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1/3 of Americans Highly Unlikely to Qualify for a Mortgage Today

Dennis Norman

According to an analysis of more than 25,000 loan quotes and purchase request by Zillow, nearly one-third of Americans are unlikely to qualify for a mortgage because their credit scores are too low.

Borrowers with credit scores under 620 who requested purchase loan quotes for 30-year fixed, conventional loans were unlikely to receive even one loan quote on Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, even if they offered a relatively high down payment of 15 to 25 percent. Nearly one-third of Americans, or 29.3 percent, has a credit score this low, according to data provided by myFICO.com.The report also showed that, not surprisingly, the lowest interest rates went to mortgage borrowers who were among the 47 percent of Americans with excellent credit scores of 720 or above.  In the first half of September, borrowers with credit scores of 720 or above got an average low annual percentage rate (APR) of 4.3 percent for conventional 30-year fixed mortgages. Borrowers with mid-range credit scores between 620 and 719 received APRs between 4.73 and 4.44 percent, with the APR rising as credit score drops. Those with credit scores below 620 received too few loan quotes to calculate average low APR.

For those with mid-range credit scores of 620 to 719, improving one’s credit score can mean a significant savings in interest over time. For each 20-point credit score increase, the average low APR declines 0.12 percent, which for a $300,000 home, with a 20 percent down payment, equates to a savings of $6,400 over the life of a 30-year loan.

Credit Score

Percent of
Americans in this
category

Non- FHA
Average Annual
Percentage Rate
(APR)

<620

29.3%

N/A(2)

620-639

3.7%

4.90%

640-659

4.3%

4.73%

660-679

4.6%

4.60%

680-699

5.1%

4.56%

700-719

6.1%

4.44%

>720

47%

4.30%

Source: Zillow Mortgage Marketplace

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