How long must I hold a job to get an FHA mortgage?

With so much turmoil in the workplace — and so much demand for FHA loans — is it possible to get an FHA mortgage if you’ve had frequent job changes or even unemployment?

The answer is “yes” and this should be good news to a lot of people in a changing work environment.

HUD guidelines say the requirements for an FHA loan do “not impose a minimum length of time a borrower must have held a position of employment to be eligible. However, the lender must verify the borrower’s employment for the most recent two full years. The borrower also must explain any gaps in employment spanning one month or more. To analyze and document the probability of continued employment, lenders must examine the borrower’s past employment record, qualifications for the position, previous training and education, and the employer’s confirmation of continued employment. A borrower who changes jobs frequently within the same line of work, but continues to advance in income or benefits, should be considered favorably. In this analysis, income stability takes precedence over job stability.

FHA Mortgage Job Requirements

First, the lender must look at the last two full years of employment. For this reason it would be smart to have tax returns available for the last three years.

Second, HUD not only wants to know that you now have a job, it also wants some sense that FHA borrowers will have a job in the future. A resume should help but a caution: Make sure your resume is entirely accurate. Claiming degrees, certificates and employment you don’t have could lead to big problems. Have references for every job and qualification you claim.

Third, notice that job tenure by itself is not an issue. You don’t get points working at the mill for 20 years versus a new job every six months. You could have a bout of unemployment. The key issue is income stability, a polite term meaning regardless of how often you get a new job or whether you’ve been unemployed that you continue to make required payments to creditors. If your credit is strong then you can show suitable income stability.

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