Borrowers who have filed for bankruptcy, or who have had other financial difficulties resulting in negative credit, may have questions about the timing of their next home loan application.
We get many reader questions about this–some ask “When can I apply for a new loan?” or, “How long should I wait until I apply?” Others want to know if their credit scores are good enough, writing that they have scores within a certain range and whether those scores are enough to qualify.
Bankruptcy, foreclosure, and other negative-credit actions may require specific waiting periods before you can apply again. Some of these are dependent on circumstances, lender standards and other factors–there often is no one set answer for borrowers who meet certain parameters.
If you have these types of questions, one of the best things you can do is to call the FHA directly at their toll-free number: 1-800 CALL FHA. Ask to be referred to a HUD-approved housing counselor in your local area.
Housing counseling is basically “pre-purchase counseling” and can help answer important questions like these. More importantly, the timing of this counseling can be of huge importance. It can take well over 12 months in some cases to get ready for a new home loan. There are closing costs and a down payment to save up for, credit reports to review, and many other steps in the planning process that you will need to give adequate time to.
A housing counselor can help borrowers anticipate all of these things, and much more. Knowing what to expect in the home buying process really is half the battle for many people–if you don’t know what kind of FICO scores your lender might be looking for, or if you aren’t sure how much money in general you might need to close, a housing counselor will be able to help you look at some of these big-picture home buying issues in an objective way.
FHA home loans, like their conventional counterparts, require careful planning and research. You may not start out your house hunting journey as an expert in the process of buying a home, but with the help of a housing counselor you can learn enough to feel much more confident about the choices you’ll need to make.
Do you have questions about FHA home loans? Ask us in the comments section. All comments are held for review.