Hello Indigo and thanks for your question.
In the past, the lenders may have used the "highest" FICO score to qualify their mortgagees, but today, lenders require that you have at least a 620 FICO "mid-score" or "middle score," based on the most recent FICO scores from all three credit reporting agencies--TransUnion, Equifax and Experian.
The middle score is not, as Cindy noted below, calculated by throwing out the "high" and "low" scores, but by finding the score exactly in the middle between the highest and lowest FICO scores. So, for example, if the high score is 680 and the low score is 610, then the mid-score would be 645 (680-610=70/2=35 then 35+610=645). The fact that your loan broker was trying to use only one credit reporting company's FICO score and using so many different scores, has me rather suspicious of his familiarity with the FHA loan process. It might be worthwhile to work with someone in your area who has contacts within the lending sources that can possibly close your deal in 30 days or less.
Unfortunately, if you cannot find someone with "connections" to help the loan progress sooner, most FHA mortgages currently require about 45 days to close escrow. While I can appreciate your frustration that the lender may not be able to do this in time for you to obtain an $8000 credit on your tax returns, hopefully, you are purchasing the home because you really like it, because it is a price you can afford, and because it will fit the needs of your family. The $8K is a great incentive, but it should not be the only reason you're purchasing a home.
Work with a qualified lender and good luck in the purchase of your home.
Grace Morioka, SRES, e-Pro
Area Pro Realty
San Jose, CA