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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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FHA.com is a privately owned website, is not a government agency, and does not make loans.

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 Guidelines That FHA Lenders Follow

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 Requirements

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FHA Loan Articles and Mortgage News

FHA Single-Close Construction Loans and Rehab Loan Issues

September 16, 2022 - If you seek an FHA One-Time Close construction loan or an FHA 203(k) Rehabilitation loan, there are some questions to ask when comparing lenders. You will need to know the lender’s policy on things like how the loan converts from the construction phase to the permanent phase.

Unpaid Federal Debts and Your FHA Loan Application

September 15, 2022 - Does it hurt a borrower’s chances when applying for an FHA mortgage loan if there’s a debt owed to the federal government? Can unpaid federal taxes become a barrier to an FHA mortgage loan? The FHA recognizes two types of circumstances–tax debt and non-tax debt.

Streamline FHA 203(k) Rehabilitation Loans

September 13, 2022 - The FHA offers something called a 203(k) Rehab loan for borrowers who want to purchase and rehab a property. This is a great loan offering, but what about borrowers who don’t need to do extensive rehab work to a home?

FHA Construction Loans vs. FHA Purchase Loans

September 12, 2022 - What makes an FHA One-Time Close construction loan different from a FHA purchase loan? There are important features of each type of loan that you should know about before you commit to either loan type. Are you fully committed to building instead of buying an existing home?

FHA Loan Rules for Late and Missed Payments

September 10, 2022 - Are you in danger of missing payments? Are you in danger of missing payments on your current rent or mortgage? Those missed payments in particular can be especially dangerous if you need to apply for a new FHA home loan.