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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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

What to Remember About Home Loan Approval

May 5, 2024 - If you want to buy a home or build one on your own lot with an FHA mortgage, there are distinct phases in your journey toward home ownership. One phase is the initial planning and saving you need in order to prepare for closing costs, the down payment, and other expenses.

Rehab and Construction Loan Advice on Setting Budgets

May 3, 2024 - Are you considering refinancing your home with an FHA 203(k)? No matter what kind of construction or renovation project you have in mind, there are some guidelines each of these have in common that you should know about before getting started.

FHA Home Loan Early Payoff Options

May 1, 2024 - Do you want to pay off a 15-year or 30-year FHA mortgage ahead of schedule? One of the perks of an FHA mortgage for a single-family home is that FHA loan guidelines do not permit the lender to charge you a penalty just for paying the mortgage off ahead of schedule.

Buyer Risks When Waiting for Mortgage Rates to Drop

April 29, 2024 - U.S. News and World Report published an article in April 2024 that included data from a U.S. News survey of American mortgage trends this year. In that survey, nearly 70% of house hunters who responded say they are waiting for home loan interest rates to fall before buying a house this year.

Better to Buy a Home with Cash or an FHA Mortgage?

April 28, 2024 - Buying in cash does not necessarily mean you will get a big discount on the house. It’s all the same to the seller, who gets their money, either way. In more competitive housing markets, the cash offer is more appealing to some because it may work faster than dealing with a lender.