The FHA TOTAL (Technology Open To Approved Lenders) Mortgage Scorecard is a statistically derived algorithm developed by HUD to evaluate borrower credit history and application information. TOTAL is accessed through an Automated Underwriting System (AUS) and is not an AUS itself.
All forward mortgage transactions must be scored through TOTAL, except Streamline Refinances and assumptions. The TOTAL Scorecard:
- Provides a 24/7 internet-based system with a real-time response.
- Ensures that applicants for FHA loan insurance are evaluated by the same scoring process regardless of the AUS vendor submitting the loan.
- Enhances FHA's ability to assess and manage risk, monitor trends, and evaluate policy with the capture of credit and loan application data.
TOTAL is based on credit and application variables and when combined with AUS functionalities, it recommends processing channels to determine a loan's eligibility for insurance by FHA.
The TOTAL Scorecard provides two process classifications: "Accept" or "Refer." Upon receipt of the process result from TOTAL, the AUS provides the recommendation including the feedback messages to the lender.
- "Accept" indicates that FHA will insure the borrower's loan without a manual underwriting review (except where a manual downgrade is necessary as outlined in the Handbook 4000.1).
- "Refer" indicates the loan must be underwritten by an FHA Direct Endorsement (DE) underwriter.
The Mortgagee may not accept or deny an FHA-insured Mortgage based solely on an assessment generated by TOTAL. All loans must be underwritten using the guidance found in the FHA Single Family Housing Policy Handbook (Handbook 4000.1).
Automated Underwriting Systems (AUS) Certification
AUS vendors must be certified to integrate directly with FHA’s TOTAL Scorecard. Those who are interested in becoming certified to be an AUS Vendor for TOTAL should contact SFAdmin@hud.gov. In order to prepare for connection with TOTAL, potential AUS Vendors actions will include, but are not limited to:
- Reviewing and understanding the FHA TOTAL Scorecard Developer’s Guide and FHA Single Family Housing Policy Handbook 4000.1
- Drafting and submitting feedback messages to FHA for review
- Creating a successful connection with TOTAL and submitting test files
- Executing the TOTAL Scorecard Vendor Agreement and Certification
The following documents provide additional information regarding the use of the FHA TOTAL Scorecard:
FHA Single Family Housing Policy Handbook 4000.1: Unless otherwise specifically announced, the applicable policies for FHA’s TOTAL Scorecard are contained within Handbook 4000.1, Section II (A) (4) Underwriting the Borrower Using the TOTAL Mortgage Scorecard. For loans that require manual underwriting, refer to Section II (A) (5), Manual Underwriting of the Borrower.
Developer's Guide for Total Scorecard: The Developer's Guide for TOTAL Scorecard provides the necessary information to establish an interface between the FHA's TOTAL Scorecard and an Automated Underwriting System (AUS). This document is primarily used by software developers and staff supporting an AUS.
TOTAL Developer's Guide–SOAP
Code of Federal Regulations – 24 CFR 203.255: Describes the regulations for the use of the TOTAL Scorecard.
If you have any questions regarding the FHA TOTAL Scorecard or require additional information, please visit the FHA Resource Center.