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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

February 23, 2020
FHA Rates for February 23, 2020
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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: Second Homes and Investment Properties

February 7, 2020 - FHA home loan rules for second homes and investment properties are fairly straightforward; it’s the exceptions that can be confusing. Basically, if you want an FHA mortgage, you must be prepared to occupy the property you buy with one.

FHA Home Loan Interest Rates In 2020

February 2, 2020 - What do you need to know about interest rates in 2020? Your credit score helps the lender decide what interest rate to offer you. So in addition to the market forces that change and effect the home loan rates on a daily basis, so does your own credit history.

FHA Loans: It May Be Better to Buy Instead of Rent

January 31, 2020 - Buying a home instead of renting it means doing some financial housekeeping to get started. Don’t forget to review FICO scores and credit reports and payment history to make sure you have made on-time payments for the 12 months leading up to the loan application.

FHA Home Loan Refi Tips

January 29, 2020 - Those refinancing this year will need to review their credit reports, make sure they have no late or missed payments in the year leading up to the loan application, and work hard to reduce debt and credit card use. Take some of the same steps you took when you originally applied.

FHA Home Loan Down Payments: How Much?

January 25, 2020 - The FHA down payment can be as low as 3.5% of the adjusted value of the home. Compare that to the conventional loan 20% down requirement and it’s easy to see why FHA loans might be more appealing. Smaller down payments make sense if you don’t plan to keep the home long-term.