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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.

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NOTICE: Some FHA mortgage lenders are substantially raising FICO score requirements during the Coronavirus crisis, even though FHA minimums remain unchanged.


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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

FHA Loan Limits: Facts You Should Know

September 21, 2020 - What facts do you need to know about FHA home loan limits? Facts such as FHA loan limits may vary depending on county and that FHA mortgage limits are higher in high-cost areas like  California, New York, and Hawaii?

Why Do Lenders Deny Home Loan Applications?

September 8, 2020 - Why do lenders deny home loan applications? This is a good question to ponder when you are in the planning stages of a construction mortgage loan application, condo loan application, or you want to buy a multi-unit home.

Home Loans and Credit Repair 101

September 3, 2020 - It’s important to know WHY you need to address your credit long before applying for a major line of credit like a construction loan to build on your own land, or the purchase of a condo or suburban home. Your lender must review your credit patterns over the long-term to judge your creditworthiness.

Two Ways of Protecting Your Credit During Coronavirus

August 25, 2020 - Homeowners who have government backed mortgages such as VA and FHA home loans have built-in protection during COVID-19 in the form of federally-directed loan forbearance and mortgage relief options. Protecting your credit means making all payments on time, every time.

FHA Common Questions About Home Loan Options

August 22, 2020 - FHA home loans have lower down payment requirements than some conventional mortgages, there are more forgiving FICO score standards (lender standards will also apply), and first-time home buyers should know there are down payment assistance programs in many states that can help.