Credit Alert Interactive Voice Response System or CAIVRS was created by HUD. It's a federal government database that lists those who have defaulted on federal debt or obligations. Have a federal lien, judgment or loan that is currently in default or foreclosure; have had claims paid on direct or guaranteed federal loans; or have had a claim paid by a reporting agency. That means you can't get away with walking away from a student loan or tax debt and be eligible for an FHA mortgage.

CAIVRS contains delinquent borrower records from:

* Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
* Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
* Department of Education (DOE)
* Department of Agriculture (USDA)
* Small Business Administration (SBA)
* Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
* Department of Justice (DOJ)

All federal agencies that extend credit pre-screen all applicants for delinquencies on federal obligations--it's required by law. If you have applied for an FHA mortgage or USDA Rural Development Loan and are not delinquent on federal debt and/or do not have a federal tax lien outstanding, then no worries--the check is a mere formality.


To be able to close on a FHA loan you must have what's called clear CAIVRS. Which means you must not have any outstanding defaulted loans with the federal government.

FHA applicants must be screened and lenders have to check the CAIVRS database. It's required by law. If you apply for an FHA mortgage or other government loan and are not delinquent on federal debt and/or do not have a federal tax lien outstanding, then you don't have anything to worry about.

Minimum Credit Score of 580

FHA World - FHA Mortgage

Generally, a borrower who has made timely payments for the last 12 months serves as a guide and demonstrates their willingness to repay future credit obligations. New FHA Policy changes require minimum FICO score to be 580 for 85% loan-to-value. These FICO requirements went into effect in the spring 2010. However, most individual lenders will still require credit scores higher than 640.

A perfect credit score is not needed for an FHA loan approval. In fact, even if you have had credit problems, such as a bankruptcy, it's easier for you to qualify for an FHA loan than a for a conventional loan. Scores down to 580 are accepted if there are compensating factors that offset the credit risk.

Getting Approved For A FHA Mortgage


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FHA Credit Score needed to buy
a house or refinance

FHA loan requirements new borrowers with less than a 580 credit score will be required to put down at least 10%

FHA requires a minimum credit score of 500 to buy a home or refinance


Chapter 7 Bankruptcy at least two years must have elapsed since the discharge date


Foreclosure must have been resolved for at least 3 years

Government loan: Seasoning is determined by the date the claim was paid

Loans other than Government: Seasoning is determined by the date of sale the lender sold the property

Short Sale

FHA guidelines requires three year past from the date of sale of the property

What documentation will I need?

  • W2's or Personal tax returns for 2 years
  • Current pay stubs for the past month
  • Bank statements for last 2 months (all pages)
  • Clear copy of Driver’s License (front and back)
  • Clear copy of SS card (front and back)

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