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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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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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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 Single-Close Construction Loans and Rehab Loan Issues

September 16, 2022 - If you seek an FHA One-Time Close construction loan or an FHA 203(k) Rehabilitation loan, there are some questions to ask when comparing lenders. You will need to know the lender’s policy on things like how the loan converts from the construction phase to the permanent phase.

Unpaid Federal Debts and Your FHA Loan Application

September 15, 2022 - Does it hurt a borrower’s chances when applying for an FHA mortgage loan if there’s a debt owed to the federal government? Can unpaid federal taxes become a barrier to an FHA mortgage loan? The FHA recognizes two types of circumstances–tax debt and non-tax debt.

Streamline FHA 203(k) Rehabilitation Loans

September 13, 2022 - The FHA offers something called a 203(k) Rehab loan for borrowers who want to purchase and rehab a property. This is a great loan offering, but what about borrowers who don’t need to do extensive rehab work to a home?

FHA Construction Loans vs. FHA Purchase Loans

September 12, 2022 - What makes an FHA One-Time Close construction loan different from a FHA purchase loan? There are important features of each type of loan that you should know about before you commit to either loan type. Are you fully committed to building instead of buying an existing home?

FHA Loan Rules for Late and Missed Payments

September 10, 2022 - Are you in danger of missing payments? Are you in danger of missing payments on your current rent or mortgage? Those missed payments in particular can be especially dangerous if you need to apply for a new FHA home loan.