March 30, 2020

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Who Qualifies For FHA Loans?

Who Qualifies For FHA Loans?

Whether you’re interested in building a house from the ground up on your own lot or you need a mobile home or condo unit, there is an FHA home loan for you. Who qualifies for these mortgages and why?

FHA Loans For First-Time Home Buyers

FHA mortgages are open to first-time homebuyers without perfect credit. You can apply for an FHA home loan even with past credit mistakes; the best thing to do is to review your past credit and make sure your home loan application is turned in once you have a full year of on-time payments on your credit record.

First-time borrowers should know an FHA mortgage, even an FHA One-Time Close construction loan is within their reach thanks to low 3.5% down payment requirements and the ability to get down payment help from approved sources.

Perks For First-Time Home Buyers?

First-time homebuyers aren’t given any preference under FHA loan rules, but your loan officer may have a special deal for new customers, new home buyers, first-time buyers, etc. Local down payment assistance programs may also offer something that favors the first-time borrower. But the FHA itself does not offer such provisions.

FHA Home Loans For Experienced Home Owners

Some assume that FHA mortgages are not permitted for those who have borrowed or owned homes before.

FHA mortgages ARE open to those who have borrowed or bought before, with identical credit requirements and down payment rules. You are NOT PENALIZED for having owned a home before, for having “too much income”, or other common misconceptions about FHA mortgages.

No Restriction On The Type Of Mortgage You Can Apply For

What we mean by “No Restriction” is basically that if a participating FHA lender offers a certain kind of FHA home loan product, there is no requirement for you to be a first-time buyer to apply for that FHA mortgage.

All financially qualified applicants can apply for a loan regardless of their status as a new borrower or a repeat customer.

But there IS a catch of sorts; FHA home loan rules required you to occupy the property you buy. No investment property purchases are permitted with an FHA Single-Family Home Loan you use to buy a house, condo, mobile home, etc.

If you buy a home with an FHA loan, you should expect at least one person obligated on the loan to live there as the full-time residence.

That doesn’t mean you cannot buy a multi-unit home (FHA loans allow as many as four living units) and rent out the unused units–that is permitted as long as the owner also occupies the property.

Are you interested in learning more about an FHA mortgage loan? You can full out an online form to get started.

Joe Wallace - Staff Writer

By Joe Wallace

December 5, 2019

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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