What is the minimum credit score for a VA loan?
Find out what VA loan credit scores you need
Having a good credit score can be an important part of getting a VA loan. That’s because lenders like Freedom Mortgage use your credit score to help determine your eligibility for a VA loan as well as set your interest rate.
Your credit score isn’t the only information we use to help us decide whether you qualify for a VA loan. We look at the complete picture of your finances because we are committed to helping Veterans, active-duty service members, and their families finance homes with VA loans.
What are the VA loan credit score requirements at Freedom Mortgage?
At Freedom Mortgage, the minimum credit score we require depends on the purpose of the VA loan. Here are our current minimum credit scores:
- When you want to buy a home with a VA loan, we can often accept a minimum credit score as low as 550.
- When you want to refinance a home with an VA loan, we can often offer an easy credit score qualification. Learn more about VA refinancing.
- When you want to get cash from your home equity with a VA loan, we can often accept a minimum credit score as low as 550. Learn more about VA cash out refinancing.
Does the Department of Veterans Affairs require a minimum credit score for VA loans?
No. The VA does not set a minimum credit score for the VA loans it guarantees. Instead, it asks lenders to look at the full loan profile of the person applying for a VA loan. However, lenders can establish their own minimum credit scores for VA loans, which is why you might see that various lenders require different scores.
How to get a better credit score
If your credit score is lower than the minimum your lender requires for a VA loan, this does not mean you cannot qualify for a VA loan in the future. You can look for ways to improve your credit score and try again!
Here are some of the factors credit reporting agencies such as Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion use to calculate your credit score. Your credit score is influenced by things like:
- Payment history. Lenders like to see that you have a record of paying your bills in full and on time. A good payment history can increase your credit score. A history of paying bills late may decrease your score.
- Length of credit history. The length of time you've had a credit history affects your score. When you have consistently made your payments over a long period of time, this can raise your score.
- Credit mix. Having different types of loans – such as credit cards, mortgages, and car payments – can influence your credit score.
- Bankruptcy. Your credit score can suffer if you’ve ever filed for bankruptcy. It is possible to improve your score after bankruptcy, and Veterans can qualify for a VA loan after bankruptcy, as well.
- Errors and mistakes. Sometimes your credit report contains mistakes that might lower your credit score. These mistakes can include on-time payments that have been reported as late, incorrect account balances, incorrect credit limits, and more. Contact a credit reporting agency if you see errors, then request that they fix them.
It can be a good idea to improve your credit score, even when it’s higher than the minimum your lender requires for a VA loan. That’s because a higher credit score can improve your chances of getting approved for a VA loan and might help you get a lower interest rate, too.
Freedom Mortgage is a top VA lender in the United States according to Inside Mortgage Finance, Jan-Jun 2023.
Freedom Mortgage is not a financial advisor. The ideas outlined above are for informational purposes only, are not intended as investment or financial advice, and should not be construed as such. Consult a financial advisor before making important personal financial decisions.
Last reviewed and updated August 2023 by Freedom Mortgage.