Credit requirements for FHA Loan are comparatively less stringent as compared to
- Conventional Mortgage Loan
- VA Mortgage Loan
- USDA Home Loan
The first thing to understand is that there is no specific score requirement specified by FHA. The loans are underwritten based on overall credit profile of a borrower. Most lenders use automated systems like Desktop Underwriter by Fannie Mae or Loan Prospector by Freddie Mac, along with investor specified credit score requirements, to determine eligibility. If the loan is auto approved by DU or LP and score requirements are met then other factors like lates (Not Mortgage Lates), collections, charge offs are accepted, relatively easily, by underwriters. Generally a prospective Buyer may not like to pay charge offs or old collections and this may be possible on an auto approval.
Judgments and Tax Liens
Judgments and Tax Liens are a different ball game since these affect title. A 12 month history from IRS may be accepted by certain lenders and prospective Buyers may not be asked to clear the entire outstanding tax Lien in one go. Judgments normally need to be paid.
Credit Scores 640 + or 620 +
Credit requirements required by majority FHA Home Loan Lenders has already been increased to 640 for the past few months now. The earlier score requirements were 620. There are some lenders who will finance borrowers with 620 + fico. There are no additional pricing hits for FICOs being below 640 and above 620.
Credit Scores Below 620
Few FHA Home Loan lenders will accept such borrowers, if they have NO NEW lates in the last 12 months. Any new collections or charge offs opened as a result of lates before the last 12 months are considered OK.
No Active TradeLines or No Scores
The same principle applies. Some FHA Home Loan lenders will accept such borrowers if they have NO NEW lates in the last 12 months. Any new collections or charge-offs opened as a result of lates before the last 12 months are considered OK only if Non Traditional credit can be established. Non Traditional Credit for 12 months can be documented in the form of Rent payments, Telephone/ Cell phone payments, Electricity, Water, Garbage, Cable, Storage or any other payments made consistently for the last 12 months. Generally a combination of 4 Traditional or Non traditional lines are required.
Prospective Home Buyers should read comprehensive Lending information on FHA Loans, VA Mortgage Loans, USDA Loans, Conventional Loans.