The credit score gap for 2010 loans through the Federal Housing Administration fell 43 points from 2006 levels, according to Quality Mortgage Services. The mortgage quality-control services firm said its data show the average credit score of FHA loans ranked as excellent in 2006 was 665 whereas the average score of a loan ranked fair was 603 for a gap of 62 points. For FHA loans originated so far this year, the firm's data show excellent loans have average credit scores of 707 while fair loans average scores are 688 for a difference of 19 points. "This is good news for investors because of the increase number of loans going for securitization where the borrower has a lower probability of a historical or future 90-day late credit scenario," Quality Mortgage Services executive vice president Tommy Duncan said. The Franklin, Tenn.-based company performs post-closing quality-control audits and tracks trends of mortgages. “The decrease in the credit score gap shows that the FHA loan product is limiting itself to home buyers and reducing the number of applicants that would have normally qualified for a FHA loan in 2006," Duncan said. "Also, this trend may make it more difficult to associate high-risk loans with certain credit score ranges and may place more focus on ratios. This data shows that underwriting templates have adjusted to a higher credit score standard to obtain a FHA loan and may be preventing the tradition first-time homebuyer, or low to moderate income earners, from obtaining a FHA loan." Write to Jason Philyaw.