The FHA sets credit requirements that you must meet if you are to qualify for a government-backed home loan. In order to use the 3.5 percent minimum down payment option, you must have a FICO score no lower than 580.

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December 14, 2017
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Credit Requirements

Related Terms: Credit History, Credit Score, Minimum Down Payment
The FHA sets credit requirements that you must meet if you are to qualify for a government-backed home loan. In order to use the 3.5 percent minimum down payment option, you must have a FICO score no lower than 580.
Credit Requirements
Despite this credit requirement, it is not impossible for borrowers with scores below 580 to get an FHA loan. If you don’t meet the credit score threshold, you can put down a 10 percent down payment instead. This is a good option for first time homebuyers who have not yet established creditworthiness.

Keep in mind that the FHA’s credit requirements cover more than just your FICO score; the agency also determines eligibility based on a borrower’s payment history, bankruptcies, and foreclosures. The FHA takes into account extenuating circumstances, such as job loss, that keep you from making timely payments, but willfully neglecting your debts can lower your chances of securing a loan. So despite the FHA’s more lenient requirements, it is important that your credit history is in good standing.