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8 min read May 22, 2023

How Many FHA Loans Can You Have? Exploring the Rules and Exceptions

If you’re considering an FHA loan for purchasing or refinancing a home, you may be wondering about the limitations on the number of FHA loans you can have. FHA loans are a popular choice for many homebuyers due to their:

  • more lenient credit requirements
  • lower down payment options
  • and competitive interest rates.

In this blog post, we will explore the rules and exceptions surrounding multiple FHA loans, helping you gain a clearer understanding of your options.

FHA Loan Basics

FHA loans, offered by the Federal Housing Administration, are a popular choice for many homebuyers. These loans are designed to help individuals and families with moderate income levels achieve homeownership. FHA loans are insured by the government, which allows lenders to offer more favorable terms to borrowers.

With an FHA loan, you can typically qualify with a lower credit score and make a low 3.5% down payment on the purchase price. Additionally, FHA loans offer flexible qualification criteria and allow for assistance with closing costs.

These features make FHA loans an attractive option for first-time homebuyers. Even for those who may have limited resources for a down payment.

Certainly! Here are some basics about FHA loans:

  1. Definition: An FHA loan is a mortgage loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), a division of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The FHA insures the loan, which allows lenders to offer more favorable terms and lower down payment requirements to borrowers.
  2. Purpose: FHA loans are designed to help individuals and families who may have difficulty qualifying for conventional mortgage loans. They aim to make homeownership more accessible by providing options for borrowers. Making it easy for people with lower credit scores, limited funds for down payments, or higher debt-to-income ratios.
  3. Down Payment: One of the advantages of FHA loans is that they typically require a lower down payment. The minimum down payment for an FHA loan is 3.5% of the purchase price or appraised value, whichever is lower.
  4. Mortgage Insurance: FHA loans require borrowers to pay FHA mortgage insurance premiums (MIP). The upfront MIP is usually financed into the loan amount, and an annual MIP is paid as part of the monthly mortgage payment. Mortgage insurance protects the lender in case of default, and it allows the FHA to offer more flexible loan terms.
  5. Credit Requirements: FHA loans are more lenient when it comes to credit scores compared to conventional loans. There are still minimum credit score requirements. The specific score required can vary depending on the lender and other factors. A credit score of 580 or higher is generally considered the minimum for a 3.5% down payment.
  6. Loan Limits: FHA loan limits its eligibility as per the property’s location. These limits are based on the median home prices in each area and are subject to change annually. It’s important to check the loan limits for your specific location. It determines the maximum loan amount you can borrow using an FHA loan.
  7. Property Requirements: FHA loans have certain property requirements to ensure the safety and livability of the home. These requirements include things like a minimum property condition, adequate heating, and structural soundness.

Can You Get An FHA Loan Twice?

Yes, it is possible to get an FHA loan more than once. The FHA allows borrowers to obtain multiple FHA loans under certain circumstances.

As a clarification, while it is possible to apply for multiple FHA loans in your lifetime, the general rule is that borrowers are typically allowed to have only one active FHA loan at a time. This rule is in place to ensure that FHA loans are primarily used for the purchase or refinance of a primary residence. This is not for FHA loans for investment property or second homes.

To get a second FHA loan while still having an active one, borrowers would generally need to meet specific exceptions. These exceptions allow borrowers to have multiple FHA loans under certain circumstances.

The Exception

There is an exception to the restriction on multiple FHA loans known as the “FHA Spot Loan” or “FHA Streamline Refinance” option.

The FHA Spot Loan option allows borrowers with an existing FHA loan to apply for a second FHA loan on another property without paying off the first FHA loan. However, please note that the FHA Spot Loan program has been temporarily suspended since 2010.

It was not available for most borrowers at the time. It is important to check with a mortgage professional or FHA-approved lender for more.

Additionally, the FHA Streamline Refinance option is available for borrowers who already have an FHA loan. Also for those who want to refinance into a new FHA loan to obtain a lower interest rate or reduce the term of their loan.

This option allows borrowers to streamline the refinancing process with reduced documentation and underwriting requirements.


If you are relocating to a new area due to work or other reasons and want to purchase a new primary residence. The FHA recognizes that homeowners sometimes need to move. Allows borrowers to obtain a new FHA loan in such situations.

Increase in Family Size

If your current home no longer meets your needs due to an increase in family size. You may be eligible for another FHA loan to purchase a larger home that better accommodates your family.

Financial Hardship

In some cases, borrowers may experience financial hardship that affects their ability to afford their current home. If you can demonstrate that your financial circumstances have changed significantly. Plus, if you are unable to maintain your existing FHA loan, you may be eligible for a new FHA loan.

Vacating a Jointly Owned Property

If you currently have an FHA loan on a property that you co-own with another individual or individuals, And you are looking to purchase a new primary residence, you may be eligible for a second FHA loan if you can demonstrate that you have not resided in the jointly owned property for a significant period.

It’s important to note that while the FHA allows for multiple FHA loans. Individual lenders may have their own policies and restrictions. Some lenders may have overlays or additional requirements that limit the number of FHA loans they will extend to a borrower.

Additionally, you will still need to meet the FHA’s eligibility criteria, including credit score, income, and debt-to-income ratio requirements, for each new FHA loan you apply for. It’s always advisable to consult with a mortgage professional or FHA-approved lender to understand your specific eligibility and options for obtaining multiple FHA loans.

Financially For More Than One FHA Loan

To take out two FHA loans, you would need to meet the financial requirements set by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the individual lender’s criteria. Here are some key financial requirements to consider:

Credit Score

The FHA does not have a specific minimum credit score requirement, but most lenders will have their own credit score criteria. Generally, a credit score of 580 or higher is needed to qualify for an FHA loan with a 3.5% down payment.

However, lenders may have higher credit score requirements, and a higher score can improve your chances of approval and potentially better loan terms.

Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI)

The FHA sets a maximum DTI ratio of 43% for most borrowers. This means that your total monthly debts, including the mortgage payment, should not exceed 43% of your gross monthly income.

However, some lenders may have stricter DTI requirements, and a lower DTI ratio is generally favorable when applying for a mortgage.

Income Documentation

You will need to provide documentation of your income. Proofs like pay stubs, W-2 forms, or tax returns, to demonstrate your ability to repay the loan. Lenders typically require stable and verifiable income sources.

Down Payment

FHA loans typically require a minimum down payment of 3.5% of the purchase price or appraised value, whichever is lower. You will need to have sufficient funds available for the down payment, including any closing costs associated with the loan.


Some lenders may require borrowers to have a certain amount of reserves or savings in the bank. This can help to cover future mortgage payments. The specific reserve requirements can vary between lenders.

Final Word

While the general rule is that borrowers are typically limited to one active FHA loan at a time. There are exceptions that allow for multiple FHA loans under certain circumstances. Whether you’re relocating, experiencing a change in family size, or facing financial hardship.

It’s essential to understand the eligibility criteria and requirements to determine if you can get a second FHA loan. Some can also proceed with FHA multifamily loans after the proper procedure.

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