How credit affects your interest rate
A high credit score when you apply for a mortgage could save you thousands of dollars in interest over the life of your loan.
Your credit score represents your overall credit history. It’s based on information in your credit report, which includes whether you pay your bills on time and the total debt you carry. Lenders consider your score an indicator of how likely you are to repay your mortgage.
How lenders use credit scores
Credit scores generally range from 300 (the lowest) to 850 (the highest). This number can make a big difference in determining whether you qualify for a mortgage and the terms you are offered.
A higher score increases a lender’s confidence that you will make payments on time and may help you qualify for lower mortgage interest rates and fees. Also, some lenders may reduce their down payment requirements if you have a high credit score.
On the other hand, a credit score under 620 could make it harder to get a loan, and your interest rates may be higher. Lenders differ, but they generally consider 670 or above to be a good credit score.
If you plan to get a $200,000, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, improving your credit score in this example could save you more than $67,000 in interest payments over time.
Find your credit score
Visit AnnualCreditReport.com to get a free copy of your credit report, which reflects your account and payment history. You are entitled to receive one free report every year from each of the three credit reporting agencies—Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Your report doesn’t include your credit score, but it shows you what information the bureaus take into account in their credit score calculations. You may be able to obtain a free copy of your credit score through your bank or credit card provider.
Read more on how to improve your credit score.