go with the higher middle score? Seems fair, right?
It's all comes down to risk, says John Stearns, senior mortgage banker at American Fidelity Mortgage Services in Milwaukee.
"If you're going to look at the overall risk, the safest thing to do would be to take the lower middle score," Stearns says.
The good news is that there's room for a lower credit score to improve.
"When they start making payments on time their score should go up, because your mortgage is your biggest monthly payment," he says.
Is a joint application necessary?
In a Bankrate survey, nearly 4 in 10 Americans said knowing someone's credit score might make them think twice about dating that person. But you don't have to be quite so exclusive to avoid a higher-cost mortgage.
The easiest way to get around the rule when you're in a relationship is to have one person apply for a mortgage, though that person would need to have a strong enough application that would allow them to qualify alone.
But as a recent Washington Post article points out, there are couples who have sentimental reasons for applying jointly. Even if your name isn't on the mortgage, you can still be named on the title policy, Stearns explains.
"That gives you equal ownership with the person who has the loan," he says.
Another thing to keep in mind is that when you're not on the mortgage and the borrower makes a late payment, your credit won't take a hit.
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Do a credit checkup
Before you decide to jointly apply for a mortgage with someone else, review your credit reports. Get a free credit report today at myBankrate.
"Having knowledge of your base report, even without a score, is extremely beneficial," Leyrer says.
Take that information to a mortgage professional and get some guidance on how to move forward. Additionally, be sure to find out what your co-borrower's credit scores are.
"Know the importance of adding somebody to a mortgage with a potentially lower score," Stearns says.
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