What Should My Credit Score Be to Get Approved by a Lender?

To have a better chance of being approved, it's a good idea to check your finances and fix any issues long before you begin applying for mortgages.

If you have a low credit score, check your credit reports for mistakes, delinquent accounts, late payments, and high balances. After this check, try to make on time payments and pay off every one of your credit card balances below 30% of the available credit line. These are the best methods to improve your credit score.

Besides solid credit, lenders also want to make sure that you will be able to handle your existing debt combined with a new mortgage payment. To make this determination, lenders will refer to your debt-to-income ratio (DTI ratio), which is a percentage calculated by adding all your monthly debts and dividing them by your monthly gross income. Many lenders require this ratio to be below 43%, though some loan programs will allow your DTI to be up to a maximum of 50%. To maintain your DTI ratio within a reasonable range, you will need to avoid taking out new loans or making big purchases with your credit cards for at least three months before your application for a mortgage.