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Articles by: Joe Wallace

Joe Wallace - Staff Writer

By Joe Wallace

Joe Wallace has been specializing in military and personal finance topics since 1995. His work has appeared on Air Force Television News, The Pentagon Channel, ABC and a variety of print and online publications. He is a 13-year Air Force veteran and a member of the Air Force Public Affairs Alumni Association. He was Managing editor for www.valoans.com for (8) years and is currently the Associate Editor for FHANewsblog.com.

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FHA loans

The Four Keys To Fixing Your Credit Before Your Home Loan

A lot of borrowers want to buy a home but worry that they have credit problems that might keep them from getting their mortgage loan approved. Any borrower worried in this way should do four important things starting about a year away from the day you want to apply for the loan. What are the four keys to credit repair ahead of your home loan? There are two items in the “Do” category and two in the “Don’t” category you should consider doing as early as possible before applying for best results. #1 Credit Repair Hack For Home Loan Applicants The number one credit repair hack any consumer can try begins with knowing the contents of your credit report. It’s that simple, really. And everything else you do going forward | more...

FHA Home Loans And First Time Home Buyers

Credit Advice Before Applying For A New FHA Mortgage

Do you know how to get your own credit ready for a major loan application like an FHA mortgage? If you want to discuss your home loan options with a participating lender, you’ll want to have worked on your credit for a significant amount of time before your application or pre-qualification process starts. How much time do you need to get your own credit ready to apply for an FHA mortgage? Many sources say at least one year is ideal, and the credit reporting agencies themselves urge borrowers to take matters into their own hands and begin reviewing credit reports and monitoring credit. The shortest answer to the question, “Am I ready to apply for a mortgage” is, “It depends on how long you’ve been working on your credit.” If | more...

Can I get an FHA home loan if I owe back taxes?

FHA Loan Fact and Fiction

An FHA loan comes with a variety of options, including the types of property you can buy (suburban home, townhome, condo unit, manufactured home, etc.) and the types of mortgage you can apply for such as a 15-year term, 30-year term, fixed rate, adjustable rate mortgage, etc. FHA Loan Fact: Applying For An FHA Mortgage With A Participating Lender There are many participating FHA lenders waiting to help you, and while FHA loans are NOT available from a financial institution that does not participate, the number of those who do is quite high. If you need to refinance a conventional loan and your lender is not an FHA lender, you’re free to find one who does and refinance into an FHA mortgage. FHA Loan Fiction: First Time Home Buyers Only? | more...

FHA loans

How Do FHA Refinance Loan Requirements Work?

How do FHA refinance loan requirements work? There are myths and misconceptions about FHA refinance loans; knowing how they work can help you decide if an FHA refinance loan is right for you. FHA Loans Are Available From Participating Lenders You will need to find a lender that participates in the FHA loan program to get an FHA refinance loan. You do not have to use your original lender to refinance into an FHA mortgage. More on that issue below. FHA Refinance Loan Requirements For Non-FHA Loans Yes, you can refinance a non-FHA home loan into an FHA mortgage. Refinancing non-FHA loans can be accomplished with FHA cash-out loans or no cash-out loans. You do not have to use your original lender to refinance from a non-FHA mortgage to FHA; | more...

FHA mortgage credit score

FHA Home Loan Down Payments: Do You Need Help?

If you want to apply for an FHA condo loan, an FHA mobile home loan, or even an FHA construction loan, you must anticipate the down payment requirements for these mortgages. At the very minimum, all FHA borrowers must put 3.5% down, with a higher down payment required for those with lower FICO scores. One of the first questions many readers will be asking at this point is likely, “What FICO scores require the higher down payment?” That question is one reason you’re reading this article right now; issues can affect your down payment requirements. It’s not safe to assume that you can simply pay what the FHA loan program rules require–lender standards, state law, and other variables can come into play. One variable is your credit score, and another | more...

Is your credit ready for an FHA loan?

Anticipating Closing Costs For Your New Home Loan

Buying a home requires planning and saving. Especially for closing costs, which can include appraisal fees, the home inspection, compliance inspections, and the Up-Front Mortgage Insurance Premium. It takes time to save for these expenses, but some borrowers will pay more up front than others. That is usually due to a combination of factors, but the thing new home loan applicants need to know is that your financial needs and goals will dictate how and when you pay certain closing costs. Did you know you can finance some closing costs and have the home’s seller help you pay for others? Government-backed mortgages like FHA home loans (including FHA One-Time Close construction loans which can help even a first-time home buyer build a home from scratch) make buying or building a | more...

FHA loans

Rent Or Buy?

For some, buying is better. Why? Much depends on your financial goals but you should also take into consideration aesthetics and practical concerns, too. One argument favoring buying or building (on your own lot) a home with an FHA mortgage? The ability to modify your property without having to go running to the landlord to ask permission is a big one. But some renters don’t realize that you can when you own your home, also apply for a refinance loan to repair or modify your property. That is not something you can do with a rental unit. You’re basically at the mercy of the landlord in such cases. Another argument in favor of buying a home with an FHA mortgage instead of renting? The ability to purchase a multi-unit home | more...

FHA Options

Do You Need To Refinance?

Do you need to refinance your home loan, but aren’t sure what the difference is between an FHA Streamline Refinance loan and FHA cash-out refinancing? These loans have important differences, beginning with the availability of cash paid to the borrower at closing time. One refi option permits cash back, the other does not. FHA Cash-Out Refinancing Loans FHA cash-out refi loans allow the borrower to be paid cash at closing when the costs of the new loan have been satisfied and the original loan has been paid off. These cash-out loans are offered by both FHA lenders and conventional lenders; why should a borrower choose an FHA cash-out refinance? Interest rates are generally lower on government-backed mortgages like FHA refinance loans. That said, your FICO scores will affect the actual | more...

FHA Fixed-Rate Mortgages Versus Adjustable Rate Mortgages

FHA Fixed-Rate Mortgages Versus Adjustable Rate Mortgages

What’s the difference between a fixed-rate mortgage and an adjustable-rate home loan? In 2023, you may find advantages in both types thanks to inflation and a recovering housing market. FHA single-family home loans come in a variety of types; both fixed-rate loans and those with adjustable rates. The rules for these loans, commonly referred to as FHA ARM loans, are spelled out in HUD 4000.1, the FHA Lender’s Handbook. Fixed rate home loans backed by the FHA are essentially what their name implies; a mortgage with a rate negotiated between the borrower and lender that does not change for the entire loan term. Borrowers who later want to apply for a lower rate can apply for FHA refinancing, including options such as the FHA Streamline Refinance loan program for FHA-to-FHA | more...

FHA Loan

Credit Monitoring For First-Time Home Buyers

Modern payment gateways, online selling and re-selling, and even digital currencies such as Bitcoin make for a more complicated relationship with credit and personal security; doing business digitally exposes consumers to more risk every day and from a variety of angles. Your account can be hacked individually, it can be compromised as part of a larger “harvest” of personal data and account numbers from a target company, etc. You may have had a credit card “skimmed” by a third-party device secretly installed in a gas pump payment swiper, or you could have been “shoulder surfed” at the ATM while entering your account information. Whatever the approach taken to this sort of crime, the threat to consumers is very real. Today’s news headlines tell us there are too many ways accounts | more...