Q: My husband has a credit score of 470. We checked it and found that he is listed twice as not paying his auto loans. Can we still get approved for a mortgage of $74,000 with $25,000 down?

A: It’s unlikely that you will be approved for most types of home loans with a credit score of 470. During these troubled times, most conventional lenders are looking for borrowers with a credit score of at least 720. FHA lenders are looking for credit scores in the upper 500s. For borrowers with lower credit scores, some lenders won’t touch them and other lenders might but at a significant additional cost and higher interest rate.

If you can prove that you paid off these car loans, then you should dispute the information with the credit reporting bureaus. You can file a dispute online at each of the three credit reporting bureaus’ online sites.

If you prove that the loans were paid in full, your husband’s credit score should rise dramatically. Once your credit score is at least 580, you should be able to qualify for an FHA mortgage, especially if you’re willing to put down more than 30 percent.

March 20, 2009