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The FHA usually requires two lines of credit for qualifying applicants. An FHA loan might make the difference between owning your dream house comfortably and turning it into a financial nightmare.

FHA Mortgage Loan Rates

December 10, 2016
FHA Rates for December 10, 2016
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The Path to Homeownership
FHA.com is a private company, is not a government agency, and does not make loans.

Credit Requirements for FHA Loans

Good Credit History Makes it Easier to Qualify

FHA loans provide great assistance to many first time home buyers by offering mortgage loans with lower down payments. While this is a benefit for many people, recent changes in policy may have put the loans just out of reach for some would-be homeowners with questionable credit history.

Credit History and Score Requirements

FICO Scores

For those interested in applying for an FHA loan, applicants are now required to have a minimum FICO score of 580 to qualify for the low down payment advantage, which is currently at around 3.5 percent.

If your credit score is below 580, however, you aren't necessarily excluded from FHA loan eligibility. Applicants with lower credit scores will have to put down a 10 percent down payment if they want to qualify for a loan.

So if you're planning to buy a house, and your credit score doesn't meet the minimum, you should weigh the advantages and disadvantages of putting down a larger down payment or using those funds to try and improve your credit score first.

Benefits of an FHA Loan

The reason why FHA loans are so popular is because borrowers that use them are able to take advantage of benefits and protections unavailable with most traditional mortgage loans. Loans through the FHA are insured by the agency, so lenders are more lenient. Here are a few benefits you can enjoy with an FHA loan:

  • Easier to Qualify
    While most loans exclude applicants with questionable credit history and low credit scores, the FHA makes loans available with lower requirements so its easier for you to qualify.
  • Competitive Interest Rates
    You've heard the horror stories of subprime borrowers who couldn't keep up with their mortgage interest rates. Well, FHA loans usually offer lower interest rates to help homeowners afford housing payments.
  • Lower Fees
    In addition to lower interest rates, you can also enjoy lower costs on other fees like closing costs, mortgage insurance and others.
  • Bankruptcy / Foreclosure
    Just because you've filed for bankruptcy or suffered a foreclosure in the past few years doesn't mean you're excluded from qualifying for an FHA loan. As long as you meet other requirements that satisfy the FHA, such as re-establishment of good credit, solid payment history, etc., you can still qualify.
  • No Credit
    The FHA usually requires two lines of credit for qualifying applicants. If you don't have a sufficient credit history, you can try to qualify through a substitute form.

For many home buyers, using an FHA loan can really make the difference between owning your dream house comfortably or turning it into a financial nightmare. The FHA provides a wealth of benefits for applicants that qualify, so make sure you're making full use of them.

Helpful Advice About Credit Scores and Loans:

FHA Loan Articles and Mortgage News

Read About FHA Requirements, Updates, and Guidelines
FHA Loan Debt to Income Ratio Rules for 2017

Your FHA loan options in 2017 include new purchase loans, reverse mortgages, cash-out FHA refinance loans, and much more. Borrowers should take some time to review their last 12 months of credit and loan repayment history in preparation for the new loan.

Income and Debt Ratios for FHA Mortgages

What does a borrower needs to know when preparing to apply for an FHA mortgage? There is a list of items to pay attention to that does include FICO scores; you may find that lenders are looking for FICO scores averaging between 620 and 640.

Can I Use 401K Income to Qualify for an FHA Mortgage?

Many borrowers want to know if the income coming from 401K accounts can be used as part of the debt to income calculation. What does the FHA loan rule book say about using a 401K to qualify? Are there cases where 401K income can be used in eligibility calculations?

What You Should Know About Refinancing and FICO Scores

For borrowers with a home loan who are looking at refinance loan options, the FHA loan program offers several choices. What should you know about FHA loan FICO score requirements and related issues when considering your FHA refinance needs?

FICO Scores and Your FHA Mortgage

FHA single family home loans are used to buy owner-occupied residences. The FHA backs the mortgage loan, making it more attractive for the lender and easier to extend credit compared to the higher FICO score requirements of some conventional loans. But there can be confusion.