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Who Qualifies For FHA Loans?

Who qualifies for FHA loans?

Who qualifies for an FHA mortgage loan? There are lots of misconceptions about this-some people think FHA mortgage loans are only for first-time home buyers, others might wrongly think FHA loans are only for people who can’t afford a conventional mortgage.

But the truth is much different-FHA loans require borrowers to financially qualify, but there are not restrictions on who can apply when it comes to past home ownership, “maximum income” or other factors.

FHA Loans Are For First-Time Home Buyers AND Those Purchasing Homes Again

That’s correct. FHA mortgage loans don’t, under the basic rules of the program itself, favor first time home buyers with different terms than those who are purchasing another home. Second, or even third-time home buyers can get the same benefits of an FHA mortgage as first-time buyers.

What may confuse some is that financial institutions may offer some kind of advantage for first-time buyers. But that’s a decision your lender makes rather than a feature of the FHA program itself.

So first-time buyers and repeat buyers can apply, but with one caveat; FHA mortgages are for owner-occupiers only. You cannot purchase property you don’t intend to live in as your primary residence with an FHA mortgage.

FHA Loans Are For All Who Financially Qualify

FHA home loans, FHA refinance loans, and FHA reverse mortgages are all intended for borrowers who meet minimum FICO score requirements, have stable and reliable forms of income, and who are generally judged to be a good credit risk.

Financial qualifications are the criteria for FHA loan approval. There is no fixed “minimum income” amount for an FHA loan. Instead, borrowers have their income compared with their financial obligations to see if the ratio of debt to income allows the borrower to afford the loan.

Also, there is no “maximum income” limit for FHA loans. FHA home loans are not specifically targeted at one type of borrower or borrowers in a specific income bracket. All who financially qualify are potential FHA borrowers.

FHA Loans Are For Those Who Want New Homes, But Also For Those Who Need To Refinance

FHA mortgages for new purchases are available for condos, mobile homes, manufactured homes, even new construction properties and “proposed construction” homes. But FHA loans also give the borrower the ability to refinance, whether out of a non-FHA loan into an FHA mortgage, or FHA-to-FHA. You can apply for cash-out refinancing, FHA-to-FHA Streamline Refinances, no cash-out refi loans, and rehab loans (both new purchase and refinance loans).

Talk to a loan officer about your home loan or refinance loan needs-you may be surprised at the options an FHA loan can provide.

Joe Wallace - Staff Writer

By Joe Wallace

July 7, 2017

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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