Won't Affect Credit. 100% FREE. Take 1 Mimute to Start.

Today's FHA Rates 5.4%5.7% APR

Choose loan type

* Advertising and Licensing Disclosures


Compare FHA Loan Offers

Looking into an FHA Loan? An FHA Loan is provided by lenders and backed by the Federal Housing Administration. This type of loan is beneficial to first time home buyers for many reasons including:

Lower Down Payment

You may be able to buy a home with a lower down payment.

Why would I want a lower down payment?
Lower down payment Reduced upfront cost
Piggy bank Keep some savings for emergencies

Easier Credit Requirements

FHA loans have lower credit score requirements.

How does this help me?
Low credit score Acquire a mortgage with a lower credit score
Increase credit score Get an FHA Loan to build credit

First Time Homebuyers

Lower down payments and credit score requirements make FHA Loans a popular financing option for first time homebuyers.

How do FHA loans help first time home buyers?
snapping fingers to show ease Easier credit requirements
Lower down payment Lower down payment requirements

Frequently Asked FHA Questions

Have a question about getting a FHA loan? Here's some of our frequently asked questions related to the product. Once you're comfortable, use our free service to have lenders compete for your business.

Eligibility for an FHA loan typically requires a credit score of at least 580, a steady income source, U.S. citizenship or permanent residency, and the property being your primary residence. A minimum down payment of 3.5% is usually required, with higher down payments for lower credit scores.

Eligibility is subject to change so be sure to check with an approved lender to know if you qualify for an FHA loan.

A major benefit of FHA Loans is they can normally be acquired with a lower credit score than what is normally required to obtain a mortgage. You are also more likely to qualify for an FHA loan with a lower down payment.

To apply for an FHA loan, you'll need to find an FHA-approved lender, complete a loan application, and provide the necessary documentation, such as income verification and credit history.

FHA loans include specific property requirements and habitability standards. An appraiser will inspect a house to deem it eligible for an FHA Loan or not before allowing the property to be funded with an FHA Loan.

Property requirements for FHA loans are subject to change, so it’s vital to consult an FHA-approved lender for the most current information about eligibility.

FHA Loans offer many benefits; primarily to first time home buyers. This includes but is not limited to:

  • lower down payment requirements
  • Lower credit score requirements
  • Flexible income requirements
There may be other programs which can vary by state. Be sure to look into what the prospective state you intend buying in has to offer for first time homebuyers.

Ready to find your rate?

Rates as Low As


FHA Loan - Your Path to Homeownership

If you've dreamt of owning a home but thought it was out of reach, an FHA loan might be the key to making that dream a reality. This comprehensive guide, brought to you by FreeRateUpdate, will demystify the world of FHA loans. We'll explore what they are, how they work, their advantages, and the steps to qualify for this government-backed mortgage program.

  • 4.7 out of 5
  • TrustPilot
    16232 Verified Reviews
  • Providing Affordable Mortgages and Award-Winning Client Service for Over 30 yrs.
  • Highest in Customer Satisfaction in the US - J.D. Power

See Rocket Mortgage Deal

View Rates
  • 4.9 out of 5
  • GooglePlace
    104 Verified Reviews
  • FHA, VA, Conventional, USDA Loans
  • Competitive Mortgage Rates & Low Costs
  • Licensed Mortgage Bankers in 50 states
  • Home Equity & Debt Consolidation Options
  • Zero Closing Cost Options!

See Loan Depot Deal

View Rates
  • 4.8 out of 5
  • GooglePlace
    437 Verified Reviews
  • FDIC Bank founded in 1919
  • Refinance to get cash out up to 90% LTV
  • Loans Close in 30 Days
  • BBB A+, Top 20 in US
  • FHA, VA , Conv, Bank Statement and DSCR loans
  • NMLS 423028 Equal Housing lender

See Magnolia Bank Deal

View Rates

FHA Loan Requirements

Credit Score

FHA loan requirements regarding credit scores are more lenient than those of conventional loans. While conventional mortgages often require a minimum credit score of 620 or higher, FHA loans can be accessible to borrowers with credit scores as low as 500. However, to take advantage of the low down payment option (as little as 3.5%), you'll typically need a minimum credit score of 580.

Down Payment

One of the significant benefits of FHA loans is the low down payment requirement. As mentioned earlier, you can secure an FHA loan with as little as 3.5% down. This is a game-changer for many first-time homebuyers who may not have substantial savings.

Employment and Income

FHA lenders typically require applicants to have a stable employment history and sufficient income to cover their monthly expenses. You'll need to provide proof of income, such as pay stubs, W-2 forms, or tax returns, to demonstrate your ability to repay the loan and still pay your basic bills.

Debt-to-Income Ratio

Lenders will evaluate your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio to assess your ability to manage your mortgage payments alongside existing debts. In general, a DTI ratio of 43% or lower is preferred, although exceptions may be made in certain cases.

Property Eligibility

The property you intend to purchase must meet FHA requirements as well. This includes having an FHA appraisal to ensure the home meets safety and livability standards and establishes the market value of the home.

What Is an FHA Loan?

An FHA loan, or Federal Housing Administration loan, is a government-backed mortgage program aimed at promoting homeownership, particularly among first-time buyers and those with credit challenges. The FHA, which is part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), insures these loans, reducing the risk for lenders and allowing them to offer more favorable terms to borrowers.

  • 4.5 out of 5
  • TrustPilot
    675 Verified Reviews
  • View Best Rates & Costs
  • INC 500 Award 5x
  • BBB A+ Rating, Est. 2009
  • NMLS Licensed, Nationwide
  • Conventional, VA, FHA, USDA, Harp
  • Home Equity & Cash Out Options
  • Zero Point Options!

See FreeRateUpdate Deal

View Rates
  • Home Equity Lines of Credit
  • Home Equity Loans
  • Many Options to Choose
  • BBB A+
  • Alternative Cash Out

See HomeEquityChoice Deal

View Rates

FHA Loan Limits

FHA loan limits vary by location and are determined based on the median home prices in a specific area. These limits are updated annually and can influence the maximum loan amount you can qualify for with an FHA loan. It's essential to check the current FHA loan limits for your area to understand your borrowing capacity.

FHA vs Conventional Loan

Comparing FHA loans to conventional loans can help you determine which mortgage option is right for you. Here are some key differences between the two:

Down Payment

As mentioned earlier, FHA loans typically have lower down payment requirements compared to conventional loans. Conventional loans often require a down payment of at least 5% to 20%, depending on the lender and the borrower's creditworthiness.

Credit Score

Conventional loans generally have stricter credit score requirements, often necessitating a minimum score of 620 or higher. FHA loans, as mentioned, can be accessible to borrowers with lower credit scores.

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

Conventional loans may require private mortgage insurance (PMI) if the down payment is less than 20%. FHA loans, on the other hand, always require mortgage insurance premiums (MIP), regardless of the down payment amount. This includes both an upfront premium at closing and an annual premium added to the monthly mortgage payment.

Interest Rates

Interest rates for FHA loans are typically competitive, but they may vary from lender to lender. Conventional loans may offer more rate options, including fixed and adjustable-rate mortgages.

FHA Loan Interest Rate

The interest rate on your FHA loan will impact your monthly mortgage payments and the overall cost of homeownership. FHA loan interest rates are influenced by various factors, including your credit score, the lender's policies, and prevailing market conditions. It's essential to shop around and compare rates from different lenders to secure the most favorable terms.

FHA Loan Down Payment

The down payment requirement for an FHA loan is one of its most attractive features, especially for first-time homebuyers. With a minimum down payment of 3.5%, you can become a homeowner while conserving your savings for other expenses related to your new home.

FHA Loan Qualifications

To qualify for an FHA loan, you must meet certain criteria, including:

  1. Credit Score: While FHA loans are more forgiving of lower credit scores, a minimum credit score of 500 to 580 is typically required, depending on the down payment amount.

  2. Employment and Income: Lenders will evaluate your employment history and income to ensure you can afford the mortgage payments.

  3. Debt-to-Income Ratio: Your debt-to-income ratio should generally be 43% or lower, although some flexibility may apply.

  4. Property Eligibility: The property you intend to purchase must meet FHA requirements, including the safety and livability standards of an FHA appraisal.

FHA Loan Income Requirements

To qualify for an FHA loan, you must have a reliable source of income that demonstrates your ability to repay the mortgage. This income can come from various sources, including employment, self-employment, retirement benefits, or other verifiable sources.

An FHA loan is a government-backed mortgage program designed to make homeownership more accessible. It offers benefits such as a low down payment, lenient credit requirements, and competitive interest rates. Understanding the FHA loan requirements, including credit score, income, and property eligibility, is essential when considering this option. With the help of an FHA loan calculator, you can assess your affordability and make an informed decision on your path to homeownership. FreeRateUpdate is here to introduce you to loan officers who will compete for your business and help you achieve your homeownership goals.

Looking for more information?

Check out our free resource center to find more information on products you may be looking for. Once you’re ready, use our free tool to find a mortgage lender.

More Resources