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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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September 21, 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

Credit Mistakes to Avoid Before Your Home Loan

August 22, 2019 - There are several things you can do to help improve your credit score-always pay on time, never skip a payment, avoid carrying high balances on your credit accounts, etc. But there are also some credit mistakes to be aware of before you apply for a new home loan.

What You Need to Know About Home Loan Approval

August 18, 2019 - Do you know what it takes to get home loan approval? Many first-time home buyers do not, and the requirements may sound daunting at first, but you can move closer to getting a home loan with some simple steps that can raise your credit score before you apply for a mortgage.

FHA Loan Appraisal Questions and Answers

August 17, 2019 - FHA home loans require appraisals but do not require home inspections. That said, no home buyer should buy a house without paying for the optional appraisal-do so at your own risk. The FHA appraisal process is a tool for the lender to determine the fair market value of the property.

FHA Home Loans: 20% Down Is Not Necessary

August 15, 2019 - Do you really have to make a 20% down payment to get into a home loan? Not with an FHA mortgage. FHA loan program down payment minimums are 3.5% for borrowers with FICO scores at 580 or better. So why do people assume 20% down is required to buy a home?

FHA Home Loan Rules You Should Know: Credit Checks

August 11, 2019 - Some borrowers don’t fully understand the home loan process, which can lead to disastrous results if you don’t understand the lender’s approach to credit checks and other loan underwriting procedures.

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!