Close this search box.
Home / First-Time Home Buyers Love FHA Loans?

First-Time Home Buyers Love FHA Loans?

First Time Home Buyers Love Fha Loans

FHA mortgages are flexible and accessible

Home buyers today don’t frequently buy homes with 20% down.

Low and no-down payment mortgages remain favored by first-time buyers and repeat buyers alike; plus one of the very most popular low-downpayment mortgage program is the FHA loan via the Federal Housing Administration.

Nearly 1 in 5 U.S. buyers use an FHA loan to finance a home purchase.

The program’s popularity, in part, is that because buyers could make a low down payments of just 3.5 percent via the FHA. But, you will also find other purposes why FHA loans are in demand.

Also, to lose underwriting standards, FHA mortgage rates are less than comparable conventional rates; and FHA loans can be assumed with a home’s subsequent buyer.

This is especially valuable in a rising mortgage rate environment.

FHA home loans are mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration.

  • FHA loans feature more lenient underwriting standards and rates than conventional loans, and several FHA lenders accept lower credit scores
  • FHA loans also offer low minimum down payments of just 3.5%
  • FHA home buyers pay upfront and monthly mortgage insurance premiums (MIP) to make sure sustainability of this program


In today’s expanding economy, U.S. home buyers have an extensive collection of mortgage loans to choose from.

Examples of these, you will find conventional loans available via Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; Rural Housing Loans available via the USDA; and, 100% loans available via the Department of Veterans Affairs and its VA loan.

Even Jumbo mortgages and private loans have made a comeback lately.

Nevertheless, loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration stay stagnant in popular.

The FHA loan mixture of low rates, low advance payment, and flexible lending guidelines have managed to get among most frequent loan options for home buyers today.

You will find advantages to choosing an FHA loan. Here are some of the biggest.

FHA mortgage insurance premiums

It might appear odd to call FHA mortgage insurance an advantage because it doesn’t come for free, but FHA MIP is what makes the FHA program possible. With no MIP, FHA-approved lenders might have little reason to produce FHA-insured loans.

The great news is that, as a homeowner or home buyer, your FHA MIP rates have dropped. Today’s FHA MIP costs are actually as much as 50 basis points (0.50%) lower each year than they were in 2014.

Additionally, you have methods to reduce what you’ll owe in FHA MIP yearly including utilizing a 15-year mortgage term for your loan; or, making a down payment of at least 5 percent.

Or, as much homeowners are doing in today’s market, you are able to refinance out of FHA MIP.

FHA allows a 3.5% down payment

For today’s home buyers, you will find just a few mortgage options which lets you put a down payments of five percent or less. The FHA is one of them.

With an FHA mortgage, you can possibly make a down payment no more than 3.5%. This benefits homebuyers who don’t have a lot of money saved up for down payment; and, home buyers who rather save money for moving costs, emergency funds, or other needs.

FHA allows 100% gift funds

The FHA is aggressive with respect to gifts for advance payment. Not many loans programs allows your entire down payment for a home to come from a gift. The FHA will.

Via the FHA, your entire 3.5% deposit could be a gift from parents or another relative, an employer, an approved charitable group, or a government homebuyer program. If you’re utilizing a down payment gift, bare in mind that you’ll have to follow the procedure.

Get approved with a high DTI

FHA loans also allow higher debt-to-income ratios.

Your debt-to-income ratio, or DTI, is calculated by comparing a couple of things: your debt payments and your before-tax income.

As an example, if you earn $5,000 monthly along with your debt payment total is $2,000, your DTI is 40 percent.

Most conventional mortgage programs — those provided by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — allow debt-to-income ratios between 36 and 43 percent.

With down payments of significantly less than 25 percent, like Fannie Mae allows you to head to 43 percent DTI for FICOs of 700 or higher.

Mortgage software company Ellie Mae recently reported that the common DTI for closed conventional purchases was 34 percent.

Officially, FHA maximum DTIs are as follows.

  • 31% of gross income for housing costs
  • 43% of gross income for housing costs plus other monthly obligations like credit cards, student loans, auto loans, etc.

The common DTI for closed FHA purchases in was 41 percent according to Ellie Mae, and FHA allows ratios as high as 50 percent.

To get an approval only at that high ratio, you’ll likely need a number of compensating factors — for example, an excellent credit score, significant savings, or a down payment exceeding the minimum.

There are numerous FHA-approved lenders

FHA loans can be funded by any FHA-approved lender. This consists of mortgage company, savings-and-loans institutions, and credit unions. The market for FHA loans is giant, which creates competitive pressure among lenders to provide low FHA rates and low FHA fees.

It pays to “shop around” on an FHA loan.

Furthermore, because different banks use different techniques to underwrite, your FHA loan can be declined by Bank A but approved by Bank B.

If you meet the rules of the FHA, you are able to apply until your loan get approved!

There are numerous FHA loan products

Via the FHA, you will get a mortgage of just about any type.

The agency is best-known because of its traditional 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, however the FHA offers a 15-year fixed rate loan in addition to a series of adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs).

Additionally, the FHA insures purchase-and-improvement loans for when you need to get a home that requires repairs; 203k construction loans for when you need to buy a home that’s newly built; and energy-efficiency loans for when you want to finance the expenses of energy-efficiency improvements into your loan.

The FHA also offers a full line of FHA refinance products.

The FHA insures most property types

FHA home buyers have the ability to purchase any home key in any U.S. neighborhood — whether in the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, or any U.S. territory.

The FHA will insure single-family detached homes, 2-unit homes, 3-unit homes, 4-unit homes, condominiums, mobile homes and manufactured homes.

FHA lenders accept lower credit scores

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may possibly say they accept FICOs as little as 620, however in reality, lenders impose higher minimums.

Both of these agencies create guidelines through which lenders issue mortgages. But, banks and mortgage companies add their particular rules together with Fannie and Freddie requirements.

The additional rules are called lender overlays.

Stricter credit score minimums are part of the reason the average credit score for completed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac home purchase loans was 754 in a recently available report.

Based on the same report, by loan software company Ellie Mae, the typical FICO for closed FHA purchases was nearly 60 points lower at 686.

FHA loan requirements allow for surprisingly low fico scores. About 37 percent of FHA approvals fell into the 650-699 credit score range according to Ellie Mae. Yet another 24 percent of applicants had a score between 600 and 649.

The majority of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac approvals visited applicants with FICOs 100 points higher, in the 700-749 group.

Officially, listed below are credit score minimums for FHA

  • 580 or higher for 3.5% down
  • 500-579 for 10% down

High credit scores are excellent when you have them. But applicants with credit mistakes within their past could purchase a home before they’ve fully restored their credit.

FHA permits applicants without credit scores

Imagine if an applicant hasn’t had a credit account? Their credit report is, essentially, blank.

FHA borrowers without any credit scores could also be eligible for a mortgage. In fact , HUD prohibits FHA lenders from denying an application based solely on a borrower’s insufficient credit history.

The FHA allows borrowers to build nontraditional credit as an option to standard credit history. This can be a huge advantage to somebody who’s never really had credit scores due to a lack of credit history.

Borrowers may use payment histories on items such as utility bills, cell phone bills, car insurance bills and apartment rent to build nontraditional credit.

The FHA allows extended loan sizes

A “loan limit” may be the maximum allowable loan size for an area and, as another FHA benefit, FHA loan limits could be extended as conventional loan limits are. In Orange County, California, for instance , or New York City, the FHA will insure up to $625, 500 for a mortgage.

For 2-unit, 3-unit and 4-unit homes, FHA loan limits are even higher — ranging up to $1, 202, 925.

FHA loans are assumable

A little-known FHA benefit is that the agency allows a home buyer to “assume” the present FHA mortgage on your home being purchased.

The buyer must still be eligible for the mortgage having its existing terms but, in a rising mortgage rate environment, it can be appealing to assume a home seller’s loan.

5 years from now, like a buyer of an FHA-insured home can “inherit” a seller’s sub-4 percent mortgage rate.

The FHA offers construction loans

Via its 203k program, the FHA offers construction loans to home buyers planning upgrades to a brand new home; and homeowners likely to make repairs to home already owned.

Via the FHA 203k loan, projects including new roofing, structural additions, and complete home teardowns. The 203k loan may be placed on homes looking for minor repairs as well as fixer-uppers.

The FHA is the only federal government agency to issue such a loan.

Use FHA becoming a landlord

You might say, FHA enables you to purchase a rental property with 3.5 percent down.

You need to select a multi-unit property – a duplex, triplex, or fourplex – and you must live in one of the units. The rent from the other units can partially or even fully offset your mortgage payment.

Conventional lenders will lend on investment homes with 15 percent down when you have exceptional credit, income and assets.

Use FHA financing to gain landlord experience with less risk and potentially more reward.

FHA allows high loan amounts

Most mortgage programs limit their loan sizes, and several of those limits are associated with local housing prices. FHA mortgage limits are set by county or MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area), and range between $294, 515 to $679, 650 for single-family residences in many parts of the country.

Limits are higher in Alaska, Hawaii, the US Virgin Islands and Guam, and in addition for duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes

Alternatives to FHA

There are numerous government-backed and nongovernment (conventional) options that also offer low down payments and flexible underwriting.

They include Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (conforming) loans, HomeReady and Home Possible® mortgages for low-to-moderate income borrowers, nonconforming loans, VA loans and USDA mortgages.

FHA mortgage eligibility isn’t limited to first-time or low-income buyers. Alternatives like VA mortgages are restricted to eligible military and veteran applicants, and USDA loans have income restrictions and so are obtainable in less densely populated areas.

Conforming and conventional loans often demand higher credit scores.

No single mortgage program is most beneficial for all home buyers, so it’s smart to compare.

Access to the FHA streamline refinance

Another advantage for FHA-backed homeowners is usage of the FHA Streamline Refinance.

The FHA Streamline Refinance can be an exclusive FHA program that provides homeowners among the simplest, quickest paths to a refinance. Via the FHA Streamline Refinance, there are no credit score checks, no income verifications, and home appraisals are waived completely.

Additionally, via the FHA Streamline Refinance, homeowners with a mortgage pre-dating June 2009 access reduced FHA mortgage insurance rates.

History of the FHA mortgage

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) was established in 1934, which, in U.S. history, was a period of time of “heavy renting”. The country was emerging from the great depression.

Just 4 in 10 households owned their homes.

During the time, the mortgage terms provided by lenders were tedious. To obtain a loan designed to make a 50% advance payment; to consent to a loan term of 5 years or fewer; and, to produce a large “balloon” payment to the bank following the mortgage’s first few years.

Few U.S. consumers could meet with the terms of a 1930s mortgage.

Meanwhile, the federal government wanted to raise the rates of homeownership nationwide. With increased homeowners, the government sees that neighborhoods would stabilize and the U.S. economy would get back on track.

With this, the FHA and its flagship mortgage program was born.

The key feature of the FHA-backed mortgage was its Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) program, a self-sufficient insurance fund by which the FHA could ensure the nation’s lenders against “bad loans”.

These rules had become referred to as the FHA mortgage guidelines.

In time, the FHA MIP system gave banks confidence to create better loans with better terms for hopeful U. S. home buyers. Soon, the down payment requirements for a home loan dropped; 5-year loan terms were replaced with longer terms of 15 and 30 years, and mortgage rates dropped.

The FHA happens to be the largest insurer of mortgages in the world.

More home-buying resources

  • Start from the beginning: Discover which loan type is most beneficial for you personally
  • Advance: Read more about FHA loans

What exactly are today’s FHA mortgage rates

For significantly more than 80 years, the FHA home loan program has helped U.S. homeowners purchase homes affordably and refinance them. Compare today’s rates and see what an FHA loan can do for you personally.

Have a look at today’s FHA mortgage rates now. Your social security number isn’t needed to get going, and all quotes include immediate access to your live credit scores.

Stay Connected

Subscribe to our mailing list to receives daily updates direct to your inbox!
*we hate spam as much as you do

Recent News

Top Stories

Must Read Stories