What is an FHA Loan or Mortgage?
The FHA, or Federal Housing Administration, provides mortgage insurance on loans made by FHA-approved lenders. FHA insures these loans on single family and multi-family homes in the United States and its territories. It is the largest insurer of residential mortgages in the world, ensuring tens of millions of properties since 1934 when it was created. Scott Buehler is an FHA mortgage lender.
An FHA home loan is backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and funded by Guild Mortgage with Scott Buehler as your Senior Mortgage Advisor.
The FHA mortgage program is designed for low-to-moderate-income borrowers who may have lower than average credit scores. FHA is the largest insurer of residential mortgages in the world.
As of 2023, you can borrow up to 96.5% of the value of a home with an FHA loan. You’ll need a credit score of at least 580 to qualify. If your credit score falls between 540 and 579, you can still get an FHA loan and borrow up to 90% of the value of a home (ask me for details and specifics). With FHA loans, your down payment can come from savings, a financial gift from a family member or a grant for down-payment assistance.
Interested to see the 2023 FHA maximum loan amounts are for California and Utah? Please visit the Utah FHA loan limits or California FHA loan limits pages for the full county list.
Did you know? FHA government-backed loans are compatible with our 3-2-1 temporary buydown product to help make the beginning of your mortgage more affordable? Learn more at the 3-2-1 Temporary Buydown lender page and combat this period of higher interest rates using seller-paid closing costs.
Features of an FHA Home Loan
- Finance up to 96.5% of the appraised value with a 580+ credit score.
- Finance up to 90% of the appraised value with a 540-579 credit score.
- Flexible qualification guidelines.
- Mortgage insurance for the life of the loan.
- Maximum loan limits vary by county.
- Gift funds can be used for down payment & costs.
- Lower interest rates.
- Higher up-front closing costs.
- FHA loans are assumable.
- Debt-to-income ratio as high as 57%.
- Allows a no-qualifying "streamline" refinance.
FHA Home Loan Benefits
Here are some benefits of FHA loans:
- Low down payment: An FHA loan requires a lower down payment which can make it easier for first-time homebuyers to afford a home.
- Flexible credit requirements: FHA loans have more flexible credit requirements than conventional loans, which means that borrowers with lower credit scores or a less established credit history may still be able to qualify.
- Available for different types of properties: FHA loans can be used to purchase a variety of different types of properties, including single-family homes, multi-family homes, and manufactured homes.
- Lower interest rates: FHA loans may have lower interest rates than conventional loans, particularly for borrowers with lower credit scores or who are making a lower down payment.
- Ability to refinance: FHA loans can be refinanced through the FHA Streamline Refinance program, which allows borrowers to refinance their existing FHA loan into a new one with lower interest rates and monthly payments.
It's important to note that while FHA loans can offer some advantages, they also come with some potential drawbacks. FHA loans require mortgage insurance, which can add to the overall cost of the loan. It's important to carefully consider your financial situation and the terms of the mortgage before committing to an FHA loan.
FHA Home Loans - Additional Information
FHA allows 100% gift funds for the down payment and closing costs
The FHA is generous with respect to gifts for down payment. Very few loans programs will allow your entire down payment for a home to come from a gift. The FHA will.
Via the FHA, your down payment can be a gift from an immediate relative (such as parents), an employer, an approved charitable group or a government home buyer program. If you’re using a down payment gift, though, you’ll need to follow the process for gifting and receiving funds.
FHA Non-Credit Qualifying Streamline Refinance
If you already have an FHA mortgage, you have the option of an FHA Non-Credit Qualifying Streamline Refinance. This allows you to refinance without going through the usual steps. There’s no credit check, income verification or home appraisal required. As long as you’re current on your mortgage payments, have no more than one late payment in the last 12 months and no late payments in the last three months, you can be approved.
The Non-Credit Qualifying Streamline Refinance is available in either 15- or 30-year terms, and as a fixed- or adjustable-rate mortgage. Streamline rates are the same as regular FHA refinance rates.
An appraisal is required if you wish to have your closing costs added into the loan. Or you can pay a somewhat higher mortgage rate in exchange for no closing costs, with no appraisal needed.
FHA Cash-out Refinance Mortgage
The FHA cash-out refinance option allows homeowners to pay off their existing mortgage. The amount of money that can be borrowed depends on the amount of equity that’s been built up in the home’s value. To be eligible for an FHA cash-out refinance, borrowers will need at least 20% equity in the property based on a new appraisal. Equity is the difference between the current value of a property and the amount owed on the mortgage.
Decide What’s Best for You
While an FHA loan solution may sound great, it’s not for everybody. It may not help those with credit scores less than 540. On the opposite end, aspiring homeowners who can afford a large down payment may be better off going with a conventional mortgage, as they could save more money in the long run through the lower interest rates and mortgage insurance premium that conventional lenders provide.
As the Federal Housing Administration puts it, an FHA loan “won’t accommodate those who are shopping on the higher end of the price spectrum – nor is it intended to. The FHA loan program was created to support ‘low- and moderate-income home buyers,’ particularly those with limited cash saved for a down payment.”
Scott Buehler is an FHA Home Loan Lender
If you are considering buying a home, an FHA loan may be a good option to help you finance the purchase. With an FHA loan, you may be able to qualify for a mortgage with a low down payment and flexible credit requirements. Plus, FHA loans often come with lower interest rates and closing costs than conventional loans.
If you are interested in learning more about FHA loans and how they can help you buy a home, consider reaching out to Scott Buehler who specializes in FHA loans. I can help you understand the requirements and benefits of an FHA loan, as well as help you determine if an FHA loan is the right financing option for you. Don't wait – start the process of becoming a homeowner today!
Disclaimer: Loan terms and limits subject to change. This page is meant for educational purposes and is not a commitment to lend. To qualify for a home loan, please speak to Scott Buehler or apply online.