December 11, 2019

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FHA Loan Refinance Rules: A Reader Question

2015-32A reader asks, Hello.. i have a question. We are first time home buyer through FHA loan. How long we can refinance after our purchase?

The FHA issued a mortgagee letter back in 2011 updating its policies for minimum wait times or seasoning period for borrowers to refinance after the original purchase. The minimum wait time may vary depending on the lender, the type of refinance loan you want to apply for, and other factors. For example, a borrower applying for FHA Streamline Refinance Loans, according to FHA Mortgagee Letter 2011-11, is subject to the following requirements:

– The mortgagor must have made at least six payments on the FHA- insured mortgage that is being refinanced, and

– At least six full months must have passed since the first payment due date of the refinanced mortgage, and

– At least 210 days have passed from the closing date of the mortgage being refinanced.

To see how this works, the FHA official site provides an example. If a borrower’s loan has an FHA case number on a loan closed on or before December 1, “…and if mortgagor’s first payment on that mortgage was due on January 1, the mortgagee may request assignment of an FHA case number for the refinancing mortgage no earlier than July 1.”

In some cases, the FHA requires a borrower to also have an “acceptable payment history”. This is true in the case of FHA cash-out refinancing loans and your payment record will be examined along with the length of time you have had the loan for a cash out refi application.

Again, these are FHA loan minimums–a lender may have longer wait periods required depending on a variety of factors. It’s best to discuss your specific needs with a loan officer to determine what the waiting period might be in your individual circumstances.

Do you have questions about FHA home loans? Ask us in the comments section. All questions and comments are reviewed prior to being published on the site.

Joe Wallace - Staff Writer

By Joe Wallace

April 13, 2015

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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