FHA loans are popular with mortgage borrowers because of lower down payment requirements and less stringent lending standards.
Simply stated, an FHA loan is a mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration, a government agency within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Borrowers with FHA loans pay for mortgage insurance, which protects the lender from a loss if the borrower defaults on the loan.
Less-than-perfect credit is OK
Minimum credit scores for FHA loans depend on the type of loan the borrower needs. People with credit scores under 500 generally are ineligible for FHA loans. The FHA will make allowances under certain circumstances for applicants who have what it calls “nontraditional credit history or insufficient credit” if they meet requirements. Ask your FHA lender or an FHA loan specialist if you qualify.
Lender must be FHA-approved
Because the FHA is not a lender, but rather an insurer, borrowers need to get their loan through an FHA-approved lender (as opposed to directly from the FHA). Not all FHA-approved lenders offer the same interest rate and costs — even on the same FHA loan.
Costs, services and underwriting standards will vary among lenders or mortgage brokers, so it’s important for borrowers to shop around.
Closing costs may be covered
The FHA allows home sellers, builders and lenders to pay some of the borrower’s closing costs, such as an appraisal, credit report or title expenses. For example, a builder might offer to pay closing costs as an inducement for the borrower to buy a new home.
Borrowers can compare loan estimates from competing lenders to figure out which option makes the most sense.
Questions? Feedback? Ready to apply? Contact us for more info!