Real Estate

Credit Scores of 600+ Now Possible for FHA & VA Mortgages in DC

A recent announcement by Wells Fargo Bank lowers the requirement for FHA and VA mortgages to a minimum of 600, down from its previous 640 requirement.

The FHA accepts scores down to 580 and even lower in some circumstances, but finding a lender willing to make such loans can be extremely difficult. For those able to find a lender willing to issue a loan, the interest rates can be very costly. As of their 2/24 announcement, Wells Fargo was offering a 30 year fixed FHA mortgage at 4.25%, although insurance and fees bring the actual rate up closer to 5.837%.

“This is a huge adjustment to minimum credit requirements that will allow more credit-challenged DC residents to qualify for a mortgage,” commented Gerard DiRuggiero, Principal Broker at UrbanLand Company. “Let’s face it – a large number of DC area residents have blemishes on their credit or had credit issues caused by the ongoing recession. There is a huge segment of the DC population that has been ‘stuck’ in the 600 – 640 credit score range that are gainfully employed…but just could not qualify due to the minimum requirements.”

Other major banks have not announced on whether they will follow Wells Fargo’s lead. Bank of America has hinted that there are cases where they ‘may’ accept credit scores closer to 600. The banks are motivated to stimulate new lending with homebuyers because of a steady decline in mortgage refinancing revenue. Wells Fargo’s mortgage lending business was $50 billion in the fourth quarter of last year, down from $80 billion the previous quarter and $125 billion in the last quarter of 2012.

Wells Fargo spokesman Tom Goyda said the change is “an effort to increase access to credit, especially for first-time and low- to moderate-income buyers.” Borrowers will still have to meet underwriting requirements, which include a demonstrated ability to repay the loan.

“This is yet another positive indicator of the health of DC real estate. A major national lender loosening the credit score requirements for FHA just adds on to heavily improved 2013 and an already exciting 2014,” conclude DiRuggiero. “This follows on our recent reports last week that the DC Open Doors program expanded their $0 Down assistance loans to include FHA’s 203K Renovation Loan product. It’s a strong sign that big things will continue to happen in 2014!”

UrbanLand Company is a downtown D.C. based private real estate brokerage serving consumers and developers in DC, Maryland and Virginia. Those wanting more information on first time homebuying and $0 Down programs should check out our DC Open Doors information website at Our free DC/MD/VA home search is available at

Call 202.299.9223 for immediate assistance or email if you require help with your DC/MD/VA real estate needs.

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