Federal Housing Administration endorsements are up 83% compared to a year ago, as the federal mortgage insurance program ends its third quarter of the 2009 fiscal year.

As of June 30, FHA has endorsed 1.39 million single-family mortgages, according to an FHA outlook report. This represents roughly an estimated $255 billion in loans, based on an $184,000 average loan size.

Congress authorized FHA to insure up to $315 billion in loans in FY 2009. So the agency could bump up against this loan limit before Sept. 30. FHA reports also show that defaults (loans 90 days or more past due) were 7.42% in May, up from 6.47% a year ago.

Credit scores of new FHA borrowers also are rising. In April, the average FICO score was 661, up from 628 a year ago.

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