Qualifying for a mortgage under current lender standards is more difficult nowadays than in years past. Beginning Nov. 1 or Dec. 12, depending on the type of loan, Fannie Mae is tightening its lending standards to the 620 credit score benchmark—including loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration and Veterans Affairs. Borrowers with credit scores of less than 620 will find it very difficult to qualify for a mortgage. However, to qualify for the best rates, consumers generally need credit scores of 720 and must have verifiable, steady income.
As for loan type, most real estate professionals agree that a fixed-rate mortgage is the best choice for buyers and refinancers.