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Articles Tagged With: FHA Loan Questions

FHA Mortgage Loan

Conventional Loans Versus FHA Mortgages

What’s the major difference between FHA mortgage loans and conventional loans? Actually, there are several, but the first and most basic difference is that an FHA mortgage is guaranteed by the government. A conventional loan is not. The government’s backing of an FHA mortgage makes the loan less of a risk to the financial institution offering you a line of credit to purchase your home. And because the loan is backed by the government, FHA mortgages feature lower down payment requirements than many conventional mortgages. You may find conventional loans requiring 10 or even 20 percent down, whereas an FHA mortgage for qualified borrowers with FICO scores of 580 or above may qualify for maximum financing. That means a down payment requirement of only 3.5% of the adjusted value of | more...

 

FHA Loans, Bank Accounts, And Verifiable Income

Some FHA borrowers want to know if they can use a business bank account for verifiable income purposes when applying for an FHA mortgage. Unfortunately, this question is open-ended, and the answers depend on circumstances. These issues are typically handled on a case-by-case basis. Does the business bank account belong to the borrower because he or she is a freelancer or self-employed? Is this an expense account that belongs to an employer? Such situations may have different issues affecting whether funds deposited to this account may be used as verifiable income. Those who are self-employed must provide documentation, including tax records and other paperwork that demonstrate that the income from the business is reliable and likely to continue. Freelance or contract employees would likewise be required to provide evidence that | more...

 

What You Should Know About FHA Energy Efficient Mortgages

The FHA Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) loan program was started back in 1992 as a pilot program in five states. A few years later, the program was expanded nationwide. According to the FHA official site: “EEM is one of many FHA programs that insure mortgage loans–and thus encourage lenders to make mortgage credit available to borrowers who would not otherwise qualify for conventional loans on affordable terms (such as first-time homebuyers) and to residents of disadvantaged neighborhoods (where mortgages may be hard to get).” Borrowers who use FHA loans can add the required FHA upfront mortgage insurance premium to their home loan or pay in cash at closing. There is a monthly premium paid as part of the monthly mortgage payment. The FHA EEM is an add-on to a standard | more...

 

FHA Loan Policies: Interest Rates

When you apply for an FHA loan, one of the most important questions to ask is about interest rates. You want to know how much, over how long, and what options are open to you in terms of fixed or adjustable-rate mortgages. FHA loan rules printed in the FHA Single-Family Lender’s Handbook include a section about interest rates. While the FHA does not set or regulate the interest rates on FHA mortgages. That’s between the lender and the borrower. FHA rules do require the rates to be customary and reasonable but the rulebook does NOT list numbers.  FHA loan interest rate policy is basically a hands-off policy. FHA loan rules say that typically under “all currently active FHA single-family mortgage insurance programs,” the borrower and the lender negotiate the interest | more...

 
Who can qualify for an FHA loan?

FHA Loan FICO Score Requirements

“Is my credit score good enough to get a mortgage?” That is among the most common questions about FHA loans and it’s easy to understand why. In times of high interest rates and competitive housing markets, every advantage counts. Do borrowers with lower credit scores still have a shot at getting a home loan? FHA loan rules for single-family home loans technically permit FHA loan approval for borrowers with FICO scores above 500. If your credit scores are within the 500-579 range you may be asked to make a higher down payment. But if your FICO scores are 580 or higher you qualify by FHA standards for the lowest 3.5% down payment. Here is the official FHA loan FICO score table from the FHA official site which lists the FICO | more...

 
FHA Loans

FHA Loan Options Post-Bankruptcy

There is a common reader question that goes something like this: “I had a bankruptcy discharged recently. How long do I have to wait to purchase another home? I have been working on my credit and improving my scores.” Post-bankruptcy, a borrower must work hard to establish the best credit possible in order to qualify for a new home loan. Lenders may be willing to work with borrowers with credit scores starting at around 620 or higher. But credit isn’t the only factor determining how soon after bankruptcy you can apply for a home loan. The nature of a borrower’s wait time to apply after bankruptcy depends on the nature of the bankruptcy. The rules governing this are found in the FHA Single-Family Lender’s Handbook, which advises that bankruptcy “does | more...

 
FHA Mortgage

FHA Loan Qualifications

We get many reader questions about FHA home loans. A common variation on one such question goes like this: “What qualifications are needed to be approved for an FHA home loan?” We get questions like these quite often. Some people mistakenly assume that FHA loans are only for first-time home buyers or those with lower incomes. This is not true; any qualified FHA loan applicant may be approved for an FHA mortgage. This is true regardless of whether the applicant has purchased a home before, has an income above or below a certain threshold, etc. If the borrower can realistically afford the loan and meet the other lender and FHA requirements, loan approval is possible. There is no minimum or maximum income level for FHA loans–instead, the lender will measure | more...

 
Home Loans

FHA Loan Expenses That Can Be Paid By The Seller

One common question about FHA loans involves whether the seller can pay some of the expenses of the borrower’s FHA loan as a motivation to purchase. Can the seller pay closing costs, offer to supply appliances, or add other incentives to the sales agreement? According to FHA loan rules in the FHA Lender’s Handbook, the answer is yes–but with limitations. According to HUD, “Certain expenses” paid by the seller (or other “interested third parties”) on behalf of the borrower are considered “inducements to purchase” and result in a dollar-for-dollar reduction to the lesser of the sales price or appraised value of the property before applying the appropriate loan-to-value (LTV) factor. That said, sellers can contribute up to six percent of the sales price without a penalty. They can also offer | more...

 
FHA Mortgage Loan

Alimony and Child Support: FHA Loan Rules

FHA loan rules permit alimony and child support to be counted as verifiable income for borrowers who receive it and who choose to list it in their income sources. Like all other sources of income, the rules in HUD 4000.1 state the lender is responsible for verifying the income through documentation such as court agreements or other paperwork. Receiving this income can help you qualify for a home loan, but what about FHA loan applicants responsible for paying alimony and child support? Does this count against a borrower’s debt ratio? HUD 4000.1 says yes, lenders must count alimony and child support payments as recurring debts. The FHA loan rule book gives the following instructions to the lender: “For Alimony, if the Borrowers income was not reduced by the amount of | more...

 

FHA Loans: Terms and Definitions You Should Know

Are you considering buying a home with an FHA mortgage or refinancing a current mortgage loan? If you are new to either process or if it’s been a long time since you purchased your first home, there may be terms and definitions you need to re-familiarize yourself with. Here are some basics you should know: FHA single-family home loans are what most borrowers are after when they want an FHA mortgage to purchase a home, townhome, condo, manufactured home, etc. The idea is basically that the home purchased with the FHA loan is an owner-occupied property that is primarily residential in nature and where at least one of the borrowers or co-borrowers will live once the loan is closed. Occupancy requirements refer to the FHA policy that single-family homes must | more...