What You Need to Know About FHA Loans

by | Jun 2, 2022 | FHA Loan, Financial, First-Time Homebuyers, Home Loan

What is a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan?

A Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan is a home mortgage guaranteed by the government and funded by a private bank or mortgage lender approved by the FHA. FHA loans are designed for borrowers with lower credit scores who might not be able to afford a larger down payment. This usually includes low- to moderate-income households. The FHA loan is a popular loan with first-time homebuyers.

How Does the FHA Loan Work?

With a credit score of at least 580, homebuyers can borrow up to 96.5% of the value of a home using an FHA loan. The minimum down payment for an FHA loan is typically 3.5%.

If you have a lower credit score between 500-579, you can still be eligible for an FHA loan but will have to make a minimum down payment of 10% of the loan amount.

What Are The Different Types of FHA Loans?

There are several types of FHA loans.

  • Purchase – requires a 3.5% down payment and a minimum FICO® score of 580. Borrowers can qualify with a FICO® score as low as 500 with a down payment of 10%.
  • FHA Rate/Term Refinances – this allows you to refinance another type of loan into an FHA loan with less stringent credit requirements.
  • FHA Streamline – refinances an existing FHA loan at a lower rate. Requires reduced appraisal requirements, limited employment verification, and less documentation for income and assets. Borrowers who owe more on their home than it is worth may still be able to refinance their home with an FHA streamline loan.
  • Cash-Out Refinance – typically requires a minimum credit score of 620 (will vary from lender to lender) and at least 15% equity in your home.
  • FHA 203(k) Loan – allows you to purchase and renovate a home on a single loan. Eligible projects include replacing old or dangerous flooring, updating appliances and utilities, making accessibility improvements for disabled residents, and structural repairs.

What Are The Requirements for An FHA Loan?

As with all home loans, lenders will examine your financial history and income when determining your eligibility for an FHA loan. Borrowers can acquire an FHA loan with a FICO® score of 500.

Minimum Credit Score Minimum Down Payment
500-579 10%
580+ 3.5%

With a credit score of 500-579, borrowers acquiring an FHA loan must make a minimum down payment of 10% of the mortgage loan amount. With a credit score of 580 or higher, borrowers need to make a minimum down payment of at least 3.5% of the loan amount.

What Are The FHA Loan Limits?

There is a limit to how much you can borrow with an FHA loan and the amount you can borrow depends on the local county where you are purchasing a home in the United States. You can look up the FHA loan limits according to each county on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s website.

What Are The FHA Loan Income Requirements?

FHA qualification does not depend on the amount of income you make. Borrowers must prove they have a steady income and good employment history. Lenders will want to see two years’ worth of employment history in the same or related career field, with increasing income over time.

Borrowers are required to verify their current employment status and income history by submitting 30 days’ most recent pay stubs and the last two years’ worth of W-2s. Verification of employment will also be completed by the borrower’s current employer and submitted to the mortgage lender.

What Are The FHA Loan Interest Rates?

Compared to conventional mortgages, FHA interest rates tend to be more competitive since FHA loans are backed by the U.S. government and present less risk to mortgage lenders. As with any mortgage loan, the interest rate will ultimately depend on market interest rates and the borrower’s income, credit score, debt-to-income ratio (DTI), and the down payment amount.

Is An FHA Loan Right For You?

There are a lot of factors to consider when purchasing a home other than your ability to qualify for a home loan. The cost of purchasing a home goes beyond the down payment and includes closing costs as well. Closing costs typically cost 3% to 6% of the value of the home.

There is also the cost of owning the home to consider. It is recommended that you budget 1% to 3% of your home’s purchase price for maintenance each year. This amount can vary depending on the age of your home and the types of maintenance required.

Contact a Loan Specialist

One of the easiest ways to determine which kind of home loan is best for you is to reach out to a loan specialist. At VeteransLoans.com, our loan specialists can determine your eligibility and get you pre-qualified in a matter of minutes.

A loan specialist can also help you determine which type of home loan best aligns with your financial goals. At this time, VeteransLoans.com only offers FHA purchase loans and FHA Cash-Out Refinance. VeteransLoans.com also offers conventional and VA loan products. Call 1 (888) 232-1428 to speak with a loan specialist today!

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