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How do Banks/Lenders look at credit scores for a couple?

I have a score over 800 (higher income) and my husband has a score of 720.  Do they take the average or look at the higher earner?  I've heard the cut off for a good rate is 740
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March 30 2009 - Chicago
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Answers (6)

Yes, with most lenders a 740 fico score will get you the best rate. The fico score used to determine the overall loan will be the lower middle score for both borrowers. If you income is enough to qualify, then I would suggest doing the loan in just your name if the rate difference is worth it. Good luck!
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July 21 2009
Each spouse has 3  bureau scores. The middle score of the three is used as each borrowers score. The lower of the two applicants is the score that your loan will be graded on.

If the higher credit borrower can qualify on their income alone, then the other spouse can be put on title, but not the loan.
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July 21 2009
Hi emerald322,

The score to go with is the 720 - middle of the lower Borrower's scores.  You should definitely find a good Loan Officer that can offer you at least 2 different program options, which should include a conventional option and an FHA option. Ask as many questions as you may have, and if they are either unwilling or unable to answer every last one of them, you should consider speaking with someone else.  Remember, your Loan is only as good as the Loan Officer that offers it to you.
If you are buying and are putting down less than 20% in downpayment, the FHA option may offer you a better rate, and the MI rate may be lower. 
You do have pretty good scores so please don't let anyone talk you down, or coerce you into anything other than a top of the line mortgage.  You have earned it.
Good luck and I hope it all works out for you.
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July 20 2009

Lenders look at the lowest middle score of the borrowers on the loan.
If you scores are below 720 and the price is too high to go conventional, try looking at FHA.

I have a borrower, because of his FICO scores, could go conventional, but his rate was high, we did his loan FHA and his rate is 5.25%.

Call my if you would like more information.

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April 24 2009
Profile picture for TCMW
  • TCMW
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We almost always take the lower of the two middle scores.   So, you may have a slight rate or fee increase.  It should be nominal though.  740 is the fannie/freddie cutoff for the very best rates in most circumstances.   Feel free to email me at tc.whiting@guaranteedrate.com if you have any additional questions.  I've been in the biz for over a decade and will shoot you straight.
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March 31 2009
They take the lowest of your middle score and his middle score.
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March 30 2009
 
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