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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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January 19, 2020
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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 Home Loan Costs to Save for in 2020

January 15, 2020 - If you've already started saving for your down payment, your appraisal, compliance inspections, and other costs, you’re well ahead of the game. Those who haven’t started truly planning and saving may feel a bit lost when trying to get ready for the loan. 

FHA Home Loan Tips for Buying Multi-Unit Homes

January 12, 2020 - FHA loan rules include the ability for borrowers who intend to be owner-occupiers to buy multi-unit properties. For an FHA loan on a multi-unit home to be approved, the borrower must occupy at least one unit. FHA home loans are for primary residences only.

Applying for a One-Time Close Construction Loan in 2020

January 9, 2020 - FHA One-Time Close construction loans are intended to help those who want to own and occupy a home to build from the ground up on their own land. There is also a VA loan equivalent to the FHA construction loan that, starting in 2020, features no down payment.

FHA Loan Limits for 2020: Going Up in a Housing Market Near You?

January 7, 2020 - FHA loan guaranty limits are higher again in 2020. This comes after last year’s increase in loan limits and a fairly good year for mortgage interest rates. FHA loans have loan guaranty limits that help establish the maximum loan possible for a given market.

FHA Cash-Out Refinancing Loan Tips

January 6, 2020 - One mistake about house hunting that’s easy to make is assuming that property values are similar no matter where you look. If you did house hunting upstate, your results downstate may be different. One area may be experiencing a plateau in values while another may not.