FHA requirements are structured so that loan applicants who have a good credit history will likely be eligible for the mortgage. Late payments, bankruptcies, no credit history, and foreclosures will adversely affect your chances.

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July 29, 2015
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FHA Requirements

Credit Guidelines That FHA Lenders Follow

Before approving a loan, the lender analyzes the integrity of the borrower's past credit performance. Based on FHA requirements, those who have a good credit history demonstrated by a solid track record of timely payments will likely be eligible for a loan. Potential borrowers whose credit history is marred by slow payments, poor financial judgment and delinquent accounts is not a good candidate for loan approval.

The following is a list of items concerning the borrower's credit:

No Credit History

Two lines of credit are necessary to apply for an FHA loan. However, in the event a borrower does not have sufficient credit on their credit report the FHA will allow substitute forms.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

FHA will consider approving a borrower who is still paying on a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy if those payments have been satisfactorily made and verified for a period of one year. The court trustee's written approval will also be needed in order to proceed with the loan. The borrower will have to give a full explanation of the bankruptcy with the loan application and must also have re-established good credit, qualify financially and have good job stability.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

At least two years must have elapsed since the discharge date of the borrower and / or spouse's Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, according to FHA guidelines. This is not to be confused with the bankruptcy filing date. A full explanation will be required with the loan application. In order to qualify for an FHA loan, the borrower must qualify financially, have re-established good credit, and have a stable job.

Late Payments

During an underwriter analysis of borrower credit, the overall pattern of credit behavior is being reviewed rather than isolated cases of slow payments. If a good payment pattern has been maintained, regardless of a specific period of financial difficulty preceded it, the borrower may escape disqualification.

Foreclosure

FHA insured mortgages are generally not available to borrowers whose property was foreclosed on or given a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure within the previous three years. However, if the foreclosure of the borrower's main residence was the result of extenuating circumstances, an exception may be granted if they have since established good credit. This does not include the inability to sell a home when transferring from one area to another.

Collections, Judgments, and Federal Debts

A collection is minor in nature usually does not need to be paid off as a condition for loan approval. It is stated as such in FHA guidelines. Any judgments will have to be paid in full prior to closing. Borrowers who are delinquent on any federal debt, such as tax liens, student loans, etc., are not eligible.

FHA Loan Articles

Read About Mortgage News, FHA Updates, and Guidelines
FHA Streamline Refinancing: Appraisal Required?

It can be easy to get confused over the difference between lender requirements and FHA refinance loan standards--did you know that FHA loan rules for Streamline Refinancing permit the lender to require things the FHA rules don’t insist upon?

FHA Changes Loss Mitigation Policies

In April 2015, the FHA and HUD changed some of its policies in order to help FHA borrowers avoid foreclosure and keep their homes. No FHA loan applicant goes into the home loan or refinance loan process expecting to default on their mortgage payments sometime in the future.

More Updates to FHA HECM Loan Due and Payable Policies

One very important aspect of the HECM loan, which features no monthly mortgage payment and is instead collected in full when the borrower dies, sells the home, or fails to live up to the terms of the HECM mortgage loan agreement.

FHA Loan to Value Calculations

We answer questions on a daily basis about FHA home loans, FHA refinance loans, and how these transactions are handled. One version of a common question about down payments and Loan-To-Value (LTV) ratios goes like this...

Appraisals and the Crawl Space

Appraisals are an important part of the FHA loan process, and we get plenty of questions about what may or may not be acceptable in the appraisal. For some, depending on the age and design of the home, crawlspaces can be a worry.