what is an FHA loan?
FHA loans are insured by the Federal Housing Administration, which allows lenders to offer mortgage financing to more homebuyers – ones who may not meet the qualifications of conventional loan programs. Because the government backs these loans, the requirements are a little more flexible.
who are FHA loans for?
In the eyes of financial institutions, there are certain characteristics of a “risky” borrower. These may include things like minimal funds for a down payment or a low credit score. If you fall into that boat, we believe these things shouldn’t define you or stop you from getting a home.
The Federal Housing Administration agrees, and that’s where FHA loans come in; it’s their way of backing the loans up so mortgage lenders can take on higher-risk customers (aka those that, by traditional standards, are less likely to pay back their mortgage). The FHA provides a safety net in the event that that does happen.
That safety net is presented in the form of mortgage insurance. Homeowners with FHA mortgages have to pay mortgage insurance every month in addition to their mortgage payment, whereas homeowners with other loan types may not have to.
benefits of FHA loans
FHA loans are great for first-time homebuyers and repeat buyers alike. The biggest advantage is the down payment requirement. You can put as little as 3.5% down and still qualify for this type of loan – keeping more cash in your pocket now. This is great for first-time homebuyers who have always rented because they thought they couldn’t afford a down payment for a new house, or those with student loan debt who have had trouble putting money aside.
Another major benefit of FHA loans is the credit score requirement. Individuals with a credit score as low as 580 may qualify for an FHA loan. Plus, owning a home and making your payments on time can actually help build your credit score – it’s a win-win.
The FHA also offers a renovation loan option – the FHA 203(k) loan – so one loan will cover the cost of the mortgage on your new home, plus any renovations or repairs you want to do, like:
- Structural repairs
- Additions to the home
- Adding heating or air conditioning systems
An FHA loan is a government-insured loan subject to certain qualifications and restrictions. FHA provides mortgage insurance on loans made by approved lenders. The cost of mortgage insurance is paid by the homeowner as an up-front amount that is usually financed into the loan amount, as well as an additional amount that is included in the monthly mortgage payment. Subject to credit approval. For reverse mortgages, borrower eligibility requirements apply. Consult a tax advisor for questions about tax and government benefit implications. If you are a servicemember on active duty, prior to seeking a refinance of your existing loan, consult your legal advisor regarding the loss of any benefits you are entitled to under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act or applicable state law.
All loan requests are subject to credit approval as well as specific loan program requirements and guidelines.