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How to Get an FHA Loan

The Federal Housing Administration, FHA for short, provides mortgage insurance on loans made by FHA-approved lenders throughout the U.S. Here's how to get your FHA-insured loan.


  • Step 1: Analyze debt-to-income ratio Analyze your debt-to-income ratio. Typically any debt load above 41 to 45 percent is risky for an FHA loan, though lenders vary on exact amounts. FHA will require two years of employment without a decline in pay.
  • Step 2: Check your credit Check your credit, income, and rent history – even parking tickets that might show up on a credit report. Fix whatever you can so your record is clean.
  • TIP: Paying rent to parents to live in their home does not count as a rental record.
  • Step 3: Have a 580 credit score Boost your odds with a 580 or better credit score. You must have perfect credit since any bankruptcy, which must be more than two years old, or three for foreclosures.
  • TIP: Though they vary by county, loan amounts from FHA have risen markedly in recent years.
  • Step 4: Find an FHA lender Find an FHA lender in the newspaper, on the internet, or in the phone book. Bring the above information to qualify and find out how much house you can get.
  • Step 5: Provide the down payment Provide the down payment – as little as 3 to 5 percent of the home price – and wait for the inspections to follow.
  • FACT: Did you know? FHA has insured more than 34 million properties in its 75 years.

You Will Need

  • A low debt load
  • Two years of employment
  • Good credit
  • An FHA-approved lender
  • A down payment
  • Mortgage insurance

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