In the past few years, the housing market has become much more challenging for first-time homebuyers to break into. Even with record low mortgage rates and an abundance of affordable real estate, the FHA loan requirements have become a lot stricter.
If you’re eager to finally purchase your own house by 2022—and meet those FHA loan requirements along the way—it’s time to get informed about what you need to succeed. If you are hoping to buy a home in 2022, you probably already know that it won’t be easy. In fact, many potential buyers face significant challenges when attempting to qualify for a mortgage loan today.
The FHA remains an excellent option for many aspiring homeowners who might not meet other lenders’ standards. That said, if you want to take out an FHA loan in 2022 and still remain eligible for that mortgage financing, you’ll need to understand how these two things intersect.
What is an FHA Loan?
If you’re unfamiliar with this form of mortgage financing, you can expect to see two primary benefits. First, the FHA loan is designed to make homeownership more accessible to people with a wide range of financial backgrounds. In fact, loan requirements are especially lenient for first-time homebuyers.
Second, this type of financing allows lenders to offer lower interest rates than they typically offer on conventional loans. For the vast majority of people, the FHA loan program is the way to go. It’s one of the only types of financing that allows you to use seller assistance as part of your down payment. It’s also the only financing option that lets you buy a house with a credit score as low as 580.
2022 FHA Loan Requirements
The FHA loan requirements have been tightening up across the board—especially for first-time buyers. If you were to apply for an FHA loan today, you’d need to meet a minimum required credit score of 580.
At the same time, however, the amount you can borrow will remain far below what you’d be able to get with a conventional loan. In 2022, the FHA loan requirements are expected to remain roughly the same, though you may see some additional tightening depending on the state of the housing market.
You’ll need to meet the following minimums in order to qualify for an FHA loan. A credit score of 580 or higher, liquid assets of at least $5,000, and a debt-to-income ratio of 32% or lower. It may take some work to meet these requirements due to the current economic situation in most households, but this loan is the way to go.
FHA Debt to Income Ratio Requirements
The debt-to-income ratio is a way of measuring your capacity to take on new debt. In this case, we’re talking about your new mortgage loan. In order to qualify for an FHA loan in 2022, your prospective monthly mortgage payment (including taxes and insurance) must not exceed 32% of your gross monthly income.
FHA requires this information to be calculated using your projected income for the next two years. That’s a higher requirement than many other types of financing. That said, the FHA is typically more flexible when it comes to what goes into the calculation. For example, you don’t need to include the payments on your current debts—only those payments you’ll have to make going forward.
FHA Credit Score Requirements
If you have a great credit score, you can qualify for a lower interest rate. If your credit score is below average, you can expect to pay a higher interest rate. Credit score is one of the biggest factors impacting your FHA loan requirements.
For example, let’s say you’re looking to buy a $300,000 home. If your credit score is 700 and the lender offers a 4% interest rate, the monthly mortgage payment for the loan would be $1,603. If your credit score, however, is only 600, the lender would typically need to charge a higher interest rate. That could boost the monthly payment to $1,830. The difference in price between the two houses? Just $227.
FHA Down Payment Requirements
One of the most significant FHA loan requirements is the down payment amount. The minimum down payment for an FHA loan is 3.5% of the home’s purchase price. No other type of financing allows you to put down such a small amount.
That’s particularly helpful for first-time homebuyers who are likely to have a lower income and less savings than more established households. That said, you’ll have to make sure you meet at least one of these conditions in order to use seller assistance as part of your down payment.
Important Changes to Know for 2022
While this information details the current FHA loan requirements, it’s important to note that the FHA may tighten these standards even further as the housing market continues to improve. Furthermore, FHA loan requirements may vary from state to state based on the health of individual markets.
For example, if you’re applying for an FHA loan in New York, you’ll need a minimum credit score of 620. In Hawaii, the minimum score is 680. These are the current minimum FHA loan requirements. They could change, but for now, if you can meet them, you’ll be able to take out an FHA loan and get a great interest rate too.
Homeownership is one of the biggest milestones you can achieve in life. It’s also something that many people are eager to achieve as quickly as possible. If you’ve been putting off your homeownership dreams due to your low credit score or financial situation, you may have been thinking that you’ll never be able to achieve homeownership.
That’s why it’s important to know the FHA loan requirements for 2022. If you’re able to meet those minimum requirements and get approved for an FHA loan, you’ll be able to get into a house of your own faster than you might have thought.