what is the minimum score for an FHA loan??

Asked by Horlow , 19440 Fri Sep 26, 2008

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Mike Miller, , Collier County, FL
Tue Dec 30, 2008
The FHA is generally more flexible than conventional lenders in its qualifying guidelines. In fact, the FHA allows you to re-establish credit if:

two years have passed since a bankruptcy has been discharged
all judgments have been paid
any outstanding tax liens have been satisfied or appropriate arrangements have been made to establish a repayment plan with the IRS or state Department of Revenue
three years have passed since a foreclosure or a deed-in-lieu has been resolved
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Other/Just L…, , Fleming Fitch Grant, Holly Hill, FL
Fri Sep 26, 2008
Lender answer:

Credit scores are irrelevant to FHA insured loans. The only guideance that FHA provides on scores is that if a borrower has at leats one credit score, the application must be run through FHA's automated underwriting system (AUS) known as FHA Total Scorecard.

However, lenders are free to add their own restrictions on top of FHA's guidelines. Most lenders have set a minimum credit score of 580 for FHA insured loans regardless of AUS results. This is driven by investors - primarily Bank of America/Countrywide, which provide lines of credit to many small and medium lenders.

Some lenders, however, will fund FHA insured loans for scores below 580. Flgatstar Bank on the retail side will accept scores as low as 500.

Bear in mind, however, that the score is not the issue with underwriting an FHA insured loan - the content of the credit report is the key. A low score often indicates a borrower may have too many negative tradelines to qualify for an FHA insured loans unless substantial compensating factors are present - a large down payment and/or substantial cash reserves after closing are often used to compensate for poor credit.
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