Is Mortgage Credit for First-Time Homebuyers as Tight as We Think It Is?

Maybe not, according to a blog posted by the American Enterprise Institute’s (AEI) International Center on Housing Risk. In their First-Time Buyer Mortgage Share and Mortgage Risk Indexes for February, AEI shared statistical data that shows the latest FICO score and down payment characteristics of mortgages obtained by first-time buyers.

The data revealed that the median FICO score was 707 for first-time buyers that took out an agency loan compared to the median FICO score of 675 for those that took out an FHA-insured loan. Both median FICO scores were lower than the national median of 713. When it came to down payments, AEI found that the median was 3.5% for agency mortgages, which was the equivalent of $8,600.

Stephen Oliner, co-director at AEI, stated, “The typical first-time buyer these days has a relatively low credit score and puts little money down. These facts make clear that mortgage credit isn’t tight.” Read the full blog at

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