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FHA loans are one of the best options for young, first-time home buyers who have not had as much time to save for a large down payment or establish a high credit score.

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Important FHA Loan Terminology

Important FHA Loan Terminology
Borrowers considering an FHA loan should be familiar with some basic loan terminology so they can make informed decisions. FHA loans are popular among first-time homebuyers and those with lower credit scores because they often offer more flexible eligibility requirements and lower down payment options. Here are some important terms and considerations for FHA loans:

FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP)
FHA loans require two types of mortgage insurance premiums: an upfront MIP and an annual MIP. The upfront MIP is typically financed into the loan amount or paid as a lump sum at closing.
The annual MIP is an ongoing premium that is added to your monthly mortgage payment. The amount depends on the loan-to-value ratio, the loan amount, and the term of the loan.

Minimum Down Payment
These government-backed mortgages typically require a lower down payment compared to conventional loans. The minimum down payment was 3.5% of the purchase price for borrowers that satisfy a particular lender's requirements. A 10% down payment may be required for borrowers with credit scores between 500 and 580 if a lender has more stringent requirements.

Credit Score Requirements
FHA loans are known for being more lenient with credit score requirements compared to conventional loans. However, individual lenders may still have their own minimum credit score standards.

FHA Loan Limits
FHA loan limits vary by location (county) and establish how much can be borrowed based on property type. They are set annually by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Borrowers should check the FHA loan limits for their area to ensure their desired home purchase price falls within the limit. Metro areas with higher housing costs, sometimes called high cost areas, tend to have higher loan limits.

Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI)
Simply put, this is the comparison of your total debt to your total income. Lenders will evaluate your debt-to-income ratio to determine your eligibility for an FHA loan. Generally, your total monthly debt payments, including your mortgage payment, should not exceed a certain percentage of your monthly income.

Property Requirements
FHA loans have specific property requirements to ensure the home is safe and livable. The property must meet certain standards, and the borrower may need to pay for a home appraisal to confirm compliance.

Mortgage Term
The number of months you will be making payments on your loan is call the term. FHAloans are available in various terms, including 15-year and 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. Borrowers should choose a term that suits their financial situation and long-term goals.

Streamline Refinance
Borrowers with existing FHA loans may be eligible for a streamline refinance, which can make it easier to lower their interest rate and monthly payments without a full credit check or appraisal.

Prepayment Penalties
This is a fee paid by borrowers when a loan is paid off before the full term. FHA loans typically do not have prepayment penalties. They allowg borrowers to make extra payments or pay off the loan early without incurring any additional fees.


Homebuyers Benefit From the Work Done by Fannie Mae
HUD 4000.1 is Sometimes Called the FHA Handbook
Credit History Is Presented as Your FICO Score
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FHA Loan Articles

When not to Consider Refinancing a Home

There are plenty of reasons to delay plans to refinance a home. One reason has made big headlines. When borrowers face higher interest rates than originally approved for, that is a good reason to wait to refinance.

How FHA Construction Loan Draw Disbursements Work

When you are approved for an FHA One-Time Close Construction loan, you get a single loan that pays for both the costs to build the house, and serves as the mortgage. One application, one approval process, and one closing date.

Mortgage Rate Predictions for 2024

In the last days of November 2023, mortgage loan rates flirted with the 8% range but have since backed away, showing small but continued improvement. What does this mean for house hunters considering their options to become homeowners soon?

Is It Cheaper to Buy a Home With an FHA Loan or to Rent?

In May 2023, USA Today published some facts and figures about the state of the housing market in America. If you are weighing your options for an FHA mortgage and trying to decide if it’s cheaper to buy or rent, your zip code may have a lot to do with the answers you get.

Why Do FHA Loans Have Borrowing Limits?

FHA loan limits serve as a crucial mechanism to balance financial sustainability, regional variations in housing costs, and the agency's mission to promote homeownership, particularly for those with limited financial resources.

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