Four FHA Qualifying Guidelines to Consider Before Purchasing a House

Since 1934 the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has guaranteed over 34 million loans. Congress created FHA as part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through the Great Depression. FHA does not actually lend any money; it disturbs the lenders who offer FHA loans against losses. Lenders who offer FHA-insured loans must underwrite the loans to FHA guidelines. In return for the insurance homeowners pay both an upfront mortgage insurance premium when the loan closes and monthly mortgage insurance premiums to FHA.

Credit History

FHA does not require perfect credit. Borrowers may have some blemishes, provided that they are not major. FHA requires a minimum credit score of 580. The middle score of the three supplied by the credit bureaus would be the one which is going to be used: if the 3 credit scores are 620, 680 and 619, the 620 score is going to be used. Even with a 580 credit rating, current major derogatory credit like bankruptcy, foreclosure or conclusions can get the loan to be declined. FHA requires that borrowers have good credit history.


Lenders use the gross monthly earnings, the amount before taxes or deductions, to ascertain the borrower’s ability to pay back the loan. The gross income is compared to the minimum required payments for debt. This debt does not include matters like utilities or health insurance but does include car payments, credit card payments and other loan payments. Lenders calculate the total monthly debt liability by adding the minimum monthly payments into the monthly payment, including property taxes, hazard insurance and mortgage insurance. FHA requires the total amount of payments to be equivalent to or less than 43% of their gross monthly earnings.

Down Payment

FHA requires that home buyers invest at least 3.5% to the home at close, possibly as closing costs or as down payments. FHA allows the funds to come from many different places. The home buyer can receive a gift from family, use private funds or even obtain down payment assistance by a nonprofit or government service. FHA also makes it possible for the seller to pay the closing costs provided that the amount does not exceed 6 percent of the purchase price.


FHA insures homes. The home can be a single-family home, two-, three- or home, town home or condominium. FHA will insure manufactured homes. This property’s appraisal must encourage the home’s sales price, or the loan amount could be reduced. Homes must meet codes and all county regulations.

See related