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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 Loan Programs for 2023

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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.

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FICO Scores Over 580 Help Borrowers Qualify For FHA Loans

Homebuyers 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 homebuyers, 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

VA One-Time Close Construction Loans

January 22, 2023 - Did you know that the VA offers a One-Time Close construction loan similar to the FHA One-Time Close loan? The VA version of the One-Time Close loan allows qualified borrowers to finance both the construction and the permanent mortgage at the same time.

Problems That May Delay Your FHA 203(k) Rehab Loan

January 19, 2023 - If you want to buy a fixer-upper, there are some issues to pay attention to before and after you apply for your loan you should be aware of. This is in addition to mortgage loan interest rate trends and changing prices in the housing market.

Making Plans for Your New Home

December 20, 2022 - FHA loan limits increase for the third year in a row in 2023. More borrowing power means the ability to buy a bigger home for some, for others it may mean the ability to add improvements or upgrades rather than a larger property.

Home Loan Denials and Debt Ratios

December 18, 2022 - There are many mortgage industry trends to pay attention to when you are in the planning stages of buying a home with an FHA mortgage. Interest rates, house prices, the cost of third-party services like appraisals and home inspections. There is a lot to keep track of.

Home Equity Trends at the End of 2022

December 15, 2022 - The Fed’s actions to raise interest rates have had an indirect effect on the housing market (the Fed sets the rates on federal loan funds, not mortgage loans directly) and conditions have started to cool to the point where mortgage rates have actually dropped in December with demand also slowing.