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  • Writer's pictureSarah Gardiner

Credit Report Basics

Love them or hate them, credit scores are usually the first thing lenders look at when deciding whether to give you a mortgage.

Now, of course, you need to make enough money to cover your mortgage payments. But even if you do, a low credit score could be a dealbreaker.

Most lenders use your middle credit score, and since each of the three credit bureaus calculates it differently, you actually have three different scores. To decide your creditworthiness, lenders usually toss out the highest and lowest scores and go with the middle one. To qualify for a conventional loan, you'll generally need a score of at least 620.

Now, you're probably wondering how to check your credit scores. Personally, I use Credit Karma, which provides "educational" scores. They're not an exact match for the "mortgage" score that lenders use, but I've found that they tend to rise and fall consistently.

So, keep an eye on your credit scores, and don't be afraid to reach out to a lender to see what your options are. Good luck!

- Sarah


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