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FHA requirements are structured so that loan applicants who have a good credit history will likely be eligible for the mortgage. Late payments, bankruptcies, no credit history, and foreclosures will adversely affect your chances.

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December 10, 2016
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FHA Requirements

Credit Guidelines That FHA Lenders Follow

Before approving a loan, the lender analyzes the integrity of the borrower's past credit performance. Based on FHA requirements, those who have a good credit history demonstrated by a solid track record of timely payments will likely be eligible for a loan. Potential borrowers whose credit history is marred by slow payments, poor financial judgment and delinquent accounts is not a good candidate for loan approval.

Credit History

The following is a list of items concerning the borrower's credit:

No Credit History

Two lines of credit are necessary to apply for an FHA loan. However, in the event a borrower does not have sufficient credit on their credit report the FHA will allow substitute forms.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

FHA will consider approving a borrower who is still paying on a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy if those payments have been satisfactorily made and verified for a period of one year. The court trustee's written approval will also be needed in order to proceed with the loan. The borrower will have to give a full explanation of the bankruptcy with the loan application and must also have re-established good credit, qualify financially and have good job stability.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

At least two years must have elapsed since the discharge date of the borrower and / or spouse's Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, according to FHA guidelines. This is not to be confused with the bankruptcy filing date. A full explanation will be required with the loan application. In order to qualify for an FHA loan, the borrower must qualify financially, have re-established good credit, and have a stable job.

Late Payments

During an underwriter analysis of borrower credit, the overall pattern of credit behavior is being reviewed rather than isolated cases of slow payments. If a good payment pattern has been maintained, regardless of a specific period of financial difficulty preceded it, the borrower may escape disqualification.

Foreclosure

FHA insured mortgages are generally not available to borrowers whose property was foreclosed on or given a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure within the previous three years. However, if the foreclosure of the borrower's main residence was the result of extenuating circumstances, an exception may be granted if they have since established good credit. This does not include the inability to sell a home when transferring from one area to another.

Collections, Judgments, and Federal Debts

A collection is minor in nature usually does not need to be paid off as a condition for loan approval. It is stated as such in FHA guidelines. Any judgments will have to be paid in full prior to closing. Borrowers who are delinquent on any federal debt, such as tax liens, student loans, etc., are not eligible.

FHA Loan Articles and Mortgage News

Read About FHA Requirements, Updates, and Guidelines
FHA Loan Debt to Income Ratio Rules for 2017

Your FHA loan options in 2017 include new purchase loans, reverse mortgages, cash-out FHA refinance loans, and much more. Borrowers should take some time to review their last 12 months of credit and loan repayment history in preparation for the new loan.

Income and Debt Ratios for FHA Mortgages

What does a borrower needs to know when preparing to apply for an FHA mortgage? There is a list of items to pay attention to that does include FICO scores; you may find that lenders are looking for FICO scores averaging between 620 and 640.

Can I Use 401K Income to Qualify for an FHA Mortgage?

Many borrowers want to know if the income coming from 401K accounts can be used as part of the debt to income calculation. What does the FHA loan rule book say about using a 401K to qualify? Are there cases where 401K income can be used in eligibility calculations?

What You Should Know About Refinancing and FICO Scores

For borrowers with a home loan who are looking at refinance loan options, the FHA loan program offers several choices. What should you know about FHA loan FICO score requirements and related issues when considering your FHA refinance needs?

FICO Scores and Your FHA Mortgage

FHA single family home loans are used to buy owner-occupied residences. The FHA backs the mortgage loan, making it more attractive for the lender and easier to extend credit compared to the higher FICO score requirements of some conventional loans. But there can be confusion.