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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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February 16, 2020
FHA Rates for February 16, 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

There Are Different Kinds of One-Time Close Construction Loans

January 13, 2020 - A One-Time Close loan can help you build a home without the requirements some other construction loans have -- two applications, two loans, and two closing dates. These construction loans are for first-time home buyers AND experienced home owners alike.

FHA Home Loan Costs to Save for in 2020

January 12, 2020 - If you've already started saving for your down payment, your appraisal, compliance inspections, and other costs, you’re well ahead of the game. Those who haven’t started truly planning and saving may feel a bit lost when trying to get ready for the loan. 

FHA Home Loan Tips for Buying Multi-Unit Homes

January 10, 2020 - FHA loan rules include the ability for borrowers who intend to be owner-occupiers to buy multi-unit properties. For an FHA loan on a multi-unit home to be approved, the borrower must occupy at least one unit. FHA home loans are for primary residences only.

Applying for a One-Time Close Construction Loan in 2020

January 9, 2020 - FHA One-Time Close construction loans are intended to help those who want to own and occupy a home to build from the ground up on their own land. There is also a VA loan equivalent to the FHA construction loan that, starting in 2020, features no down payment.

FHA Loan Limits for 2020: Going Up in a Housing Market Near You?

January 7, 2020 - FHA loan guaranty limits are higher again in 2020. This comes after last year’s increase in loan limits and a fairly good year for mortgage interest rates. FHA loans have loan guaranty limits that help establish the maximum loan possible for a given market.