Articles and news about FHA loans and HUD requirements. FHA loans are great for first-time homebuyers.

Is There a Minimum Credit Score For FHA Loans?

As with many government programs, the rules and requirements for FHA home loans change often. Some alterations come as part of new legislation designed to close loopholes that could threaten the fairness of the FHA mortgage loan process, others come as a way to update or modernize

59 Responses to Is There a Minimum Credit Score For FHA Loans?

  1. i did apply,i had a fha in the recent past and had some issues with the lender so i decided to fiance with another lender at a higher rate
    now i really need to get the rate down it’s killing me.i haven’t been late i have personal loans i have never been late i do have some medical some i have paid off on my credit report and they haven’t been removed and some i’m paying if you can help i would really appreciate it. thank you so much. carol johnston

    • Joe Wallace says:

      Hi Carol,

      Those who are current on their mortgages can apply for FHA Refinancing (streamline, rather than cash out) or the Making Home Affordable refinancing loan (for Fannie and Freddie loans). Streamline refinancing requires no underwriting and except in certain cases must result in a lower payment or interest rate.

  2. Tracy Lange says:

    I have a great job as a Nurse Practitioner and am looking for a home loan of 120K on a home appraising for 190K and my income is not that much less than the loan amount but my score is 527 d/t some credit problems in the past 2 years when I was finishing school and my husband was laid off. Also we stupily closed a few credit cards so our proportion used to available credit is now horrible and I am sure that has something to do with the score being low – we haven’t been late in the past year and my job is very secure. What do you think the chances would be of getting a FHA loan? Also we have about 10K to use for down payment etc. Thanks, Tracy

    • Jeanie Houle says:

      Hi Tracy,

      I am a Realtor in Jacksonville Fl but have extensive lending and credit experience with over 15 years in banking. Where do you live? You are correct that when you closed those accounts it did hurt your debt ratio. I hear advisors on the news saying to close credit cards but that too can hurt your score. It is more complicated than that. I would be more than happy to speak with you. Just contact me and we can go from there.

      • JB says:

        My scores are 702, 640, 617, and I am terrified about getting rejected. I am waitting on one collection to go away. I have gotten a ltter from the collection companty and they said they will delete it. It has almost been 30 days. Also I have one credit card that has a limit of 5k with 2,400k on it now. I plan to pay that off before they report again in May. I do have 3 in a row late payments on my car, in 09 and two late on student loan in 09. No late payments in 15 months. I make around 100k a year and g/f makes 60k a year. would we be wasting our time to approach a FHA lender? Thanks for your time

        • Joe Wallace says:

          Hi JB,

          It’s never a waste of time to explore your options. The last 15 months of reliable payments will help, and your credit scores are not too low according to the FHA rules for approving an FHA home loan. An individual lender may look at credit scores more closely to determine terms and interest rates but you should definitely explore your options. And remember that you can always call your nearest FHA Regional Loan Center and ask for an FHA referral for credit counseling to get more advice on how to proceed in the months before you apply for the FHA home loan. You can get more information on your loan options at

  3. Cyndie says:

    I am looking at a home that is selling for 38,000, I have 20,000 for a down payment, I make 79,000 a year, 12 years same jobm no car payment, I rent. I have been cleaning up my credit report, it is getting better, not sure if it is up to 580 yet. What are my chances of getting an FHA loan for this house?

    • Joe Wallace says:

      Hi Cyndie, thanks for asking. Much depends on the individual lender and your credit at the time of the application. Some lenders may be more willing to work with you than others depending on a variety of factors. Best advice–get in touch with the FHA directly to get advice on a credit counseling program nearest you and if your credit rating is still marginal when you apply for the loan, be sure to show that you have attended credit counseling and are working on your score. If you have a 12 month history of on-time payments this will be a MAJOR help if your credit is almost there…but not quite. FHA loans are not credit-score driven but there are definitely standards for no-money-down loans and the most favorable terms.

  4. Cyndie says:

    Actually, I am not asking for no money down I can put down 20,000 on a 38,000 asking price………

    • nicolaas van vonno says:

      I’m posting this as a reply, but it’s also a question. Will anybody do a mortgage that small? $18,000 is not even a very big car loan. Seems like you could get another type of loan for that amount and have the house paid off in five or six years.

  5. Jan Johnson says:

    My middle credit score is 560 and my high score is 615. I currently rent a condo in MD and my landlord just offered me the option to purchase this home. I am a first time homebuyer and I work for the government. Is there any lender in Maryland that will finance $80K with the above mentioned scenario?

    • Joe Wallace says:

      Jan–call the FHA directly for a referral to an FHA lender near you: (800) CALL-FHA or (800) 225-5342 or try

  6. Jennifer says:

    My husband and I have recently moved from Texas to Oklahoma and are trying to buy a house in Oklahoma. In the transition of the move I had 3 late payments in feb. I have not had a late payment since 2006 prior to that but my credit score has been affected. My credit score is 624 and my husbands is 607. Is there anyway to get a home loan on a home that is 200k and the value is 250k?

    • Joe Wallace says:

      Hi Jennifer, thanks for your question. I think your lender would require some additional information on that situation–what payments were late? For how long? Chances are that supporting information and extenuating circumstances would probably help your case when applying for the loan.

  7. Irina says:

    I have questions, I have a bankruptcy two years ago and now I try to find out if I can get FHA loan. My score now its around 630. Everybody has different answer for me, some people told me that I can get FHA loan after 2 years of discharge

    • Joe Wallace says:

      FHA requires at least a two year wait after filing bankruptcy. A lender may require additional time–it depends on the lender, but yes a two year MINIMUM wait time is required.

      • Irina says:

        Hi Joe, thanks for your respond, do you know how can I find all information about waiting time, or maybe I can go to any of FHA office and talk to them personal?

        • Joe Wallace says:

          Best to ask your chosen lender what the policy is for that bank, unless you want FHA advice on specific information related to FHA rules, then yes–the FHA 800 number is the best source to get started: (800) CALL-FHA or (800) 225-5342

  8. JB says:

    My scores are 702, 640, 617, and I am terrified about getting rejected. I am waitting on one collection to go away. I have gotten a ltter from the collection companty and they said they will delete it. It has almost been 30 days. Also I have one credit card that has a limit of 5k with 2,400k on it now. I plan to pay that off before they report again in May. I do have 3 in a row late payments on my car, in 09 and two late on student loan in 09. No late payments in 15 months. I make around 100k a year and g/f makes 60k a year. would we be wasting our time to approach a FHA lender? Thanks for your time

  9. CDA says:

    i just got off the phone with the people from to inquire what the minimum credit requirement is for FHA and i was told 580. why are lenders telling us 620?

    • Joe Wallace says:

      The FHA minimum isn’t necessarily the same as the lender’s, which is one reason it is a good idea to shop competitively for the loan. You may find different score requirements with a different lender.

  10. richard says:

    I am trying for a FHA loan as self-employed borrower, however the lender states I am not because I get paid w-2 income. I file schedule C for the last 8 years. I am a contract underwriter, and my jobs are based on contracts with employment agencies.
    So I would have time off between assignments, but my yearly income well supports the loan ratios.

  11. Ryan says:

    My credit score is 601,598 and 632. I live in California, will I qualify for a 150,000 loan with 7000 for down payment?

    • Joe Wallace says:

      Hi Ryan, thanks for asking. Unfortunately there’s no way to tell whether you qualify for an FHA loan based solely on the information you’ve provided. Borrowers must have credit reports pulled, income sources verified and other factors a lender examines in each individual case. You can pre-qualify for an FHA loan at with the information you’ve provided plus some additional details. Hope this helps!

  12. Ryan says:

    Forgot to add that I make 53,000 a year. My wife’s scores are 640,656 and 632. Don’t know if this would help us since she don’t work.

  13. Gary says:

    I’m looking to buy a new home are there any programs that would help with downpayment and closing cost any even some type of grant.
    thank you

  14. Shellie says:

    I am looking to buy, my current residence from a family member. The payoff is $80000, all I want to get is $90000. The house will appraise for more than $100000. I have poor credit, 526 being my low score. I had open heart surgery 4 years ago and medical bills piled up and caused a lot of trouble for me. I currently work, making around $27000 per year. Is there a loan for me???

    • Joe Wallace says:

      Have you spoken with an FHA-referred housing counselor? Especially where credit issues are concerned, that is definitely a good move to make. You can learn more by calling the FHA at (800) CALL-FHA or (800) 225-5342.

  15. Shelley says:

    I have poor credit. I am a single mother of 4 and need to buy a bigger home. I have noticed reading several posts, that the lowest credit score FHA will accept is 580. Is this true in every case. After I was divorced my credit score dropped, big time. Everything was divided in court but at the time I was not working and it ruined my credit.

    • Joe Wallace says:

      I would advise you to contact the FHA directly to ask for a referral to a housing counselor in your area–an FHA approved agency–who can help you work on your credit issues and prepare for an FHA loan. The FHA minimum isn’t the only issue–what the lender will accept in many cases is higher than the FHA minimum. Contact the FHA at 1-800 CALL FHA.

  16. TAMMY says:

    I am currently in a land contract , having paid for two years.
    I owe 40,000 on the house it was 42,000 at 6.5%
    im self employed so my income claimed isnt high enough, however I can get a co-signer.
    I do not have the 20% down that this certain bank wants, also the co-signer has to be family they say.
    I am a first time home buyer , is there anything FHA could help me with? My credit score is in the high 700s last time I checked. I have had the same job for over 3 years , no bankruptcies and clean credit record, no car payment and 200$ a month in credit card minimum payments .

  17. kee lee says:

    Can you get a FHA loan with a new job that you just got, and still qualify for the loan even though your last year earnings were 40k, and the year before that they were 60k?

  18. pat says:

    Do I have to pay old debts such as credit cards & medical bills befor I can apply for a fha loan?

    • Joe Wallace says:

      FHA loans are based in part on credit score and credit history–if you have credit issues it’s best to try to resolve them before your credit check.

  19. Millie Sacre says:

    My credit score is 572.. Working improving credit..been on my job for almost 5 years…make about 22,000 year.. Wondering if there’s a chance I chould ever get a FHA loan..

  20. nikki says:

    My fiance has a credit score of 605 and he makes about 45k a year where should we look to apply for a fha loan. We are in need to find something quick as we will be married in 4 months.

  21. Alaina Earl says:


    We kind of did this backwards, we found a home before we got prequalified…but….my husband and I have the following challenges: Bankruptcy discharged in ’09 with a few recent lates and some collections. My middle is a 617 and my husband’s is a 560…what are our chances of qualifying by July? Do we stand a chance right now…at all? With our scores the way they are….are we asking for rejection and/or a high rate? Only have 3.5% downpayment

    • Joe Wallace says:

      It may depend on how recent your late payments and/or collections are, and the nature of the collections. If you were late on a mortgage payment you may be required to wait 12 months before applying, but other types of issues would depend on the lender’s standards and other factors as applicable. In a general sense it’s best to have a full year of reliable on time payments on your record before applying.

  22. Monica says:

    I had a bankruptcy chapter 7 discharged 8-15-13. Since then I have been working very hard to clean up my credit. I have established 2 credit cards and paying them on time monthly with my car payments on time as well. It is taking a very long time for my credit scores to move up. My three scores are 585, 591, 619. Can I qualify for a FHA home loan as a first time home owner? I’ve been at the same job for 3 years and making 45K a year. I also have a time share that I pay on time. Is that considered a home loan and will the time share hurt my chances at getting a home for the first time?

    • Joe Wallace says:

      FHA has recently issued revised guidelines for people in these circumstances–we’re working on a set of detailed blog posts that cover these topics, we’ll post some further information on the new rules as soon as possible.

  23. Elizabeth says:

    My plan is to buy the house I’m leasing, my 3 scores are 616, 621 and 619. Will I qualify for an FHA loan, I have a student loan that i haven’t paid on my credit report it states its on dispute, will this disqualify me from an FHA? Also I’m married and yrly income is about 28000, my husband is unemployed and has child support will that count against me? We have no car pymts or other loans.

    • Joe Wallace says:

      The student loan dispute would require the lender to investigate the matter further, and you may need to furnish a written statement explaining the situation. The question about your husband depends on a variety of issues including whether he is to be a co-borrower and whether you live in a community property state or not. It’s best to discuss those issues with a lender or someone who knows state laws in that area.

  24. Joe says:

    I have a credit score of 680, but also have a few bad marks on my file a few medical that went into collection.They are all paid off now,and all are old as in 3 to 5yrs old.My DTI is 10%.It shows that the bills I now have car,credit card etc.are payed on time nothing late in the past 15 mths.MY wife credit score is 600 with a few bad marks. What are our chances to get a FHA home loan.Our combined income is around 62,000 a yr.

  25. Sheila says:

    My son and his wife are looking to buy their first home but both have credit scores in the 570-580 range. My parents will gladly act as co-signer or co-borrower with them and their credit history is excellent. Would that help them get a loan.

  26. yani says:

    Im from Orlando Fl and I have a credit score of 526 would like to buy a house of 150k and have a down payment of 6000 could I get loan with my low score?

    • Joe Wallace says:

      Your credit score is only part of the equation the lender would use to determine if you qualify for the FHA loan, but many lenders require a minimum FICO score of between 620 – 640 to qualify.

  27. David says:

    I only want about 40,000. What kind of credit score would I need? Thanks so much.

    • Joe Wallace says:

      You’ll find most lenders want to see a credit score of about 620 or better, but requirements vary depending on the lender.

  28. gina says:

    Does anyone one know if I can purchase a house using my credit and my husbands income?

    • Staff Writer says:

      The answer may depend on the laws of your state and lender standards. FHA loan rules do allow for co-signors, but if you live in a community property state your spouse’s income may be required to be included in the loan calculations regardless depending on the way your state’s community property laws are set up.

  29. I have a house paid for and I am looking for a F H A loan for $10 thousand or $15 thousand . According to bankers because I have not bought anything in the past 10 years I have no credit. is it possible to get a loan somewhere? Frankie Socia

    • Staff Writer says:

      FHA loan rules do permit cash out refinance transactions for homes that are paid for, but lender standards may vary and some financial institutions may not be willing to offer such loans.

  30. Sharon Ollie says:

    Hi I have been in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy 3 years thus June. I have not been discharged as if yet but am in dire need of finding a house because the one I reside in, the ceiling seems to be infested with rodents who has as of right now hadn’t decided to come in yet but are on the roof and in the ceiling every night. You can see why I need help. My credit score is a 624 and because of me filing bankruptcy, I have nothing saved up as a down payment. I am renting right now and have put almost 25,000 into something that’s not mine. I have been on my job for 8 years and make between 35,000- 40,000 a year. Please tell me someone can help me.

    • Staff Writer says:

      FHA loan rules in HUD 4000.1 state: “A Chapter 13 bankruptcy does not disqualify a Borrower from obtaining an FHA- insured Mortgage, if at the time of case number assignment at least 12 months of the pay-out period under the bankruptcy has elapsed. The Mortgagee must determine that during this time, the Borrower’s payment performance has been satisfactory and all required payments have been made on time; and the Borrower has received written permission from bankruptcy court to enter into the mortgage transaction.”

      FHA loans require a minimum 3.5% down payment which is separate from closing costs, UFMIP and other expenses.

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