If you are thinking of buying a home, your credit score can be a help or a hindrance. Knowing your credit score is important and getting pre-qualified for a mortgage is an important early step in the home buying process. The range of credit scores is from 300 to 850 and the scales have moved up as they relate to loan qualification. Now, 760 or higher is excellent, 725 to 759 is very good, 660 to 724 is good and all of these ranges will probably be needed to qualify for a mortgage. Between 560 and 659, there may still be lenders willing to lend to you, but this range of scores is considered to be not good. Below 560, is considered to be bad and with scores in this range, most lenders consider a loan to be too high of a risk. Talk to a mortgage loan officer for specific information related to your situation.
How do you improve your score? Keep balances low on credit card and other revolving credit, pay down outstanding debt, pay off debt rather than moving it around, don't open too many new accounts, and don't close unused credit cards expecting a quick rise in your score.