July 20, 2018

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Articles by: Joe Wallace

Joe Wallace - Staff Writer

By Joe Wallace

July 20, 2018

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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Can I Use Gift Money For My FHA Home Loan Down Payment?

Can I Use Gift Money For My FHA Home Loan Down Payment?

FHA home loans feature low down payment requirements; only 3.5% of the adjusted value of the home is required in many cases unless a borrower’s credit scores don’t meet FHA lender requirements and FHA single family home loan guidelines. But even these low down payments can be challenging for some FHA loan applicants, and many borrowers wonder what the allowable sources for FHA mortgage down payment funds might be. FHA mortgage loan rules state that a borrower’s minimum required investment (MRI) is completely separate from all other payments or fees for an FHA mortgage. And the source funds for the MRI must come from approved sources, which can and sometimes do include gift money. HUD 4000.1, the FHA loan handbook, states clearly that gift funds can only come from approved | more...

 
Things To Ask About Buying Condos And Other Homes

Things To Ask About Buying Condos And Other Homes

If you are in the market for a condo that you want to buy with an FHA home loan, there are some important questions to ask before you commit. Some of these questions apply to any property type, but some more specifically apply for condo loans or FHA home loans for properties that come with a requirement to join a Homeowners Association (HOA) or agree to its’ rules. What should an FHA borrower ask a seller about a condo unit or a home governed by a condo association agreement or homeowner association agreement? First, ask if any applicable agreements include a Right of First Refusal, which requires the borrower to submit any sale or transfer of the home to the association for approval. FHA loans cannot be approved for properties | more...

 
Are Free Credit Reports Trustworthy?

Are Free Credit Reports Trustworthy?

Long before you fill out FHA home loan application forms, you should be requesting copies of your credit reports and reviewing the information your lender will see when you are ready to get your new home loan. There are many websites and third-party companies that offer free credit reports to help loan applicants, but not all of them are interested just helping consumers. Can you trust the companies that offer free credit reports and credit score information? While it’s not possible to recommend a specific organization (with one exception), it is good for consumers to remember that many companies offer free services in exchange for your personal data that can be used to market goods and services to you via your cell phone number, email address, and other information. The | more...

 
Should You Sell Your Home? The FHA Cash-Out Refinance Option

Should You Sell Your Home? The FHA Cash-Out Refinance Option

There are a lot of websites urging home owners to consider selling your home, especially for those who own homes on the West Coast. Home owners on the West Coast and other increasingly profitable housing markets have the potential (at the time of this writing) to earn more than ever by selling a house. But borrowers looking to get cash from their homes in a housing market where property values are going up have another option to consider. It doesn’t matter if your home is in San Jose, San Francisco, Seattle, or Nashville, if your home could appraise for more money today due to the influence of a hot housing market? It could be worth an amount worth considering in the form of an FHA cash-out refinance. If you are | more...

 
What You Need To Know About FHA Loan Applications And Loan Approval

What You Need To Know About FHA Loan Applications And Loan Approval

What should you know about FHA home loan applications and FHA loan approval? Before your home loan gets final approval from the underwriter, it will go through a series of processes including the credit check, appraisal, employment verification, and much more. But FHA home loan approval depends on more than one set of standards, which makes these check and approval processes more complex. To approve your loan, the lender must answer a variety of questions about the borrower’s ability to afford the loan. FHA Loan Approval Questions Your Lender Must Answer There are several areas the lender must have answers in to give you final loan approval: What is the borrower’s current or expected income? What kind of assets does the FHA loan applicant have? What is the FHA borrower’s | more...

 
Can I Get An FHA Loan With A Debt Collection In My Credit History?

Can I Get An FHA Loan With A Debt Collection In My Credit History?

Can I get an FHA home loan approved even if I have a debt collection in my credit history? That is an important question on the minds of some FHA loan applicants going into the home loan process. This type of credit issue is commonly referred to as having a collection account, which HUD 4000.1 (the FHA Loan Handbook) defines as follows: “A Collection Account refers to a Borrower’s loan or debt that has been submitted to a collection agency by a creditor.” Collection accounts can be an issue for an FHA loan applicant; generally it is strongly recommended to come to the application process with 12 months of on-time payments for all financial obligations. Depending on circumstances (such as when the lender is required to manually underwrite the loan), | more...

 
Cash To Close An FHA Home Loan: What You Need To Know

Cash To Close An FHA Home Loan: What You Need To Know

What kind of cash to close do borrowers need with an FHA mortgage loan? The amount and nature of the cash to close the FHA loan will vary depending on several factors including the amount of your down payment, whether you have financed the Up Front Mortgage Insurance Premium or not, etc. FHA Loans Cash To Close: Your Down Payment For new purchase home loans, FHA loans cash requirements to close the deal will include the minimum 3.5% down payment for borrowers who qualify for that lowest down payment with FICO scores that meet both FHA minimums and lender requirements. 10% down is required for borrowers with FICO scores that don’t fall into the ranges specified by FHA loan rules and lender standards. But the exact amount of cash needed | more...

 
Seven Facts About FHA Home Loans

Seven Facts About FHA Home Loans

Seven facts about FHA home loans you should know include lower credit score requirements and down payments than conventional mortgage counterparts. The other five facts are just as useful to a house hunter as the low down payment and FHA credit score rules. FHA Home Loan Limits Are Adjusted Yearly And Vary Depending On The Housing Market Not all housing markets have the same costs or median house prices. A Zillow.com report for home values in 2018 says houses in California may average around $500,000 while homes in Pennsylvania average around $160,000. FHA home loan limits for high-cost and low-cost areas are adjusted rather than featuring an one-size-fits-all approach. FHA Loan Down Payment Requirements Compared To Conventional Mortgage Loan Requirements FHA loans specify down payment minimums between 3.5% of the | more...

 
Remodel Your Home With An FHA Rehab Loan

Remodel Your Home With An FHA Rehab Loan

Are you thinking of selling your home? Need to think about increasing the value of your house before you put it on the market? Or maybe you want to remodel the home you’re planning on staying in long-term and are looking for the best return on investment or ROI for a remodeling project? FHA 203(k) Rehab loans can help you invest good money for a sound ROI on upgrades, improvements, and repairs. You can remodel your home with an FHA 203(k) rehab loan as a new purchase loan or as a refinance loan for your current mortgage. What types of remodeling projects have a good ROI and are allowed under the parameters of the FHA rehab loan program? The answer may depend on whether you apply for a standard or | more...

 
Credit Scores For An FHA Home Loan: When Low Credit Is Not Bad Credit

Credit Scores For An FHA Home Loan: When Low Credit Is Not Bad Credit

Are you worried about your credit scores for an FHA home loan? When is a low credit score a reflection of bad credit behavior? FHA home loan rules specify that the lender must insure a borrower as a 500 FICO score at the very minimum in order to qualify for an FHA mortgage, but your credit score numbers don’t tell the whole story. It’s true that FHA loan rule minimums for FICO scores do not always reflect the participating lender’s credit score requirements; borrowers are technically eligible for an FHA mortgage with the lowest possible down payment if they are applying with FICO scores at 580 or higher. The lender may require a credit score of 620 or higher for the same applicants. But your FICO scores only make up | more...