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Know Your FICO Score: Applicants who fall below the 580 score will have to put down a 10 percent down payment in order to qualify for an FHA mortgage loan.

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September 25, 2018
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Identify and Fix Credit Report Errors

Things to Do Before Applying for an FHA Loan

Identify and Fix Credit Report Errors

When the Federal Housing Administration announced rule changes to help strengthen finances and protect against risk, one of the biggest changes was requiring a minimum FICO score of 580 to qualify for the attractive 3.5 percent down payment on mortgage loans.

Know Your FICO Score

Applicants who fall below the 580 score will have to put down a 10 percent down payment in order to qualify for an FHA mortgage loan. For many applicants hovering just below that threshold, this policy change may serve as a great opportunity to take close look at their credit report and improve it.

The FICO score is actually comprised of your credit scores from the three national credit bureaus--Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. If your FICO score is just below the FHA limit, you should take the proper steps to check your credit report with the three agencies.

How to Check Your Credit Report

There are many ways people can check their credit scores. There are many online resources for people wishing to identify where they stand with lenders. Once you've gotten your report from the three bureaus, carefully examine your credit history for anything out of the ordinary, such as unauthorized loans taken out in your name, incorrect late payment records or anything that seems questionable, no matter how minor you think it is.

While your credit reports and credit score are what lenders use to judge your reliability in paying back loans, errors in your reports can happen. Make sure they aren't hindering you and your life's plans.

Correct Errors as Soon as Possible

The longer you wait to correct your credit history, the more potential damage errors can do. Prevention is key, so if you don't use a credit monitoring service, you should consider one. If you do find any errors, send a letter to the bureau that reported it and clarify with them why you think it is incorrect. Be sure to provide proof and any other documentation that will help your claim.

If you're already in the process of applying for an FHA loan, notify your lender of your dispute with your credit report as well because your credit score indicates your creditworthiness. It never makes sense to suffer at disadvantages that were the result of something you didn't do.

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FHA Loan Articles and Mortgage News

FHA Down Payment Rules and Options

September 21, 2018 - FHA home loans are attractive to many borrowers because the FHA guidelines are more forgiving with FICO scores, and a lower down payment is required than for some other mortgages. But your down payment requirements aren’t just set by the FHA; lender standards also have a say.

What if I Have an Account Collection in My Credit History?

September 19, 2018 - FHA borrowers who have experienced this negative credit event often wonder if it account collections in their credit histories will hurt their chances for FHA home loan approvals; much depends on the age, the amount, circumstances, and lender requirements in this area.

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September 14, 2018 - Borrowers who have high debt ratios, and/or FICO score issues may still be able to be approved for an FHA mortgage loan but the lender may require one or more compensating factors to justify loan approval.

Do You Need to Make a 20% Mortgage Down Payment?

September 13, 2018 - Do home loan borrowers need to make a 20% down payment to be approved for a mortgage? The answer to that question depends on FICO scores, the type of mortgage loan you want, and your financial needs and goals.

FHA Cash-Out Refinance Loan Tips

September 11, 2018 - FHA cash-out refinance loans do require an appraisal, and borrowers who live in housing markets that are on the rise should check to see how far property values have increased since the last appraisal.

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