FHA advises prospective homebuyers to approach FHA loans with their best possible credit history to eliminate any potential risk of not qualifying.

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Identify and Fix Credit Report Errors

Things to Do Before Applying for an FHA Loan

Identify and Fix Credit Report Errors

When the Federal Housing Administration announced rule changes to help strengthen finances and protect against risk, one of the biggest changes was requiring a minimum FICO score of 580 to qualify for the attractive 3.5 percent down payment on mortgage loans.

Know Your FICO Score

Applicants who fall below the 580 score will have to put down a 10 percent down payment in order to qualify for an FHA mortgage loan. For many applicants hovering just below that threshold, this policy change may serve as a great opportunity to take close look at their credit report and improve it.

The FICO score is actually comprised of your credit scores from the three national credit bureaus--Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. If your FICO score is just below the FHA limit, you should take the proper steps to check your credit report with the three agencies.

How to Check Your Credit Report

There are many ways people can check their credit scores. There are many online resources for people wishing to identify where they stand with lenders. Once you've gotten your report from the three bureaus, carefully examine your credit history for anything out of the ordinary, such as unauthorized loans taken out in your name, incorrect late payment records or anything that seems questionable, no matter how minor you think it is.

While your credit reports and credit score are what lenders use to judge your reliability in paying back loans, errors in your reports can happen. Make sure they aren't hindering you and your life's plans.

Correct Errors as Soon as Possible

The longer you wait to correct your credit history, the more potential damage errors can do. Prevention is key, so if you don't use a credit monitoring service, you should consider one. If you do find any errors, send a letter to the bureau that reported it and clarify with them why you think it is incorrect. Be sure to provide proof and any other documentation that will help your claim.

If you're already in the process of applying for an FHA loan, notify your lender of your dispute with your credit report as well because your credit score indicates your creditworthiness. It never makes sense to suffer at disadvantages that were the result of something you didn't do.

Credit Scores for FHA Loans

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FHA Loan Articles and Mortgage News

Waiting Periods Before Applying for Your FHA Loan

February 21, 2024 - Borrowers who have missed mortgage payments or rent payments went from salary to contractor status, and those who have filed for bankruptcy may all have to build in some extra time before applying for a mortgage. We examine some common scenarios below.

Using Escrow for Your FHA Loan

February 14, 2024 - You may wonder why your loan officer might require you to use an escrow account. Escrow is an agreement between you and the lender through which a third party holds an asset or money on behalf of two other parties that are in the process of completing a transaction.

Home Loan Down Payment Issues You Should Know

February 9, 2024 - There are conventional mortgages, VA loans, FHA home loans, and USDA mortgages. Each home loan program has its own requirements, guidelines, and fees, but the down payment is one of the big ways all these programs differ.

How Long to Wait Before You Apply for a Home Loan

February 1, 2024 - Some people can apply for a new line of credit right away. They have great credit and repayment habits, and lenders love them. But plenty of us don’t fall into that neat little category, especially in the wake of the pandemic economy that burdened so many people during COVID.

Learn More About FHA Loan Cash To Close

January 30, 2024 - Use an online mortgage calculator to estimate how much home you can realistically afford. Borrowers sometimes view that number as a bit flexible. However, be careful of what some in the industry describe as cost creep.