The minimum requirements to qualify for a mortgage

Shopping for a new home can be an exciting and fun experience but overwhelming at the same time.

If you’re thinking about buying a home soon, knowing the minimum requirements to qualify for a mortgage can help you find the best loan program for your needs. Ultimately, the type of mortgage you are applying for determines the minimum requirements.

Here are the minimum requirements you need to qualify for mortgage loans.

  • Conventional loans: These are loans that meet borrowing limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency(FHDA). To qualify, you need to have a credit score of at least 620, a debt-to-income (DTI) ratio not higher than 50%, and a minimum down payment of 3%.

  • FHA loans: These are loans given to homebuyers with lower incomes and less than ideal credit scores. Borrowers are required to have a 500 or higher credit score, a DTI ratio of less than 43%, and a mortgage insurance premium. The down payment varies relative to credit score, where borrowers with 500-579 qualify with 10% and those with 580+ qualify with 3.5% down payment.

  • VA loans: These are mortgage loans for military families, and the minimum requirements are a credit score of 660 and a maximum debt-to-income ratio of 41%. The loans have favorable terms because eligible borrowers can qualify without a down payment.

  • Jumbo loans: If you want to borrow an amount exceeding the limits set by DHFA, you will need a jumbo loan. The minimum requirements to qualify for a jumbo loan are a credit score of at least 700, a maximum DTI of 43%, and a down payment of 10-20%, depending on lender terms. Some lenders require you to pay for private mortgage insurance.


Now you have it; the minimum requirements to qualify for a mortgage loan. While these are the well-known minimum requirements, lenders may have added additional mortgage requirements. To ensure you get the best deal when borrowing to buy a new home, do your research to find a lender with a favorable term.