The SCOOP! Blog by® Refinance or Apply For A Mortgage Online

FHA Loan: What You Need to Know

January 23rd, 2019 7:53 PM by Jackie A. Graves

FREEHomePurchaseAnalysis       FREEHomeRefinanceAnalysis    

FHA loans are mortgages insured by the federal government. They allow a down payment as low as 3.5% with a credit score of 580 or higher, and are easier to qualify for than conventional mortgages.


What is an FHA loan?


An FHA loan is a mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration. With a minimum 3.5% down payment for borrowers with a credit score of 580 or higher, FHA loans are popular among first-time home buyers who have little savings or flawed credit.

The FHA insures mortgages issued by private lenders, protecting them financially in case you default. Mortgage insurance premiums are paid by you, the borrower.

FHA loans can be used to buy or refinance single-family houses, dwellings in one- to four-unit buildings, condominiums approved by the agency, and certain manufactured and mobile homes.


An FHA 203(k) loan can pay for home renovations and other specialized FHA loans can pay for energy-efficiency upgrades and reverse mortgages for seniors.

Only an FHA-approved lender can issue an FHA-insured loan.


FHA loan eligibility and requirements


It's easier to qualify for an FHA loan than for a conventional loan. Here's a summary of FHA eligibility standards. The links take you to other FHA-focused articles with details.


If your credit score is 500 or higher, you may qualify for an FHA loan. Minimum credit score on conventional mortgages is 620 but can vary by loan program and lender.


The minimum down payment on an FHA loan is 3.5% if your credit score is 580 or higher. The minimum down payment is 10% with a credit score of 500 to 579.


The maximum FHA loan size depends on where the home is. The limit is lower in the least expensive housing markets and higher in the most expensive housing markets.


  • Debt-to-income ratios. With both FHA and conventional mortgages, your total monthly debt payments can be up to 50% of your pretax income.


  • Mortgage insurance. 

FHA mortgage insurance cannot be canceled if you made a down payment of less than 10%, while private mortgage insurance on conventional loans can be canceled after you have accumulated sufficient home equity.


  • Foreclosure. You can't have a foreclosure or have given up your property’s deed in lieu of foreclosure within the past three years. There are exceptions for extenuating circumstances such as serious illness or the death of a wage earner.


Other requirements


Getting an FHA loan means meeting a few more requirements:


  • You will need a valid Social Security number.


  • You will have to provide proof of U.S. citizenship, evidence of legal permanent residency or eligibility to work in the United States.


  • You'll need to be old enough to sign a mortgage under your state’s borrowing laws.


Is an FHA loan right for you?


Conventional mortgages require credit scores of 620 or higher. So if your credit score is lower than 620, an FHA loan might be your only option.


Even if your credit score is 620 or higher, an FHA loan might give you lower monthly payments than a conventional mortgage with private mortgage insurance. Specifically:


  • FHA costs less per month than PMI if your credit score is less than 720, according to the Urban Institute.


  • PMI costs less per month if your credit score is 720 or higher.


FHA loans have a couple of other advantages over conventional loans: FHA loans often have lower closing costs, and FHA interest rates are competitive. They're often lower than conventional loan rates.


An FHA-insured loan is not the only low-down-payment mortgage. If you are serving or have served in the military, you may qualify for a loan backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. A VA loan requires no down payment. And if the home is in an area that is designated rural by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, you may be eligible for a USDA loan, which also requires no down payment.


Source: To view the original article click here


Posted by Jackie A. Graves on January 23rd, 2019 7:53 PM


My Favorite Blogs:

Sites That Link to This Blog: