According to Qualified Mortgage, most lenders require a credit score of 620 or higher for a conventional loan, as of 2014. However, FHA.com notes that FHA loans are often more lenient and require a lower minimum.
Lenders of conventional loans consider credit score, debt-to-income ratio and income stability. Qualified Mortgage shares that a credit score is a risk assessment for lenders to decide how much risk is at stake when offering a loan to an individual.
FHA .com states that FHA loans provide assistance for first-time home buyers by offering lower down payments, usually 3.5 percent, with a credit score of at least 580. If an individual has a score less than 580, the down payment amount required is higher, usually 10 percent.