What Is The Minimum Credit Score For A VA Loan?
VA loans are a great financial perk for America’s veterans, active-duty service members, returning service members and associated spouses. Not only do these loans tend to have low rates, but they also provide many financial options like refinancing equity or buying a house with no money down. But what is the minimum credit score needed to qualify for a VA loan in the first place? Keep reading to learn more about the minimum credit score for VA loans and other important considerations.
What Is A VA Loan?
A VA loan is a government loan backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This type of mortgage loan option is available to veterans, service members, and qualified surviving spouses. A VA loan acts as a thank you to service members and their families for their dedication to serving their country.
VA loans have several different benefits including no down payment for home purchases, no loan limit (in most cases), great interest rates and the ability to convert your home equity into cash.
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Is There A Minimum Credit Score For VA Home Loans?
The short answer is no, there is currently no minimum credit score required for a VA loan. While the Department of Veterans Affairs doesn’t have a credit score minimum set, mortgage lenders do. Lenders have the ability to set their own credit score minimums depending on what they are comfortable offering. Borrowers can expect to need a credit score of at least 580, but that number can vary from lender to lender.
Who Sets VA Loan Credit Score Requirements?
As mentioned above, the VA itself does not have a set minimum credit score requirement, but they do trust private lenders to properly vet the borrower to understand their financial stability. The VA’s role in the loan process is to fund and manage the program and be sure it runs smoothly; they do not issue the loans themselves, that is left to the mortgage lenders.
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What Are Rocket Mortgage’s VA Home Loan Credit Score Minimums?
All mortgage lenders are in charge of their own credit score minimums when it comes to VA loans. Rocket Mortgage® requires their borrowers to have at least a 580 median FICO® Score.
Rocket Mortgage will also be looking at your mortgage payment which includes insurance, taxes and homeowners association dues divided by your gross monthly income. Debt-to-income ratio (DTI) will also be considered as this is a good indicator of how well the borrower manages their current debt.
Can I Get A VA Loan With Bad Credit?
It is still possible to get a VA loan with bad credit, but ultimately the credit score minimum is in the hands of the mortgage lender you end up working with to obtain your loan. Keep in mind, there are many other factors that also help determine if you qualify for a VA loan, like DTI, eligibility and income.
How To Improve Your Credit Score
Before you start working on improving your credit score, it’s important to understand what’s actually on your credit report. Once you have that report and have reviewed everything on it, you can get started on what you need to work on. Here are a couple of ways you can start improving your credit score today:
- Pay your bills on time. This is an easy way to boost your credit score. There’s always time to turn your credit score around by paying your monthly bills in a timely manner. Setting up autopay is a great way to stay on top of your monthly payments so you don’t forget. Setting reminders in your phone calendar is also another simple way to remember what you need to pay monthly and when.
- Keep your credit utilization in check. Credit utilization refers to the portion of your credit limit that you’re using during a certain period of time. This is actually the second most important factor when calculating your credit score. The best tip to remember with credit utilization is to not let your credit balances carry over month to month. Paying your credit card balance in full each month will in turn help improve your credit score.
- Limit your applications for new lines of credit. When applying for a new credit card, mortgage or any other loan, you will experience a hard inquiry which actually damages your credit score.
- Track your progress. While you continue to work on improving your credit score, it’s also smart to track your progress along the way. There are many credit monitoring services that can show how your credit score is changing over time, as well as any other changes to your credit report. If you are working hard on improving your credit score, tracking the progress will give you a better idea as to what’s working and what isn’t.
- Consolidate your debts. If you’re currently dealing with a lot of outstanding debts, it might be worth your while to take out a debt consolidation This will leave you with only one payment to make and if you’re lucky enough to get a low interest rate, you might be able to pay off your debt even quicker. Consider this another solid option towards paying down debt while also improving your credit score.
The Bottom Line: VA Loans Have More Flexibility When It Comes To Credit Score Minimums
While VA loans don’t have a set minimum credit score, it’s essential to understand what your mortgage lender is looking for in terms of credit score, as well as other important VA loan qualifications. However, it’s important to remember that VA loans are designed to help borrowers who may not have the most desirable credit history, therefore lenders will work hand in hand to assist those who are seeking to obtain this type of loan.
If you’re ready to get started with a home purchase, apply online today.