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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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July 17, 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

When Should I Apply for an FHA Mortgage?

July 3, 2019 - Borrowers should be prepared to come to the home loan process with no fewer than 12 consecutive months of on-time payments on all financial obligations. Lenders want to see patterns of responsible credit use and reliable payments.

Fixing Credit Report Problems Ahead of Your FHA Home Loan

July 2, 2019 - If you are planning to apply for an FHA home loan or any other type of mortgage, you will need to review your credit report long before you start filling out loan paperwork. One of the most important reasons to start early is to check for errors or evidence of identity theft.

FHA Home Loan Appraisal Questions and Their Answers

June 29, 2019 - The appraisal is a process that the lender initiates. The lender pays an FHA fee appraiser to review the home to determine the fair market value taking into consideration the condition of the home itself and how it matches up other, similar properties in the housing market.

Qualifying Income for an FHA Mortgage Loan

June 28, 2019 - Not all of your income may be eligible to be counted toward your debt-to-income ratio. The lender is required to insure that any income that is used will be likely to continue, and is also stable. Stability and reliability of income means some kinds of earnings won’t count.

Refinance Advice During a Financial Setback

June 24, 2019 - If you are a homeowner experiencing financial difficulty, you have options with your mortgage that can help you get into a lower interest rate or monthly payment. But borrowers should be careful not to let financial hardship spoil their chances to get a more affordable mortgage.

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!