Credit: To qualify for an FHA mortgage with a 3.5 percent down payment, an applicant must have a credit score of 580. Applicants with scores between 500 and 579 are required to pay 10 percent. Scores below 500 are generally ineligible, although the FHA will make allowances under certain circumstances.
Down payment: The down payment on an FHA mortgage must come from an acceptable source including, but not limited to, personal savings, gifts and grants. Parties that would benefit from the transaction, such as a seller or lender, cannot provide the down payment.
Income: Documentation of employment and income such as pay stubs, W-2 forms and tax returns must be presented to lenders as proof that you can afford to make payments on your FHA loan.
CAIVRS clearance: The Credit Alert Interactive Verification Reporting System (CAIVRS) is a government database that keeps a record of anyone who has defaulted on a government loan, owes back taxes or carries other federal debt. If you are listed in CAIVRS, your access to an FHA loan will be restricted until your debt is cleared.
Type of residence: FHA loans can only be used to buy a primary home for yourself or a family member. Secondary and vacation homes are ineligible for FHA mortgages.