Wells Fargo Lowers Credit Score Requirement for FHA Loans


The nation’s top mortgage lender has lowered the minimum credit score required for an FHA loan, according to American Banker.

Going forward, the bank is accepting FHA loan applications from borrowers with credit scores as low as 500, though they must come up with a 10 percent down payment and sport a maximum debt-to-income ratio of 31 percent.

That seems like a pretty safe bet, given the fact that home prices have likely seen bottom or are relatively close to bottoming out.

Previously, Wells only accepted FHA loans from borrowers with credit scores of 600 and upwards.

The move was made following pressure from HUD, which oversees FHA lending, along with affordable housing advocates, largely because FHA loans are intended to serve the underserved, not everyday Joes.

Back in November, Wells and other top lenders were actually raising minimum credit score requirements on FHA loans…

It is believed that loans originated via mortgage brokers and correspondent lenders still carry harsher underwriting standards, with the minimum credit score 620 or 640.

At the end of the third quarter of 2010, just 3.8 percent of FHA loans had scores below 620 or no credit score, compared to 50.4 percent as of the end of 2008.

Back in mid-2010, the FHA announced a minimum credit score of 500 on all loan programs, with a 580 score needed to qualify for the flagship 3.5 percent down payment program.