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While the 580 FICO score minimum is a major factor in how an applicant will pay for a mortgage, your credit score is not the only thing the FHA takes into account.

FHA Rates Near 50 Year Low!

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FHA.com is a privately owned website, is not a government agency, and does not make loans.

Higher Credit Helps You Get a Loan

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FICO Scores Over 580 Help Borrowers Qualify For FHA Loans

Home buyers looking to take advantage of great FHA loan benefits should already know they need to establish the best possible credit rating. Applicants with a better credit rating increase their options for mortgage or refinance loans. In order to qualify for the low 3.5 percent FHA loan down payment, applicants will need a FICO score of at least 580. Those that don't meet that criteria will have to put a down payment of 10 percent on the mortgage they want.

FHA loans are designed to help home buyers, so these government-insured loans usually come with more lenient requirements than typical mortgages or refinancing terms from traditional lenders. While the benefits don't vary much between someone with good credit and excellent credit, there is a very noticeable margin for those with bad credit and average to good credit.

Why You Need a Better Credit Score

While the 580 FICO score threshold is a major factor in how an applicant will pay for a mortgage, your credit score isn't the only thing the FHA takes into account. Payment history, bankruptcies and foreclosures are also issues that the agency looks at. While these factors may hurt your credit score, they don't necessarily eliminate you from loan eligibility.

That doesn't mean, however, that you can neglect your credit. While the FHA is lenient enough to help those with bad credit ratings, they also require recent credit history to be in good standing.

Extenuating circumstances like job loss, injury or anything else that prevented you to pay in a timely manner can, and most likely will, be taken into account. However, if you have demonstrated you purposely neglected payments or your credit rating, your chances of qualifying for an FHA loan will be reduced.

Be Safe, Not Sorry With Your Credit

Obviously, it's better to have good credit than bad credit when applying for any loan. Don't take your credit history for granted, though, because you might find an error or inaccuracy that could hurt your chances of qualifying for an FHA loan. Instead of going through the headache of disputing your application with your agency and holding up the process, be proactive and make sure your credit score and ratings are where they should be before approaching the FHA.

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FHA Loan Articles and Mortgage News

What Home Buyers Can Do About Thin Credit

March 5, 2020 - If you are hoping to buy a home but do not have a long credit history, it’s easy to understand why you might be concerned about your ability to get a loan approved. Fortunately there are some things you can do to build your credit ahead of a home loan that will help.

How Down Payment Grants Can Help You Buy a Home

March 4, 2020 - There are some misconceptions about down payment grants in general, but one of the biggest is that the FHA itself or the lender is somehow responsible for managing or offering these grants. You, the borrower, are responsible for locating the programs in your area.

Why Purchase A Home Now? Rising Home Values

March 1, 2020 - Are you on the fence about buying a home? There are many reasons why it’s a great idea to search for a home in 2020, such as owning instead of renting, the ability to freely customize your living space, or using a cash-out refinance to convert part of your home’s value into cash.

Home Buying Grants Near You

February 22, 2020 - There are agencies across the country operating on a local level to offer down payment help to qualified borrowers, many of whom are first-time home buyers. And many of these grant programs have no repayment requirements when terms and conditions are met.

One-Time Close Loan Tips

February 18, 2020 - Some new to the real estate market might assume they are not qualified to be approved for a construction loan, but these loans have the same kinds of terms and conditions that other mortgages do and you don’t need to have special credit scores to qualify.