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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

FHA Loan Approval and Your Debt Ratio

April 1, 2021 - Some home loan applicants apply for an FHA mortgage thinking that their credit scores are the main factor in home loan approval. Others might know that both FICO scores and your record of on-time payments are crucial for loan approval.

FHA Home Loan Down Payments

March 31, 2021 - But the FHA mortgage loan program offers new purchase home loans for owner/occupiers with down payments as low as 3.5%. FHA loan applicants who don’t meet FHA and lender credit score minimum requirements may need to consider a 10% down payment.

Dos and Don'ts of the FHA Home Loan

March 30, 2021 - FHA home loans are for any financially qualified borrower. They are not limited to those in financial need and they are not restricted to first-time home buyers.  However, there are some things you should DEFINITELY do ahead of your home loan and things you should NOT do.

Credit Approval Tips for Home Loan Applicants

March 28, 2021 - There are several things you should know that will help you understand the home loan process better. For some house hunters, getting approved for a home loan seems like a mystery but you can take some of the guesswork out of the home loan process by learning a few basic concepts.

FHA Loan Rules for Documenting Commission Income

March 27, 2021 - FHA mortgage rules require the lender to verify the borrower’s income and employment, and some borrowers come to the loan process with unique circumstances such as commission income.