Your credit score can make a big difference in how much home you can afford and how much interest you’ll end up paying.
As an example, if you’re obtaining a $250,000 mortgage and have a FICO score of 760, you can expect to pay $145,698 in interest over the term of a 30-year mortgage as of this writing. On the other hand, with a score of 635, you can expect to pay $228,365 in interest. This would cost you $82,667 more interest over the life of the loan!
You can get a free estimation of your credit scores from two bureaus over at CreditKarma.com. You can get your free credit report (without FICO scores) from AnnualCreditReport.com.
I do not recommend using credit score boosting services that ask you to report additional debt, like utility bills, on your report. These can complicate your debt-to-income ratio factoring for how much mortgage you’d qualify for.