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Mortgage  Question?
Can you qualify FHA Mortgage low or no credit score?

I’m applying for an FHA loan and checked my credit score. I have not used much credit so I have a low credit score with two of the credit bureaus and no score with the third bureau. How can I fix this and how does this affect my ability to get approved for a mortgage?

Michael Jensen, Mortgage and Finance Guru
, Mortgage and Finance Guru

It sounds like you have low / no credit scores because you have not used credit historically rather than as a result of a negative credit event such as foreclosure or bankruptcy. Before you speak with lenders there are a couple of points to consider. First, familiarize yourself with how your credit score impacts the mortgage process as reviewed on FREEandCLEAR. Second, in addition to the FHA Mortgage Program there are other mortgage programs that apply to borrowers with challenging credit profiles including the Fannie Mae HomeReady Mortgage Program and the NACA Mortgage Program. The NACA Mortgage Program uses a character-based credit review process as opposed to a credit score and with the HomeReady Program lenders may submit a nontraditional credit profile for borrowers with limited or no credit history. We review both programs in detail on FREEandCLEAR. Finally, it can take three months or longer for the steps you are taking to improve your credit profile to actually be reflected by your credit score so it may take some time before your score increases across all three credit bureaus. You can monitor your credit score for free without it hurting your score on sites like CreditKarma.

We recommend that you contact multiple lenders to review your specific credit situation and ask them about the FHA and HomeReady Programs (the NACA Program is only available directly through NACA). Additionally, when you speak with lenders make sure that you request that they do not pull your credit report until you are ready to apply for the mortgage. When a lender pulls your credit report it counts as a hard inquiry which lowers your credit score. The lenders should be able to provide personalized guidance without pulling your credit report and may also offer tips on how to improve your credit profile before you apply for a mortgage.

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About the author

Michael Jensen, Mortgage and Finance Guru

Michael is the co-founder of FREEandCLEAR. Michael possesses extensive knowledge about mortgages and finance and has been writing about mortgages for nearly a decade. His work has been featured in leading national and industry publications. More about Michael

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