Texas FHA loans may be an option for Texas home buyers who have little money saved up for down payment, as well as those with less-than-perfect credit records.
This article will walk you through the requirements and process of qualifying for FHA loans in Texas to help you decide whether it’s the correct route towards your dream of becoming a homeowner.
Qualifying for an FHA Loan in Texas
The FHA loan is a government-backed mortgage program that aims to make homeownership more accessible, not just in Texas but all around the country. You apply for an FHA loan more or less the same way you would with a conventional loan. Still, because the Federal Housing Administration guarantees FHA loans, it is more accessible to average and low-income households. Most lending firms originate FHA loans, but to be safe, always make sure you’re transacting with an FHA-approved lender.
To qualify for an FHA loan, you must meet the following requirements:
- A minimum FICO score of 580 is required (down payment will vary based on credit score).
- A 2-year employment history, preferably with the same line of work.
- Complete documentation of your income for the last two years.
- The maximum debt-to-income ratio is 45 percent, but some lenders may allow a higher DTI.
- The home must be used as the primary residence of the applicant.
- No bankruptcies or foreclosures for the last two years.
Texas FHA Loan Down Payment Requirements
The down payment requirement for an FHA loan is uniform across the country. A minimum down payment of 3.5 percent of the purchase price is required for an FHA loan. However, if your credit score is less than 580, the required down payment will be 10%.
If you are unable to make the required down payment, you can use gift funds from a relative or avail of an FHA down payment assistance program in Texas such as:
- My First Texas Home
- SETH – 5 Star Texas Advantage Program
- Homeownership Across Texas
- Homes For Texas Heroes Program
- Harris County Community Services Department DPA Program
Homebuyers who decide to take advantage of a down payment grant will be responsible for contacting and arranging for these programs independently. Lenders allow the use of funds from these programs to supplement your down payment but will not arrange for down payment assistance on your behalf.
FHA Loan Pre-Approval Process
If you’re planning to purchase your new home with an FHA loan, follow this FHA loan process for a higher chance of getting pre-approved.
- Ensure that you have the required down payment.
- Conduct a credit check and attempt to resolve any issues negatively affecting your scores.
- Obtain a copy of your tax returns for the past two years.
- Secure copies of your most recent pay stubs.
- Request a copy of your bank statements for the last two months.
Complete all these steps months before beginning your property search. It would also be best if you could speak to an FHA lender early in the process; they may be able to uncover ways to expedite your FHA approval.