May 27, 2020

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FHA Reader Question: FHA Loans For Second-Time Home Buyers


There are many myths and misconceptions about FHA home loans. One of them is brought up in our latest reader question in the comments section. A reader asks, “Do we have to be first time home buyers to qualify for an FHA loan?”

The simple fact of the matter is, anyone who meets the financial qualifications can apply for an FHA home loan.

You do NOT have to be a first time home buyer to qualify, and the financial qualifications include having a steady, dependable income that is likely to continue. Your debt-to-income ratio plays a part in loan approval, so potential borrowers who worry their bills are too high to qualify should contact the FHA or the loan officer about the rules covering debt/income ratios.

Borrowers who are second-time buyers are not penalized for not being in the “first time home buyer” category. Your ability to qualify for an FHA loan has much more to do with your FICO score, repayment history and other financial qualifications than whether or not you’ve owned a home before.

Borrowers should know that single-family, new purchase FHA loans do require you to occupy the home you buy with the loan as your primary residence or “main address”. This means borrowers should not expect to get approved for a single family FHA loan intended as an investment property. You can’t buy without intending to occupy under the FHA single family loan program.

Borrowers can qualify or pre-qualify online at (a private company, not a government website) or get more information about the process and how it works.

Do you have questions about FHA home loans or FHA refinance loans? Ask us in the comments section.

Joe Wallace - Staff Writer

By Joe Wallace

May 16, 2013

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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