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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 11, 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 Rules: Credit Report Inquiries

Your loan officer is required to show on paper that a potential borrower can afford both monthly financial obligations owed currently, plus the amount of those financial commitments with the added the amount of a potential new monthly mortgage payment.

Credit Check Rules for Cosigners and Co-borrowers

Not everyone who signs on the dotted line for a home loan may intend to occupy the property as their primary residence. Some may be non-occupying co-borrowers who are still financially obligated on the loan but don’t want to use the property as their main residence.

Why FICO Scores Matter

FICO score issues are among the many common questions about FHA loan applications. We get a lot of questions about FICO score issues, especially for those applying with a spouse or partner.