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The Federal Housing Administration insures FHA loans and did not used to require a minimum credit score. The new FHA policy changes requires a minimum credit score of 580 for 3.5% down payment and anyone purchasing a home with a score lower than 580 will require 10% down payment. FHA loan refinance minimum credit of 580 for a 97.5% rate and term refinance and 85% cash out refinance. Below 580 down to 500 credit score are allowed with a lower loan-to-value.
January 20, 2010 FHA announced a set of policy changes to strengthen the FHA. The changes announced are the latest in a series of changes enacted in order to better position the FHA to manage its risk while continuing to support the nation’s housing market recovery.
The FHA has taken the following step:
No Credit History
Three 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. FHA allows minimum trade lines if you have credit scores.
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.
Collection, Judgments, 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.
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.
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