FHA Loan Requirements for 2024

FHA loan requirements include a minimum credit score of 500 as well as limits on your total monthly debt load.
Abby Badach Doyle
Kate Wood
By Kate Wood and  Abby Badach Doyle 
Updated
Edited by Alice Holbrook Reviewed by Michelle Blackford

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Nerdy takeaways
  • FHA mortgage insurance is required, but with a down payment of 10% or more, it can be canceled after 11 years.

  • The property must undergo an FHA appraisal to meet government health and safety standards.

  • If your credit score is 580 or higher, you can make a down payment as low as 3.5%.

  • For credit scores between 500 and 579, the minimum down payment required is 10%.

  • A debt-to-income ratio of 50% or below is ideal, but exceptions can be made.

Nerdy takeaways
  • FHA mortgage insurance is required, but with a down payment of 10% or more, it can be canceled after 11 years.

  • The property must undergo an FHA appraisal to meet government health and safety standards.

  • If your credit score is 580 or higher, you can make a down payment as low as 3.5%.

  • For credit scores between 500 and 579, the minimum down payment required is 10%.

  • A debt-to-income ratio of 50% or below is ideal, but exceptions can be made.

Mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration have different requirements from other types of home loans. It’s often easier to qualify for an FHA loan than a conventional loan — for example, if you have less-than-perfect credit or a past bankruptcy.

You don’t need to be a first-time home buyer to qualify for an FHA loan. However, FHA loans are popular with first-time home buyers because they couple low down payment requirements with more lenient standards for credit scores and existing debt. Some conventional mortgages allow down payments as low as 3%, but to qualify, you’d likely need to meet stricter credit score and debt-to-income ratio requirements than the minimums set by the FHA.

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