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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

Credit Issues to Consider Before Your FHA Loan

February 18, 2021 - When applying for a mortgage or even a refinance loan, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. There is no universally typical borrower, and no circumstance that applies to every applicant. Each home loan application is different, with different circumstances and conditions.

Refinance to Get a Lower Rate with an FHA Streamline Refi

February 16, 2021 - Borrowers who went into loan forbearance over COVID-19-related financial issues have several options for mortgage loan relief. Others instead wanted to refinance their mortgages into a lower payment or interest rate in order to reduce the financial pressure on their monthly budgets.

Applying for an FHA Mortgage With a Bankruptcy

February 14, 2021 - Many who have filed bankruptcy in the past and feel ready to return to homeownership want to know how long they must wait before applying again. But what does it take to be approved for an FHA home loan after filing bankruptcy? The key is time.

FHA Mortgage Loans: Building Instead of Buying

February 5, 2021 - A One-Time Close construction loan is a way even a first-time home buyer can choose to build a new home instead of buying someone else’s existing property. These mortgages do require higher FICO scores and require more time before move-in day than a typical home purchase loan.

How to Avoid Mortgage Scams

February 3, 2021 - The FHA and HUD announced extended foreclosure relief for borrowers affected by the global coronavirus pandemic, and in any situation where home owners need mortgage relief the scammers begin coming out of the woodwork.