An FHA loan requires a minimum 3.5% down payment for credit scores of 580 and higher. If you can make a 10% down payment, your credit score can be in the 500 – 579 range. Rocket Mortgage® requires a minimum credit score of 580 for FHA loans.
Borrowers with a credit score as low as 580 stand a chance to get approved for an FHA loan with a down payment as small as 3.5%. That's just $7,000 for a $200,000 home. Unlike other loans, FHA loans don't necessarily require two years of employment to qualify.
Minimum FHA loan credit score requirement
The minimum credit score to qualify for an FHA loan is 580 with a down payment of 3.5 percent. If you can bump up your down payment to at least 10 percent, you can have a credit score as low as 500 and still qualify.
Read our editorial standards. To qualify for an FHA loan, you need a 3.5% down payment, 580 credit score, and 43% DTI ratio. An FHA loan is easier to get than a conventional mortgage. The FHA offers several types of home loans, including loans for home improvements.
FHA mortgage: Minimum credit score 500
FHA loans – backed by the Federal Housing Administration – have the lowest credit score requirements of any major home loan program. Most lenders offer FHA loans starting at a 580 credit score. If your score is 580 or higher, you need to pay only 3.5% down.
Conventional Loan Requirements
It's recommended you have a credit score of 620 or higher when you apply for a conventional loan. If your score is below 620, lenders either won't be able to approve your loan or may be required to offer you a higher interest rate, which can result in higher monthly payments.
The typical timeline from application to closing with an FHA loan ranges from 30 to 45 days. During this time, your loan file goes through underwriting. The underwriter takes a closer look at your application and reviews supporting documents to ensure you meet the minimum guidelines for FHA financing.
FHA loans are not limited to first-time buyers, but they appeal to new entrants into the housing market for several reasons. “FHA loans are attractive for first-time buyers because they're easier to qualify for,” says Joe Shalaby, CEO of E Mortgage Capital in Santa Ana, Calif.
The minimum down payment required for a conventional mortgage is 3%, but borrowers with lower credit scores or higher debt-to-income ratios may be required to put down more. You'll also likely need a larger down payment for a jumbo loan or a loan for a second home or investment property.
A 720 credit score is a good credit score. The good-credit range includes scores of 700 to 749, while an excellent credit score is 750 to 850, and people with scores this high are in a good position to qualify for the best possible mortgages, auto loans and credit cards, among other things.
With fixed-rate conventional loans: If you have a credit score of 720 or higher and a down payment of 25% or more, you don't need any cash reserves and your DTI ratio can be as high as 45%; but if your credit score is 620 to 639 and you have a down payment of 5% to 25%, you would need to have at least two months of ...
Going into 2022, the minimum credit score needed to get approved for a mortgage is 640, though it would be more accurate to say that anywhere between 620 and 680 would be considered a minimum, depending on the lender.
Reasons for an FHA Rejection
There are three popular reasons you have been denied for an FHA loan–bad credit, high debt-to-income ratio, and overall insufficient money to cover the down payment and closing costs.
With a credit score of 650, your mortgage interest rate would be approximately 3.805%, which would cost you about $203,541 in interest on a $300,000, 30-year loan. If you could increase your credit score by even 30 points, you stand to save over $25,000.
When the lender pulls three scores (from Experian, TransUnion and Equifax), the middle number must be used for FHA qualification purposes. When two scores are pulled (from two of the three credit-reporting bureaus), the lower number must be used to determine eligibility.
FHA mortgage loans don't require PMI, but they do require an Up Front Mortgage Insurance Premium and a mortgage insurance premium (MIP) to be paid instead. Depending on the terms and conditions of your home loan, most FHA loans today will require MIP for either 11 years or the lifetime of the mortgage.
An FHA loan has lower down payment requirements and is easier to qualify for than a conventional loan. FHA loans are excellent for first-time homebuyers because, in addition to lower up-front loan costs and less stringent credit requirements, you can make a down payment as low as 3.5%.
HUD Purchase Restrictions
Owners must live in the home for two years or face up to $250,000 in penalties and potential prison time. If the home requires less than $5,000 in repairs, it can qualify as an FHA-insured HUD property. If it needs more than $5,000 in repairs, it is considered an FHA-uninsured HUD property.
Generally speaking, FHA loans might be a good fit if you have less money set aside to fund your down payment and/or you have a below-average credit score.
In fact, about 73% of all FHA loans successfully close within 90 days, according to Ellie Mae's Origination Insight Report from May 2019. For comparison's sake, about 75% of all conventional loans successfully close within 90 days. That's only a 2% difference.
Thanks to increases in home prices in 2019, the Federal Housing Administration loan limit will increase for nearly all of the country in 2020. According to an announcement from the FHA, the 2020 FHA loan limit for most of the country will be $331,760, an increase of nearly $17,000 over 2019's loan limit of $314,827.
Give it some time
But it also suggests that building credit takes time and patience, as you need to establish a track record of financial responsibility. In fact, reaching an excellent credit score of 750+ generally takes 5 or more years.
Depending on where you're starting from, It can take several years or more to build an 800 credit score. You need to have a few years of only positive payment history and a good mix of credit accounts showing you have experience managing different types of credit cards and loans.