FHA Loan Articles
News, updates, and explanations to keep you informed.
Minimum Credit Scores for FHA Loans
Because of changes in legislation, lending requirements and related issues, FHA regulations and underwriting requirements are subject to change from time to time. Some of the changes come as part of new laws that close legal loopholes, improve the fairness of the FHA mortgage loan process, or modernize the FHA loan program. Other alterations are made in response to current market conditions and economic issues.
Because of the changing nature of the FHA home loan program, the information new house hunters may have gathered a year or two ago when considering a new home may not be the same if they chose to wait to start the loan application process.
This is definitely the case for any potential borrower who investigated their FHA loan
options before September 3, 2010. That's the date the FHA issued new guidance on the minimum credit scores needed for certain FHA guaranteed home loans.
Minimum credit score requirements for FHA home loans depend on which FHA loan product the applicant needs. Generally speaking, to get maximum financing on typical new home purchases, applicants should have a credit score of 580 or better. Those with credit scores between 500 and 579 are, according the the FHA guidelines, "limited to 90 percent LTV".
Applicants who have a minimum decision credit score of less than 500 are not eligible for FHA mortgages. Those with credit scores of 500 or better are eligible for 100% FHA loan financing with no down payment required when using the FHA 203(h), Mortgage Insurance for Disaster Victims.
The FHA does make allowances for loan applicants with a "non-traditional credit history or insufficient credit" may be able to be approved for an FHA loan if they meet FHA requirements for such circumstances.
The minimum credit scores listed here are in effect for most FHA home loans for single family residences with a few exceptions which include (but are not limited to) Title 1 HECM loans and HOPE For Homeowners loans. Always ask an FHA loan expert or your local FHA lender about your credit score and what you qualify for.
Don't assume you cannot be approved for an FHA insured home loan--do you have changes in your credit score since the last time the credit reports were run? You may have options that can improve a poor credit score over time. Some potential borrowers may need to spend a year or so repairing bad credit and establishing a reliable payment history.
Those with past credit problems can often improve their scores over time and become eligible even under the new updated FHA minimum credit score requirements. The first step is to request help from the FHA for credit counseling or first time homebuyer counseling. Help is available at FHA.gov.
FHA NEWS and RELATED ARTICLES
Some borrowers come to the FHA loan process with a long credit history, while other borrowers are just getting started. Is it possible for a borrower be turned down for an FHA loan because of a lack of credit history?
The FHA Reverse Mortgage, also known as Home Equity Conversion Mortgages or HECM loans, is designed for those aged 62 and older who own their home outright or have few payments left on the mortgage.
When the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the FHA’s Back to Work program, it was very good news for any potential FHA loan applicant who may have experienced previous financial hardship as a result of the recession.
When you apply for a new purchase FHA home loan, FHA loan rules say you must list your income and employment details. This lets your loan officer accurately determine your debt-to-income ratio, using calculations based on your verifiable income.
Do you need to buy a home using an FHA loan, but one that is out of town or out of state? The Department of Housing and Urban Development has created a new tool to help FHA loan applicants and anyone else looking for a home loan.