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What credit score scores a loan?

By Judy Martel ·
Friday, January 25, 2013
Posted: 10 am ET

In the aftermath of the housing crisis, lenders have become more stringent, requiring borrowers to make larger down payments and possess a higher credit score. But what is considered a high credit score when it comes to obtaining a mortgage? reviewed more than 450,000 online mortgage applications made in 2012 to find the average credit score of applicants nationwide and for each state. Nationally, the average score of mortgage applicants increased by 4 points to 734 since 2011. The highest credit score a person can obtain is 850, and the average score of the total population, as of Nov. 30, is 664, according to FICO.

Among states, California mortgage applicants had the highest average credit score, 755, for the third year in a row. Mississippi mortgage applicants had the lowest at 689. (Remember, mortgage applicants have higher credit scores than the overall population of applicants and nonapplicants.)

Though Mississippi's average of 689 is still considered a solid credit score, borrowers with a lower score can often still obtain a Veterans Affairs or Federal Housing Administration loan. Standards aren't as strict for mortgages guaranteed by the VA and FHA. Lenders look at a many variables along with credit score when approving a mortgage, including income, length of time in a job, total assets and even the local real estate market.

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credit score
March 06, 2013 at 7:43 am

If you don't know your credit score,

January 28, 2013 at 2:26 pm

And the answer to the question is ?????

Paul Stamper
January 25, 2013 at 11:25 pm

Where do you obtain a true FICO Score? Janelle mentioned the 3 Credit Bureaus have their own scoring.

January 25, 2013 at 9:25 pm

I read this article and the content does not coincide with the title. "What credit score scores a loan?" You never said! You talk about the highest and the average in some states but nothing about if these are what it takes as your title states.

January 25, 2013 at 6:21 pm

My credit score is 820 and I did not qualify for a re-fi. The system has come up with tighter restrictions. Nothing has loosened up. But those with a credit score of less than 700 do qualify. I am totally confused!

January 25, 2013 at 4:50 pm

For Brenda, make sure that the score you recieved for Transunion was actually the FICO score. Each of the three credit burueas also have there own "scores" that are not the FICO scores. To get a mortgage, they review the true FICO credit scores.

January 25, 2013 at 4:43 pm

You can get a loan with a 620 in Illinois. This article doesnt give enough information - or acurate information.

January 25, 2013 at 4:06 pm

How can i know a true veteran mortgage company and how to apply for a refinance of a non existing VA mortgage. My scores are good.

January 25, 2013 at 3:47 pm

This information is not totally correct. My credit score through Transunion is 884. This article states that the highest score that can be obtained is 850.