Learn if FHA Loans are correct for you

The principal goal of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is to protect lenders from borrower default and also to improve the US housing industry. By insuring home loans provided by approved lenders, the FHA makes it possible for buyers to buy homes at ideal rates and with low down payment and credit score requirements. Rates, closing costs and points may vary by property location, loan type and borrower credit and income characteristics. This has allowed the FHA to become the largest insurer of mortgages on earth, having insured over 34 million mortgages since being created in 1934. A FHA home loan will probably be the best home loan option for you.

The FHA does not directly provide loans, but instead provides mortgage protection insurance in a way that allows lenders to provide financing to those who may not ordinarily be eligible for a mortgage. Another important difference to note (as compared to conventional loans) is that FHA loans normally have smaller down-payment requirements and more flexible underwriting criteria. As a result, an FHA loan may help individuals with less-than-perfect credit and less money on hand qualify for a mortgage or refinance. Interest rates for FHA loans are lower than with a conventional loan. And debtors can have greater debt-to-income ratios in comparison to borrowers using a conventional loan. Borrowers with good credit scores may find that a low down payment conventional mortgage provides a much better deal than an FHA loan.

For reverse mortgages, borrower eligibility requirements apply. Despite the fact that they’re backed by the government, you still need to shop around for the best mortgage, because FHA loans are issued by private lenders with different requirements and terms. While a minimum credit score of 580 is typically needed, other borrowers may still qualify for an FHA Mortgage, but with certain exceptions such as a greater down payment / higher premiums. That way, the lenders are more inclined to approve a loan for you. Lenders, such as banks and credit unions, that provide FHA loans provide financing for home purchases while requiring a lower down payment.

FHA loans are more suited for someone that cannot put down 20 percent or has an average credit score. The government repays the lender for the borrower’s inability to fund if they were default on payments. This also incentives a lenders ability to provide competitive interest rates and issues easier qualifications. There are no maximum income limits, but you have to satisfy a subtract percentage limitation of no greater than 43 percent and demonstrate adequate income to repay the loan principal. Just because you meet with the FHA qualifications does not mean it is the best kind of loan for you.

Your FHA loan may also carry higher interest rates to compensate for the low down payment. When you add those two factors together, you might be looking at a loan that’s costlier than a conventional loan would be. If your savings for a deposit do not reach the 20% mark generally needed for a conventional loan, research down payment assistance programs or family gifts. Alternatively, you could wait on the house purchase and grow your savings and investments.