How Do I Qualify for An FHA Loan in Kentucky based on score, income, work history and credit?

 How to get an Kentucky FHA Mortgage Loan

FHA Home loans offer  lower down payments (3.5%) , lower credit requirements (500 credit score , and the option for financial assistance (Down payment assistance), allowing more Kentucky Homebuyers the option that may be able to qualify.

How to qualify for a Kentucky FHA loan

Kentucky FHA Mortgage Loan Options to consider

1. Low Down Payment

–  FHA Mortgage Loans only require a 3.5% down payment. And what makes that even more attractive is that it can be a gift from a relative. Do you have a parent or sibling who would “Gift” you some money for a down payment? If so, it could be time to apply for an  FHA Mortgage Loan.

2.Flexible Credit Qualifying

– HUD did NOT set a credit score requirement for qualifying for an  FHA Mortgage Loan. However many lenders in the market today have drafted “Overlays” that set minimum credit score requirements. Most lenders like to see a minimum 580 to 620  credit score, but don’t get discouraged if you are not there yet. If you are close to 620, it is often just as simple as reviewing your credit to determine how to quickly raise it. If you are not close to 620, ask your FHA Mortgage Loan Originator if they have a program for you. Chances are, there is! Bankruptcies and prior foreclosures do not automatically disqualify you either.

3.The Seller Can Pay Your Closing Costs

– That’s right. You need to have a quality Realtor who will help you negotiate not only the best price for the home, but also that the seller will pay your closing costs. HUD allows FHA Mortgage Loans to have the seller pay up to 6% of the purchase price. Sounds good so far, a down payment gift and seller paying closing costs!

4.Flexible Income Qualifying

– The standard for income qualifying ratios is 31/43 which means that up to 31% of your monthly income can be used to pay your monthly household mortgage payment; and up to 43% of your monthly income can be used to qualify for ALL monthly expenses. Those ratios can go up to 55% if you have good credit and a good income history allowing you to qualify when others might not.

5.Qualify Without Your Spouse’s BAD Credit –

This is a tricky one but it is also not well known. You can effectively qualify for an FHA Mortgage Loan without your spouse’s Bad Credit. FHA will look at your spouse’s credit but cannot decline your loan due to your spouse’s debt or credit score. So if you have a spouse with a crummy credit profile, you should take a look at  FHA Mortgage Loans to see if it will work for you.

Kentucky FHA Mortgage Requirements 

An FHA loan is a mortgage issued by federally qualified lenders and insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). FHA loans are designed for low-to-moderate income borrowers who are unable to make a large down payment.

Minimum Credit Score is 500 with at least 10% down
Minimum Credit Score is 580 if you put less than 10% down
The FHA Kentucky Maximum loan for 2023 is $472,030
Upfront and Monthly Mortgage Insurance is required regardless of the Loan to Value
FHA Loans are only available for financing primary residences
Maximum Debt to Income Ratio of 50% (unless mitigating factors justify allowing a higher DTI)

Borrowers must have a steady employment history of the last two years within the same industry or line of work. Recent college graduates can use their transcripts to supplant the 2-year work history rule as long as it makes sense
Self-Employed will need a 2-year history of tax returns filed with IRS. They will take a 2-year average.

FHA requires a 3.5% down payment. Can be gifted from family member or from retirement savings plan, or money saved-up. Any type of cash deposits is not allowed for down payments. No exceptions to this rule!! This is one of the biggest issues I see in FHA underwriting nowadays.

 FHA loans are for primary residence occupancy. Not rental houses.

Borrowers must have a property appraisal from a FHA-approved appraiser.

Borrowers’ front-end ratio (mortgage payment plus HOA fees, property taxes, mortgage insurance, homeowners’ insurance) needs to be less than 31 percent of their gross income, typically. You may be able to get approved with as high a percentage as 43 percent. If the Automated Underwriting System gives you an Approved Eligible you can go higher on the debt ratios
Borrowers must have a minimum credit score of 580 for maximum financing with a 3.5% down payment

Borrowers must have a minimum credit score of 500-579 for maximum LTV of 90 percent with a minimum down payment of 10 percent. Most lenders will not go below 580 to 620 score, and very few lenders will go to 580 score. It’s best to work on getting your scores up before you apply or work with a loan officer to improve them.
2 years removed from Chapter 7 is required with good pay history after bankruptcy

1 year removed from Chapter 13 is okay with an excellent pay history with the Chapter 13 plan and permission from trustee. You will need to qualify with the Chapter 13 payment along with new house payment. Again, scores will play into your loan pre-approval.

Typically, borrowers must be three years out of foreclosure and have re-established good credit. Exceptions can be made if there were extenuating circumstances and you’ve improved your credit. If you were unable to sell your home because you had to move to a new area, this does not qualify as an exception to the three-year foreclosure guideline.

How Do I Qualify for An FHA Loan in Kentucky based on score, income, work history and credit?

Low Down Payment which can be 100% gift from family member or Grant Program
Seller can pay closing costs-Maximum 6% of purchase price
There is maximum mortgage amount for each county. Check FHA loan limit for your county.
Non-occupant co-signers are allowed on this program.
FHA Approved Condos-Single family home-2-4 unit properties, and PUDs are eligible.
Fast automated underwriting approval available. Also, the file can be manually underwritten by a live person to get loan approval if you do not receive approval through automated underwriting system.

How to get approved for FHA loan in Kentucky

FHA loans vs. conventional mortgages
Credit score minimum620500
Down payment3% to 20%3.5% for credit scores of 580+; 10% for credit scores of 500-579
Loan terms8- to 30-year terms15- or 30-year terms
Mortgage insurance premiumsPMI (if less than 20% down): 0.58% to 1.86% of loan amountUpfront premium: 1.75% of loan amount; annual premium: 0.45% to 1.05%
Interest typeFixed-rate or adjustable-rateFixed-rate

Pros and cons of Kentucky FHA loans


  • You can have a lower credit score: If you haven’t established much of a credit history or you’ve encountered some issues in the past with making on-time payments, a 620 credit score — the typical magic number for consideration of a conventional mortgage — might seem out of reach. If your credit score is 580, you’re in good standing with most FHA-approved lenders.
  • You can make a lower down payment: FHA loans also give the option for a smaller down payment. With a credit score of at least 580, you can make a down payment of as little as 3.5 percent. If your credit score is between 500 and 579, you may still be able to qualify for an FHA-backed loan, but you will need to make a 10 percent down payment.
  • You can stop renting earlier: Since FHA loans make buying a home easier, you can start building equity sooner. Instead of continuing to rent while trying to save more money or improve your credit score, FHA loans make the dream of being a homeowner possible sooner.


  • You won’t be able to avoid mortgage insurance: Since your credit score is lower, you’re a bigger risk of default. To protect the lender, you have to pay mortgage insurance. You can roll the upfront insurance premium into your closing costs, but your annual premiums will be divided into 12 installments and show up on every mortgage bill. If you put down less than 10 percent, you have to pay those annual premiums for the entire life of the loan. There’s no escaping them. That’s a big difference from conventional loans: Once you build up 20 percent equity, you no longer have to pay for private mortgage insurance.
  • You’ll have to meet property requirements: If you’re applying for an FHA loan, the property has to meet some eligibility requirements. The most important is the price: FHA-backed mortgages are not allowed to exceed certain amounts, which vary based on location. You have to live in the property, too. FHA loans for new purchases are not designed for second homes or investment properties.
  • You could pay more: When you compare mortgage rates between FHA and conventional loans, you might notice the interest rates on FHA loans are lower. The APR, though, is the better comparison point because it represents the total cost of borrowing. On FHA loans, the APR can sometimes be higher than conventional loans.
  • Some sellers might shy away: In the ultra-competitive pandemic housing market, sellers weighing multiple offers often viewed FHA borrowers less favorably.

Kentucky FHA Loan Limits

 All counties in Kentucky have the same loan limit of $472,030 for a single-family home. 

What credit score do you need for an Kentucky FHA Mortgage  loan in Kentucky?

FHA home buyers in Kentucky borrowers need to have a minimum mortgage specific credit score of 580. A credit score of 580 can qualify you for a 3.5% down payment.

Some lenders may accept a credit score of 500-579 with a 10% down payment. Not all lenders will go this low on a credit score. Some FHA Mortgage Lenders will not go below 580 credit score or in some cases, 620 credit score. Check with your FHA mortgage lender in Kentucky on this before you apply.

 Kentucky first-time homebuyer programs below to consider 

Conventional Mortgage Loan in Kentucky.

620 credit score or higher needed for this loan program. 4 years removed from bankruptcy minimum sometime longer. Private mortgage insurance required for over 80% loan to value on a refinance or down payments less than 20%. Tighter debt to income requirements with max backend-ratio usually not over 45% with less than 20% down payment. Easier on properties to qualify if they have deferred maintenance or need some fixing up to pass Government standards like FHA, VA, USDA loans. Down payment requirements are as little as 3% down payment. Better rates and lower mortgage insurance with a larger down payment and pmi is not for life of loan. 

This is for stronger borrowers with good credit (above 680 or 720) and at least 3-5% down payment with no foreclosures or bankruptcies in he last 4-7 years. Can go higher on the loan amount too versus FHA. Max loan in Kentucky for 2023 for conventional loans is $726,200

FHA Loans in Kentucky

500 minimum credit score with 10% down payment, and credit scores above 580 can do 3.5% down payment. Don't have to be a first-time home buyer and no foreclosures in the last 3 years or Chapter 7 bankruptcies in the last 2 years. Possible to get a FHA loan with a Chapter 13 active as long as it has been open for 12 months with a good pay history and permission from the trustee. 

This type of loan is insured by the Federal Housing Commission. Low to moderate-income borrowers can be approved to get this loan. First-time homeowners prefer this too because you can get an interest rate of as low as 3.5 percent for this loan.

Kentucky Max FHA loan for 2023 is $472,030

Kentucky VA Home Loans

This is something you could qualify for as a service member, veteran, or surviving spouse. A VA loan or mortgage is generous when it comes to providing competitive rates. Sometimes, a down payment and mortgage insurance isn’t even necessary for you to get approved for this. Just make sure that you have a good credit standing of at least 580.

USDA Loans in Kentucky

This is a zero-down payment mortgage that is usually approved for rural and suburban homebuyers. This type of loan is handled and issued by the US Department of Agriculture through the USDA Rural Development Guaranteed Housing Loan Program.  A credit score of at least 620 will also be needed for this even though USDA says they have no minimum score it is hard to get them pre-approved for scores below 620---***640 is really the preferred score for mortgage approval usually through GUS, the USDA underwriting automated system.

There is no max USDA loan just maximum household income limits based on number of people in the household.

Kentucky Housing Loan Program

2023 KHC first-time home buyer programs

Conventional Preferred Program for low-income borrowers with a down payment of just 3%.

Conventional Preferred Plus 80 Program for a down payment of just 3%.

Home Buyer Tax Credit for reimbursement of a portion of the annual mortgage interest payments.

Regular Down Payment Assistance Program for a down payment loan of up to $10.000.

Knowing about national and Kentucky state loan programs to help buy a home is a good start; now it’s time to dig into the details. For specifics, visit the Kentucky Housing Corp. website. There you’ll find information about all the loan programs, including eligibility requirements, how to enroll in home buyer counseling and a list of approved lenders in your county.

There are max income limits and max loan amounts and max purchase price limits.

See link below for more info:๐Ÿ‘‡

Have Questions or Need Expert Advice? Text, email, or call me below:

Joel Lobb
Mortgage Loan Officer

Individual NMLS ID #57916

American Mortgage Solutions, Inc.
10602 Timberwood Circle
Louisville, KY 40223
Company NMLS ID #1364

Text/call: 502-905-3708
fax: 502-327-9119

The view and opinions stated on this website belong solely to the authors, and are intended for informational purposes only. The posted information does not guarantee approvalnor does it comprise full underwriting guidelines. This does not represent being part of a government agency. The views expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily reflect the view of my employer. Not all products or services mentioned on this site may fit all people.
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