Qualifications for a FHA Loan

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insures mortgage loans accepted by participating lenders. In the event of a defaultoption, the federal government reimburses the lender. Even though FHA insures mortgages on all kinds of properties, single-family houses get the most aid; FHA counts 6.1 million single-family dwellings in its own portfolio, as of July 2010, based on HUD. If you have less than ideal credit and little money available for a down payment, you still might qualify for an FHA loan.

Property Prerequisites

Since HUD notes, FHA’s 203(b) mortgage is its most frequent program. To qualify for funding, your property must be a one- to four-unit home. FHA simply insures loans on units that will be owner-occupied. Mortgage limits also apply to loans under FHA programs. These figures vary by place. In California, limits on single-family houses range from a low of $285,000 in Lassen County to a high of $729,750 mostly in Northern and Southern California, such as San Francisco and San Mateo counties in the Bay Area, based on HUD.

Down Payment

Once the property you wish to buy qualifies for an FHA loan, your lender then turns his focus in your financial situation. FHA loans require a down payment of at least 3.5 percent. If your credit rating is below 580, however, HUD reports you will need to come up with a down payment of at least 10 percent. As Tracey C. Velt of Bankrate.com accounts, FHA says you can receive the down payment portion as a present from the employer, relative or through a non-profit or government down payment assistance program.


HUD does not call for specific income amounts, nor employment for a particular length of time, but lenders must verify where you’ve worked for the two-year interval before the date of your program. You have to clarify gaps in employment and supply proof if you’re in school or the military service during that interval. HUD favors”income equilibrium” over”job equilibrium.” As HUD states in its own”Mortgage Credit Analysis for Mortgage Insurance on One- to Four-Unit Mortgage Loans,” an applicant who moves jobs frequently, but moves up the ladder in his livelihood ought to be seen”favorably” You can use documents, such as W-2s and assess pay stubs, to verify your earnings.


HUD directs lenders to look beyond temporary credit missteps and focus in your overall and recent credit history. Debt-to-income ratio is an integral step lenders employ to assess your FHA loan program. FHA lenders can accept applicants whose mortgage debt will require up 31 percent of their earnings. Complete debt, including housing and other duties, can absorb up to 43 percent of earnings, based on Velt. The normal credit rating on FHA loans between January 2008 and August 2009 climbed from 621 to 692, Velt reports.

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