FHA mortgage insurance requires a Florida borrower to demonstrate a good repayment history of all debts. This history serves as the most useful guide in determining a Florida mortgage applicant’s willingness to repay credit obligations and serves as a model in predicting his/her future actions.
When analyzing a Florida mortgage applicant’s credit report, it is important to focus upon the general pattern of credit behavior rather than isolated unexpected temporary occurrences of late payments. Often times, Florida mortgage applicants will experience a period of financial difficulty in the past and does not necessarily translate into an unacceptable risk. Reasonable past explanations of the derogatory credit and evidence of offsetting factors (such as a new job or promotion with greater stability and pay, for example) will be necessary. All recent derogatory credit within the past 2 years must be explained, in writing, by the borrower.
The following is a brief synopsis of the credit underwriting guidelines for FHA mortgage loans:
Lack of credit history: If a Florida mortgage applicant does not have a minimum of 3 trade lines on their credit report, alternative forms of credit may be used. This would include items such as 12 months canceled rent checks, or verification of rent from a management company, letter from an electric, cell phone, cable, auto insurance payment history or utility bills, etc, providing proof of a 12 month on time payment history. Included credit obligations: Any installment loans such as student loans, car loans, or other debts with less than 10 months remaining does not need to be included when qualifying for a Florida FHA mortgage loan. However, consideration is given to a large debt of over $100 a month, regardless of the number of months remaining. Furthermore, if payments on auto leases with less than 10 months must be included in the qualifying ratios. The minimum payment on all revolving accounts (i.e. credit cards) is also factored in. If the borrower has an open revolving account without a balance, $10 per open account should be included when qualifying. Any loan where the Florida mortgage applicant has co-signed for another party is included with their debts unless the borrower can prove that the other party has made the payments on their own for a minimum of 12 months. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: Florida FHA mortgage lenders require a minimum of 2 years since the discharge of the Florida bankruptcy. An explanation of the Florida bankruptcy will be required. Furthermore, the Florida mortgage applicant should have re-established credit proceeding the bankruptcy with no late payments. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Florida FHA mortgage lenders will consider a borrower still paying on a Chapter 13 bankruptcy if the payments to the court have been made for a minimum of 1 year in a satisfactory manner (as verified with the courts) and with the approval of the court trustee. Federal Debts: A mortgage applicant is not eligible for a FHA loan if he/she is delinquent or in default on any federal debt (such as a HUD or VA mortgage, student loans, SBA loans or a tax lien against his/her property). Florida mortgage applicants can become eligible by bringing any delinquent accounts current, making satisfactory repayment arrangements with the creditor (generally a 3 month minimum history will be required), or paying the account in full. Judgments: Judgments must be paid or have 12 months of arranged payment history Collection Accounts: Collections do not need to be paid (LOX) needed Foreclosure: A Florida mortgage applicant who has had a property foreclosed upon, or who has given a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure within the previous 3 years, is generally not eligible for a Florida FHA mortgage loan. However, if it was the result of extenuating circumstances beyond the borrower’s control (such as the death of a spouse, loss of employment, or serious long-term illness, etc.) and the borrower has since re-established good credit, an exception may be granted. However, extenuating circumstances do not include the inability to sell a house when transferring from one area to another. Non-purchasing Spouse: If a married mortgage applicant is purchasing a property by himself/herself, the credit obligations of the spouse must be included with the application and will be factored in with the borrower’s credit obligations and used to determine the financial capacity of the borrower. Furthermore, the non-purchasing spouse may be required to sign a security instrument or documentation relinquishing all rights to the property.