certification

203k Contractor Certification


The process of becoming a Certified 203k Contractor starts here. After reading the information below (sections I-VI), contractor applicants may complete the online application request form at the bottom of this page.

I. Introduction
Becoming a Certified 203k Contractor by being approved to be listed on the National Directory of Certified 203k Contractors
for the FHA 203k loan (click here for national Certified 203k Contractor directory), involves education and testing as well as verification of credentials, references and residential remodel/rehabilitation/construction experience. The 203k Contractor Certification program enables contractors to have the knowledge necessary to master their role as a 203k Contractor, properly and efficiently participate with 203k renovation jobs and to connect with borrowers, lenders, sellers, asset managers and real estate agents who are in need of a Certified 203k Contractor.

The 203k Contractor Certification Program contains the education course for contractors for the FHA 203k loan and assures the borrowers, lenders, asset managers and Realtors® who recommend or use a Certified 203k Contractor of the most knowledgeable and experienced contractor for their FHA 203k loan needs. Created  to ensure that contractors are properly educated, prepared and informed on the complexities of the FHA 203k Rehabilitation Loan, this education-based program is a prerequisite to getting listed in the 203k Contractor Directory, thus earning the designation as a Certified 203k Contractor.

Because the designation as a Certified 203k Contractor is earned and retained by the company and is not associated with any one person, the 203k Contractor Education Course must be completed, at a minimum, by the owner/principal of the company or the individual who holds the contractor license (applicable in areas where licensing is required for contractors).

II. Fee ($750)
The fee for the 203k Contractor Education Course is $650 for the company (plus a $100 application fee), regardless of how many company staff enroll, and includes the 3-hour 203k contractor education course (conducted online), HUD/FHA Webinar on the 203k, 170-page Certified 203k Contractor Manual and the 70-question 203k test. Contractor applicants will be required to read the Certified 203k Contractor Manual, complete the 3-hour education course along with the HUD/FHA Webinar, must pass the 70-question test with minimum 80% and then contractor’s credentials and residential remodel experience will be verified ($100 application fee). If the application is sufficiently verified and approved, the contractor company will be approved to be listed in the 203k Contractor Directory at no cost in one city-category, thus earning the designation as a Certified 203k Contractor. Selecting additional city-categories is optional. Additional employees (company staff only) are also encouraged to complete the 203k Contractor Education Course as well (no extra fee).


III. 203k-Experienced Contractors

Contractors who are experienced with both versions of the 203k (Standard & Limited) may be permitted to bypass the required education course if the following requirements are met:

  • Contractor must be lead contractor (e.g., General Contractor) on minimum six (6) completed 203k renovation jobs during the past twelve months (min 3 Standard 203k’s)
  • The owner/principle or the individual who holds the contractor license (applicable in areas where licensing is required for contractors) must pass the 70-question 203k test with minimum 80% grade
  • Contractor’s 203k experience with both versions (Standard & Limited) must be verified by 203k lenders, 203k Consultants, REALTORS® and 203k customers.
  • Bypass Application fee is $250.

If the 203k test score is minimum 80% and the application is sufficiently verified and approved, the contractor company will be approved to bypass the education course. Approval to bypass the required 203k Contractor Education Course is rare and typically occurs less than 4 times each year. With HUD/FHA’s new guidelines for the 203k effective 9/14/2015, it may be very difficult to bypass the education course, because contractor applicants may not be familiar with these new rules. In fact, 203k experienced contractors will learn something new when taking the 203k Contractor Education Course, and contractors are encouraged to obtain the most complete and current information on how to properly participate with the 203k and efficiently integrate the 203k within their company. These standards ensure the integrity of the 203k Contractor Program and that all Certified 203k Contractors will succeed with their participation of the 203k. If you or your company will not benefit from this 203k education, already has the most complete understanding of the 203k and meets the above minimum requirements, you many add this bypass request to your online application request below.

IV. Process (must be completed within 30 calendar days)
The 203k Contractor Education, Certification and approval process consists of the following:

  1. Contractor applicants must read the all the information provided on this page (Sections I-VI), prior to completing the online application request at bottom of page.
  2. Contractor applicants must read the About and FAQ pages.
  3. Contractor applicants must read the information regarding a contractor’s participation with the 203k found HERE on the FAQ page.
  4. Contractor applicants must read the information regarding the compensation structure for contractors according to HUD guidelines found HERE.
  5. Contractor applicants should add info@203kContractors.com to their email address book to ensure they receive the necessary communication.
  6. Contractor applicants may then complete the online application request below.
  7. Contractor applicants will be instantly emailed information on how to complete their 15 minute consultation (consultation ensures the contractor meets basic requirements).
  8. Contractor applicants will receive instructions within 1 (one) business day on how to proceed with the 203k Contractor Education Program or will receive instructions regarding how to bypass the Education course if minimum requirements have been met.
  9. Contractor applicants then receive access to the online education portal where the course materials (Manual, Test, Application) can be downloaded and proceed to complete the 3-hour online education  where the details of the FHA 203k loan program will be learned. 
    • Topics learned during the 203k Contractor Education Program include, but not limited to: HUD guidelines, Standard and Limited guidelines, payment/draw process, eligible and ineligible items, role of the 203k Consultant, lender overlays, minimum and maximum rehab limits, time lines, recommended procedures, qualifying questions, bid/estimate process, uncovering lender overlays, paperwork, sample forms and contracts, FAQs, the business side of the 203k, qualifying borrowers, etc.
    • Question & Answer session with the Director of the 203k Contractor Program, where the contractor’s questions are answered
  10. Contractor applicants then complete and submit their 70-question 203k test (must pass with 80% or better) and their 2-page application with supporting documentation.
  11. Upon passing the test with 80% or better, contractor applicants will have their formal 2-page application verified, which lists their license information, insurance, business references (subcontractors, lenders, Realtors®, etc.), customer references and company financial information. Verification of information provided on application is required for certification.
  12. Upon application approval, contractor applicants will receive the packet of Certification papers to complete to earn the designation as a Certified 203k Contractor. 

Because the 203k Loan has very specific Government and Lender time lines, contractor applicants must complete the 203k Contractor Certification process in a timely manner, which is actually part of the approval process. This permits contractors to get acclimated with the strict time lines inherent with the FHA 203k Loan Program. Once the online application request is submitted below, contractors will have a maximum of 30 calendar days to complete the steps listed above.

After submitting the online application form below, there are 6 (six) items that contractors are required to complete within the next 30 calendar days. The average time to complete these items is 8-10 hours, but maximum 30 calendar days is permitted.

  1. Complete 15-minute online introduction/consultation to ensure contractor applicant will meet the minimum requirements (step 7 above)
  2. Enroll in the 203k Contractor Education Course (step 8 above)
  3. Read 170-page Certified 203k Contractor Manual (step 9 above)
  4. Complete 3-hour online 203k Contractor Education Course (step 9 above)
  5. Complete HUD/FHA Webinar on the 203k (step 9 above)
  6. Submit 70-question 203k test (step 10 above)
  7. Submit formal 2-page application with supporting documentation (step 11 above)


V. Benefits

  • Extensive education on FHA’s Section 203(k) Rehabilitation Loan Program
  • Notifications of any changes to FHA guidelines that effect the 203k
  • Validate contractor’s knowledge, understanding and/or experience with the FHA 203k Loan
  • Listing in the 203k Contractor Directory
  • Designated as a Certified 203k Contractor
  • Connected with the Directors for Renovation Lending for a some of the National FHA 203k Mortgage Lenders
  • Access to and connected with the local 203k bank offices in contractor’s service area
  • Certified 203k Contractors receive various validation & marketing tools:
    • Certificate of Approval
    • Certified 203k Contractor Logo (Logo Licensing Agreement required)
    • Press Release regarding contractor becoming a Certified 203k Contractor
    • Benefits of the FHA 203k Loan Brochures (customizable with contractor’s information)
    • Free 203k marketing pieces to help your industry partners (Lenders and Realtors®) with the 203k Loan
  • Continuing Education opportunities
  • 203k Realtor® Classes for your Realtor® and Lender partners conducted by Paul Welden, Director 203k Contractor Program
  • Free support and assistance with FHA or 203k related items


VI. Retention

Routine follow-ups (monthly, quarterly and annually) are conducted on all Certified 203k Contractors to ensure appropriate retention of the 203k education and proper administration of the 203k, and participation is required in order to retain the designation as a Certified 203k Contractor.

Certified 203k Contractor Online Application Request

* indicates required field
Company Main Email* (will be used for all communications)
I have read the ABOUT page*
I have read the FAQ page*
I have read the CONTRACTOR'S INVOLVEMENT information*
I have read the COMPENSATION STRUCTURE information*

Once you click “SUBMIT,” check your email for further instructions.

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