I don't think you can actually apply for the mortgage until you make an offer on a home. You can however pre-qualify, but your pre-qualification is good for a limited time, I think 60 or 90 days. With an FHA mortgage, not only do you have to qualify, but the house does. It has to appraise for a certain amount, & it has to pass inspections before the mortgage will go through. You still have a lot of time.
My advice is to get copies of your credit report now, do everything you can to have the highest credit score possible. I don't know you, you may have perfect credit, but the standards are much higher now. A few years ago you could get a decent loan with scores in the mid 600's, now you need to have a score over 760 (I think) to get a good loan. Make sure that you have at least 2 forms of cont. credit, that your balances are a low % of your available credit, & that your debt to income ratio is good. You're smart to start now
at 10:20 AM on Apr. 23, 2010