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The FHA usually requires two lines of credit for qualifying applicants. An FHA loan might make the difference between owning your dream house comfortably and turning it into a financial nightmare.

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July 28, 2016
FHA Rates for July 28, 2016
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The Path to Homeownership
FHA.com is a private company, is not a government agency, and does not make loans.

Credit Requirements for FHA Loans

Good Credit History Makes it Easier to Qualify

FHA loans provide great assistance to many first time home buyers by offering mortgage loans with lower down payments. While this is a benefit for many people, recent changes in policy may have put the loans just out of reach for some would-be homeowners with questionable credit history.

Credit History and Score Requirements

FICO Scores

For those interested in applying for an FHA loan, applicants are now required to have a minimum FICO score of 580 to qualify for the low down payment advantage, which is currently at around 3.5 percent.

If your credit score is below 580, however, you aren't necessarily excluded from FHA loan eligibility. Applicants with lower credit scores will have to put down a 10 percent down payment if they want to qualify for a loan.

So if you're planning to buy a house, and your credit score doesn't meet the minimum, you should weigh the advantages and disadvantages of putting down a larger down payment or using those funds to try and improve your credit score first.

Benefits of an FHA Loan

The reason why FHA loans are so popular is because borrowers that use them are able to take advantage of benefits and protections unavailable with most traditional mortgage loans. Loans through the FHA are insured by the agency, so lenders are more lenient. Here are a few benefits you can enjoy with an FHA loan:

  • Easier to Qualify
    While most loans exclude applicants with questionable credit history and low credit scores, the FHA makes loans available with lower requirements so its easier for you to qualify.
  • Competitive Interest Rates
    You've heard the horror stories of subprime borrowers who couldn't keep up with their mortgage interest rates. Well, FHA loans usually offer lower interest rates to help homeowners afford housing payments.
  • Lower Fees
    In addition to lower interest rates, you can also enjoy lower costs on other fees like closing costs, mortgage insurance and others.
  • Bankruptcy / Foreclosure
    Just because you've filed for bankruptcy or suffered a foreclosure in the past few years doesn't mean you're excluded from qualifying for an FHA loan. As long as you meet other requirements that satisfy the FHA, such as re-establishment of good credit, solid payment history, etc., you can still qualify.
  • No Credit
    The FHA usually requires two lines of credit for qualifying applicants. If you don't have a sufficient credit history, you can try to qualify through a substitute form.

For many home buyers, using an FHA loan can really make the difference between owning your dream house comfortably or turning it into a financial nightmare. The FHA provides a wealth of benefits for applicants that qualify, so make sure you're making full use of them.

Helpful Advice About Credit Scores and Loans:

FHA Loan Articles

Read About Mortgage News, FHA Updates, and Guidelines
Calculating Your Monthly FHA Loan Mortgage Payment

How much will your monthly mortgage payment be? That’s an important question to ask early on when you’re planning your home loan. Is it really a simple calculation of how much the loan is, divided by how many months the mortgage loan payments are required?

Questions and Answers About FHA Mortgages

Buying a home is an important financial decision and there are many questions that FHA loan applicants have in the planning stages of the loan. Fortunately, there are simple answers to many common questions about buying a home with an FHA loan.

Participating Lender Standards for FHA Loans

There are many common questions about FHA home loans. One area that confuses some borrowers or potential borrowers has to do with the difference between FHA single family loan rules and minimum standards, and individual lender standards.

The Facts About FHA Requirements on Caps and Minimums

Some borrowers want to know if FHA home loans have an income limit. The implication is often that FHA loans are intended for a certain type of applicant and that some borrowers might be disqualified for an FHA mortgage because they earn too much money.

HUD Announces Additional Funds for Housing Counseling Grants

A local, HUD-approved housing counseling agency can be very helpful for a borrower in the planning stages of a new purchase home loan, or a credit-check-required FHA mortgage loan refinance. Housing counseling can be valuable, especially for first-time home buyers.