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Who Is Eligible For FHA Loans?

Some potential FHA loan applicants wonder if they are eligible to apply for an FHA insured mortgage loan.

Some borrowers wonder if they are eligible because they are naturalized citizens or have applied for citizenship. Others aren’t sure they will qualify because of a lack of credit history or other issues.

Fortunately, the FHA loan rules for eligibility are clearly spelled out in a document called HUD 4155.1. This document contains a variety of rules and instructions for participating FHA lenders. For example, HUD 4155.1 tells lenders not to deny an FHA loan application simply because the borrower has a limited or non-traditional credit history.

It also clearly states who is basically eligible to apply for an FHA mortgage. HUD 4155.1 states, that the FHA insures mortgages made to those “with valid Social Security numbers (SSN)” but also insures loans for state and local governments and “approved nonprofit organizations”.

When it comes to having a valid Social Security Number, the FHA provides an exception to this rule, stating, “Employees of the World Bank, foreign embassies, etc., may not be required to have an SSN. Conclusive evidence of this exception must be provided.”

The FHA also states there is no maximum age limit for loan approval, which means as long as a borrower is financially qualified for an FHA insured mortgage, their age is not a factor. The only exception to this is that the borrower must be of the legal minimum age to sign binding contracts in the state where the property to be purchased is located.

The FHA can’t issue a minimum age rule stating a specific age since the legal age of consent varies from state to state. As long as the borrower is legally able or considered competent to sign according to the laws of a particular state, he or she is eligible to apply for an FHA insured mortgage.

Joe Wallace - Staff Writer

By Joe Wallace

December 28, 2011

Joe Wallace has been specializing in military and personal finance topics since 1995. His work has appeared on Air Force Television News, The Pentagon Channel, ABC and a variety of print and online publications. He is a 13-year Air Force veteran and a member of the Air Force Public Affairs Alumni Association. He was Managing editor for for (8) years and is currently the Associate Editor for

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About was launched in 2010 by seasoned mortgage professionals wanting to educate homebuyers about the guidelines for FHA insured mortgage loans. Popular FHA topics include credit requirements, FHA loan limits, mortgage insurance premiums, closing costs and many more. The authors have written thousands of blogs specific to FHA mortgages and the site has substantially increased readership over the years and has become known for its “FHA News and Views”.

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