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FHA advises prospective home buyers to approach FHA loans with their best possible credit history to eliminate any potential risk of not qualifying.

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February 16, 2020
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FHA.com is a privately owned website, is not a government agency, and does not make loans.

FHA Loan Tips for Improving Credit

Track Your Credit Score and Stay on Top of Problems

FICO Scores Influence How Much FHA Down Payment Is Required

While FHA loans are known as a great service for people looking for help buying a house, applicants can make the process even easier if they take steps toward ensuring their credit history is in tip-top shape. The agency advises prospective home buyers to approach FHA loans with their best possible credit history to eliminate any potential risk of not qualifying.

Whether you're looking for a loan to mortgage a new house or to refinance a house you already own, it makes the most sense open up all your options with an optimal credit rating. The FHA recommends having a satisfactory payment history of at least one year before applying for a loan.

Credit Tips for Your FHA Loan

Here are some tips to help you on your way:

  • Take a Close Look at Your Credit Reports
    You don't know what could be hurting your credit score unless you actually check. Get your credit reports from the three national credit bureaus--Experian, Equifax and TransUnion--at no cost and comb them over for anything suspicious or questionable.
  • Dispute Inaccuracies
    If you find errors on your credit report, notify the reporting bureau in writing so you have a record. Provide any additional records or evidence you have to support your dispute.
  • Find Professional Help
    The FHA recommends applicants with credit problems get help from a Consumer Credit Counseling program. A credit counselor can help you get back on track.
  • Bankruptcy / Foreclosure
    If you've suffered from a bankruptcy or foreclosure in the past few years, you might still be able to qualify for an FHA loan. Develop a satisfactory payment history, re-establish good credit and meet the other FHA requirements.

While your credit history is just one of the many factors that make up your eligibility for an FHA loan, it is no doubt one of the most important. Having a higher score not only helps you qualify, you can also benefit from the low 3.5 percent down payment on mortgage loans available to applicants with a FICO score over 580. FHA approved lenders don't take your credit history lightly, and neither should you.

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FHA Loan Articles and Mortgage News

FHA Home Loan Interest Rates In 2020

February 2, 2020 - What do you need to know about interest rates in 2020? Your credit score helps the lender decide what interest rate to offer you. So in addition to the market forces that change and effect the home loan rates on a daily basis, so does your own credit history.

FHA Loans: It May Be Better to Buy Instead of Rent

January 31, 2020 - Buying a home instead of renting it means doing some financial housekeeping to get started. Don’t forget to review FICO scores and credit reports and payment history to make sure you have made on-time payments for the 12 months leading up to the loan application.

FHA Home Loan Refi Tips

January 29, 2020 - Those refinancing this year will need to review their credit reports, make sure they have no late or missed payments in the year leading up to the loan application, and work hard to reduce debt and credit card use. Take some of the same steps you took when you originally applied.

FHA Home Loan Down Payments: How Much?

January 25, 2020 - The FHA down payment can be as low as 3.5% of the adjusted value of the home. Compare that to the conventional loan 20% down requirement and it’s easy to see why FHA loans might be more appealing. Smaller down payments make sense if you don’t plan to keep the home long-term. 

Down Payment Rules for Home Loans

January 23, 2020 - Some borrowers who work on their credit long before applying for a loan may be eligible for the best down payment terms. You may be required to make a larger down payment if your credit score is too low. Work on your credit aggressively, and as early as possible.