Low credit score? Don’t count home buying out just yet — in these five towns, at least

Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor

Where low credit buyers can buy a home

Credit definitely plays a huge role in someone’s ability to get a mortgage, but according to a new study, location does, too. In fact, in some cities, an overwhelming share of home buyers have a credit score of 649 or less.

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Low credit? No problem

According to new data from, a perfect credit score isn’t necessary for buying a home. In many cities, even a less-than-fair one will do.

In Charleston, West Virginia, for example, nearly 40 percent of all home buyers have a 649 FICO score or lower. That’s likely due to the abundant inventory in the area.

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Margo Teeter, an agent with Old Colony Realtors, says that area has a “buyer’s market” and “motivated sellers.” The average home price in Charleston is just $147,300.

Other cities where a large share of buyers have 649 credit scores or lower are Clarksville, Tennessee; Corpus Christi, Texas; Lakeland, Florida; and Augusta, Georgia.

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No questionable credit here

The South might be friendly to buyers with questionable credit, but in markets across the North and West, FICO requirements tend to be much higher.

In Santa Cruz, California, only a mere 4 percent of borrowers have a 649 score or lower. And though the area’s median price of $936K might play a role, second-ranking Fargo, North Dakota, is actually quite affordable. Despite boasting a median list price of just $257,050, only 5 percent of the town’s borrowers have a score under 649.

Other cities that are out of reach for low-credit borrowers include Ann Arbor, Michigan; Durham, North Carolina; Boulder, Colorado; Madison, Wisconsin; Honolulu; Minneapolis; Boston; and Provo, Utah.

Verify your new rate (Apr 25th, 2019)

Get today’s mortgage rates

Looking to buy a home with a less-than-perfect credit score? Then shop around and see what mortgage rates you qualify for today.

Verify your new rate (Apr 25th, 2019)