Types Of FHA Loans: Ideal for First Time Home Buyers

FHA mortgages are issued by private lenders and guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration. Designed for first-time homebuyers with limited assets and less than perfect credit, FHA purchase loans have always been a crucial aid to low-income Americans seeking the benefits of homeownership. With one notable exception, homes purchased or refinanced with FHA loans must be occupied by the owner and used as the principal residence of the borrower.

FHA purchase best home loan can be fixed-rate (the 203b mortgage, which applies to single-family homes with one to four families, is the most common) or variable rate (the section 251 credit applies single-family homes of one to four families). ). Both configurations allow for a variety of terms, with terms at 15 and 30 being the most common fixed-rate options.

FHA’s refinancing loans, such as FHA’s simplified refinancing, allow FHA-owners to refinance at a lower cost than conventional refinancing loans. They are also available in fixed-rate and variable-rate configurations. FHA Simplify Refinance Loans Do Not Have Mortgage Insurance Requirements (MIPs) – a huge financial aid for homeowners on tight budgets.

Differences between FHA and conventional loans

FHA loans and conventional loans differ in several important ways:

Maximum loan limits.

In most markets, the maximum authorized FHA purchase best home loan is 115% of the median local selling price (generally calculated at the county level). In the continental United States, the lowest maximum is $ 271,050 (low-cost markets) and the highest maximum is $ 625,000 (high-cost markets). In Alaska, Hawaii and overseas protectorates such as Guam, the maximum is $ 938,250. These limits are subject to change with prevailing house prices. For reverse mortgages (or HECM, a popular FHA product), the maximum loan limit allowed is $ 625,000 across the continental United States and $ 938,250 in non-continental jurisdictions. Use the FHA HUD Mortgage Calculator to find your local limits.

DTI and Housing Ratio.

FHA loans allow higher DTI ratios – reliably up to 43%, and sometimes more. The housing ratio, or the ratio of housing costs to the borrower’s income, may also be higher than the conventional loan standard of 28% – up to 31%, in most cases.

Down Payment.

For borrowers with FICO scores of 580 or better, FHA loan installments can be as low as 3.5% of the purchase price, for example, $ 7,000 on a house of 200 $ 000. This is significantly less than the historical requirement of 20% down payment on conventional loans, for example, $ 40,000 on a $ 200,000 home. It is also less than the 10% down payment threshold between conventional and conventional 97 loans, for example, $ 20,000 on a $ 200,000 home.

Mortgage insurance.

Mortgage insurance is much more expensive on FHA purchase loans and most FHA refinances loans (excluding refinance refinancing loans). By law, borrowers are charged a fixed fee of 1.75% of the loan amount at closing, regardless of the type of loan, duration or rate. This tax is usually wrapped in the loan, increasing the principal, but it can also be paid out of his pocket. In the future, borrowers who start at 90% LTV or higher (10% or less) must pay outstanding mortgage insurance premiums until the loan is repaid – up to 1, 05% of the amount. loan each year, depending on the duration of the loan and amount financed. Borrowers who start at less than 90% LTV must pay the premiums insurance in progress for at least 11 years. In contrast, conventional loan borrowers who start at 80% LTV or less are not required to purchase mortgage insurance at all. The only way for most FHA borrowers to cancel their mortgage insurance is through the FHA Simplified Refinance Program.

Interest rates.

All other things being equal, FHA purchase and refinancing loans almost always have lower interest rates than comparable conventional loans. However, interest savings can be offset by higher mortgage insurance premiums.

Credit Requirements.

FHA loans have more flexible underwriting requirements than conventional loans. You can get an FHA loan of 3, 5% with a FICO score of 580 or better, and a 10% FHA loan with a FICO score of 500 or better.

Closing costs paid by the seller.

The FHA loans allow sellers to pay up to 6% of the purchase price at closing, for example, $ 12,000 on a home of $ 200,000. This is a potentially huge advantage in the buyer markets. Conventional loans limit the closing costs paid by the seller to 3% of the purchase price, for example, $ 6,000 on a $ 200,000 home.


FHA loans are assumed, which means that they can be transferred from the seller to the buyer with minimal changes to rates and conditions. Although the assumptions are subject to FHA approval and the lender’s subscription, as well as the ability of the buyer to cover the difference (in cash or second mortgage) between the remaining balance and the estimated price of the loan. home, -savers for motivated sellers. Conventional loans are usually not supported.