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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 2022

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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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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

FHA Single-Close Construction Loans and Rehab Loan Issues

September 16, 2022 - If you seek an FHA One-Time Close construction loan or an FHA 203(k) Rehabilitation loan, there are some questions to ask when comparing lenders. You will need to know the lender’s policy on things like how the loan converts from the construction phase to the permanent phase.

Unpaid Federal Debts and Your FHA Loan Application

September 15, 2022 - Does it hurt a borrower’s chances when applying for an FHA mortgage loan if there’s a debt owed to the federal government? Can unpaid federal taxes become a barrier to an FHA mortgage loan? The FHA recognizes two types of circumstances–tax debt and non-tax debt.

Streamline FHA 203(k) Rehabilitation Loans

September 13, 2022 - The FHA offers something called a 203(k) Rehab loan for borrowers who want to purchase and rehab a property. This is a great loan offering, but what about borrowers who don’t need to do extensive rehab work to a home?

FHA Construction Loans vs. FHA Purchase Loans

September 12, 2022 - What makes an FHA One-Time Close construction loan different from a FHA purchase loan? There are important features of each type of loan that you should know about before you commit to either loan type. Are you fully committed to building instead of buying an existing home?

FHA Loan Rules for Late and Missed Payments

September 10, 2022 - Are you in danger of missing payments? Are you in danger of missing payments on your current rent or mortgage? Those missed payments in particular can be especially dangerous if you need to apply for a new FHA home loan.