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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.

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December 16, 2019
FHA Rates for December 16, 2019
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FHA.com is a privately owned website, 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.

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FHA Loan Articles and Mortgage News

Construction Loans for 2020: Build a House on Your Own Land

December 6, 2019 - Is 2020 the year you have a house built on your own lot with a loan 3.5% down payment? If you are a qualified veteran, that down payment amount is 0% to build on your own land as long as the appraised value matches or is higher than the asking price.

Problems That Can Delay Your FHA Home Loan (Part Two)

December 4, 2019 - In a recent article we discussed issues that can delay the approval or closing date of your FHA home loan. Do you know what these potential problems are? In Part One we discussed how bankruptcy, foreclosure, and appraisal problems may affect your mortgage loan.

Problems That Can Delay Your FHA Home Loan (Part One)

December 3, 2019 - When applying for an FHA home loan, there are issues that can slow down the progress of your mortgage, whether you are applying for a mobile home loan or an FHA One-Time Close Construction Loan. Some may be preventable in the planning stages of your loan.

FHA Loans in 2020: Pay Attention to Your Debt-To-Income Ratio

December 2, 2019 - Your FHA loan options in 2020 include new purchase loans, reverse mortgages, cash-out FHA refinance loans, and the One-Time Close construction loan if you want a house built for you. But planning ahead is key and you will need to examine and work on the amount of debt you carry

Late Payments Hurt Your Chances for a Cash-Out Refinance

November 29, 2019 - If you are applying for a refinance loan that requires a credit check, make sure you have made all payments on time for your mortgage and all other financial obligations. You'll benefit greatly if this is true for a minimum of 12 months ahead of your loan application.