No Changes to FHA Credit Scores in 2022 (So Far, Anyway)

We recently reviewed the latest version of HUD Handbook 4000.1, to see if there have been any important changes that will affect borrowers in 2022. As it turns out, FHA credit score requirements in 2022 will likely remain the same as they’ve been for the past few years.

Here is a quick overview of those guidelines:

  • You need a score of at least 500 for basic eligibility.
  • You need a 580 or higher to qualify for the 3.5% down payment.
  • On top of that, lenders can establish their own requirements.

To date, no changes have been announced regarding FHA credit requirements in 2022. So the two thresholds mentioned above will likely remain in effect for the foreseeable future.

FHA Credit Scores in 2022: No Change Expected

FHA loans are popular among first-time home buyers, as well as those with credit problems and/or a lack of down-payment funds. Generally speaking, it’s easier to qualify for an FHA loan than a conventional mortgage. That’s because the federal government guarantees these products, to protect lenders from default-related losses.

Like most types of mortgages, FHA loans have credit score requirements for borrowers. The minimum requirements are set by the Federal Housing Administration, and its parent organization the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

But mortgage lenders can establish their own credit score requirements for FHA loans, and these might be higher (more strict) compared to the government’s guidelines.

FHA guidelines change from time to time. For instance, the so-called “loan limits” assigned to this program sometimes go up from one year to another to keep up with rising home prices.

But when it comes to FHA credit score requirements for 2022, we expect no changes or revisions. If HUD had planned to change these criteria for next year, they probably would have announced it already.

This means that the standards from 2021 will likely carry over into next year, without any changes.

Note: If federal housing officials do change the FHA credit score requirements sometime in 2022, we will update this page to reflect those adjustments. But for now, the status quo prevails.

Here Are the Current Minimums

The table below was adapted from HUD’s Single Family Housing Policy Handbook, also known as Handbook 4000.1. It shows the minimum credit score for FHA eligibility in 2021. Again, we expect these guidelines to remain in place for 2022 as well.

If your score is…Then you are…
580 or highereligible for maximum financing (96.5% LTV)
between 500 and 579limited to a maximum LTV of 90%
499 or lowernot eligible for an FHA-insured mortgage loan

Not familiar with the FHA’s mortgage insurance program? A little hazy on credit scores and how they work? Here’s a quick overview to bring you up to speed.

FHA loans — Through the Federal Housing Administration’s home loan program, borrowers can obtain a mortgage that’s insured by the federal government. The actual funding is provided by a lender in the private sector, as with any other type of mortgage. It is the government backing that makes FHA loans unique. The insurance protects the lender from financial losses resulting from borrower default.

Credit scores — This three-digit number is based on information found within a consumer’s credit report. The reports themselves compile information pertaining to the repayment of loans and credit accounts. That data gets put through a computerized scoring system to produce a numerical score. The FICO credit score is commonly used by mortgage lenders. The FICO scoring range goes from 300 to 850. A higher number can increase your chance of getting approved for financing.

When you apply for an FHA loan, the lender will check your credit score to see how you’ve borrowed and repaid money in the past. They will base their lending decision partly on this three-digit number. But there are other important criteria as well, including your income and overall debt level.

We’ll Keep You Posted

As we mentioned in a separate article, HUD did announce some FHA policy changes for 2022. But most of those changes relate to mortgage lenders and the way they process these loans. From a borrower’s perspective, there have not been any notable revisions to the FHA program in recent months.

One change that we could see next year has to do with loan limits. We expect the Federal Housing Administration to increase the maximum amount for FHA-insured mortgages. These limits vary by county and are based on home prices. And home prices have risen sharply over the past year.

We’ll keep you posted on that development. The key takeaway here is that (thus far) there have been no changes to FHA credit score requirements in 2022.

Disclaimers: This information has been provided for educational purposes only. We are not mortgage lenders. Only a mortgage lender can tell you whether or not you meet their guidelines. Furthermore, we encourage readers to continue their research well beyond this website. The credit-score rules mentioned in this article were based on guidelines issued by the Federal Housing Administration and HUD.