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.

FHA Loan Rates

May 24, 2015
FHA Rates for May 24, 2015
30 Year Fixed
3.5% Rate
3.74% APR
15 Year Fixed
2.75% Rate
3.0% APR
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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
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.

Rules on Personal Property Included With a Home Sale

There are situations where a buyer wants to purchases a home with an FHA loan and the seller will try to sweeten the deal by offering to include personal property such as appliances, vehicles, or other items. Including such things would require the lender to deduct the value of all the included items from the loan amount.

MIP Reduction and Cancelled FHA Loan Case Numbers

The answer to this question is fairly simple. Any FHA borrower with a forward mortgage longer than 15 years (excluding the exceptions mentioned above) who has an FHA loan case number assigned on or after January 26, 2015 is eligible for the new, lower annual MIP.

FHA Reduces Annual Mortgage Insurance Premiums

FHA made an announcement about cuts in the annual mortgage insurance premium (MIP) in a preliminary January 2015 announcment. The new FHA policy reduces the rate for most Title II forward mortgages with terms greater than 15 years.

Private Mortgage Insurance Requirements

One common question we get involves Private Mortgage Insurance and the premiums for that insurance. Borrowers should discuss PMI policy changes with a loan officer.