Review the FICO credit score scale below. It ranges from exceptional to poor. If your credit score is poor, you need to take steps to improve your credit before you start the home buying process. 


Credit RatingFICO Score Ranges
Exceptional800 and above
Very good740-749
Poor579 and below


Many lenders use the FICO score model (above) to determine the credit worthiness of the buyer and their likelihood to repay the loan. Typically, the lower your credit score, the higher your mortgage costs will be. Although you could qualify for an FHA loan with a credit score as low as 580, your interest rate will likely be higher than a borrower with a credit score of 700 or more.