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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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June 25, 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

FHA Loans and FICO Scores

June 12, 2019 - FICO score issues are a common source of stress to potential FHA borrowers. Everyone wants to know if their FICO scores are high enough to qualify for an FHA mortgage. Is it possible to qualify for an FHA loan or refinance loan with credit scores from 500 to 579? Or are higher scores required?

Comparing FHA Refinance Loan Options

June 11, 2019 - The kind of FHA refinance loan you get will depend on what your financial needs and goals are; some borrowers want cash back, others need a lower mortgage payment, and some just want to get out of an adjustable rate mortgage into the predictability of a fixed-rate FHA mortgage.

The FHA Appraisal Rule You Need to Know

June 8, 2019 - The FHA and HUD warn consumers that the appraisal is not to be considered a home inspection. It’s true that you certainly could buy a home without having it inspected, and while you’re at it you could also buy a car without test-driving it first.

FHA Loan Rules for Taxes and Residency

June 6, 2019 - Did you know that the FHA home loan rulebook has guidance for lenders who aren’t sure whether FHA mortgages are available to those without U.S. citizenship? There are also rules that govern what is possible if you owe outstanding tax debt and related issues.

Home Loan Down Payment Do's and Don'ts

June 4, 2019 - Down payment assistance gift funds are not offered by the FHA and cannot be offered by the lender, but local agencies that meet FHA guidelines in this area may. You will need to search in your local area to learn what sources of down payment help might be open to you.

FHA.com Reviews

FHA.com is a one-stop resource for homebuyers who want to make the best decisions when it comes to their mortgage. With our detailed, mobile-friendly site, individuals can access information about different FHA products, the latest loan limits, and numerous other resources to make their homebuying experience easier. Take a look at some of the reviews from other FHA.com visitors!