Veteran Loan Information
VA Home Loan Credit & Eligibility Tips
Your credit score is vital in determining your eligibility for a VA home loan.
You will normally see your score listed on a consumer credit report. This is a document that contains a record of your credit payment history. Each of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, Equifax) can provide you with a free credit report once per year or if you have been denied credit.
A specific formula is used to calculate your score, with scores ranging from 300 to 850. Put simply, the higher the score, the better the loan terms. Credit is normally ranked as excellent (over 750), good (720 – 749), fair (660 – 719), uncertain (620 – 659) and poor (below 620). A score of less than 500 will make it very difficult to obtain any type of conventional or VA home loan.
The credit formula is determined by the Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO). The key factors are:
- Paying your bills on time = 35%
- The difference between your total credit limit and total amount owed = 30%
- The length of your credit history = 15%
- New accounts and applications for credit = 10%
- The diversity of credit types you have = 10%
Some simple tips to improving your score include:
- The longer you pay your minimum balance on time, the higher your credit score will be.
- The less credit you use, the better your score (some experts recommend not charging more than 50% of the limit on each of your credit cards).
- Some people have found it beneficial to their credit score to keep credit card accounts open with a zero balance as opposed to canceling the accounts.