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What You Need To Know About FHA Loan Closing Costs

April 23, 2024

FHA Home Loan

What must you know about FHA home loans, cash to close, and your obligations at closing time? If you are a first-time homebuyer, it’s easy to get confused (initially) about the difference between your down payment money, closing cost funds, and other expenses like the home inspection. 

Some of the early confusion comes from the fact that some do not understand the FHA philosophy about the down payment and the other expenses associated with closing day. 

That money is not lumped into your downpayment requirement when you pay closing costs. In other words, if you pay X amount of money at closing time for things like the FHA Up-Front Mortgage Insurance Premium and other expenses, that money is NOT considered part of your FHA loan downpayment.

HUD 4000.1, the FHA Single-Family Lender’s Handbook, states that the FHA home loan down payment is a completely separate payment that is not reduced by the amount you pay for closing costs.

FHA home loan rules about cash to close say that these expenses can be offset by negotiating with the seller to pay a certain percentage of closing costs on your behalf. The seller can pay up to six percent of the closing costs of the home. 

But the seller can NEVER provide down payment funds, another way FHA loan rules keep cash to close and the downpayment completely separate.

FHA loan rules permit the use of downpayment assistance programs or financial help from someone who will not profit from the sale of the property, including state or local agencies that provide downpayment assistance programs.

For any down payment assistance or closing cost gift funds from a third party, the lender must verify the source of those funds in a way acceptable to the FHA and that financial institution.

There must be a paper trail to show that these funds did not come from unapproved sources like a payday loan or credit card cash advance.

Closing costs and down payment money are required to close the deal, but you should expect all sources of these funds to be given the kind of scrutiny your credit report gets at application time. 

FHA loan closing costs will include a combination of mandatory fees such as the lender’s funding fee or loan origination fee, the appraisal fee, title fees, and other expenses as permitted under the FHA loan program. 

Some costs are optional, like paying discount points to reduce the mortgage interest rate or paying the FHA Up-Front Mortgage Insurance Premium in cash.

You can choose to finance certain closing costs, but remember that anything you add into the mortgage loan amount may increase the amount you owe each month.

Bruce Reichstein - FHA News Author

By Bruce Reichstein

Bruce Reichstein has spent over three decades as an experienced FHA and VA home loan mortgage banker and underwriter where he was responsible for funding “Billions” in government backed mortgage loans. He is the Managing Editor for FHANewsblog.com where he educates homeowners on the specific guidelines for obtaining FHA guaranteed home loans.

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About FHANewsBlog.com
FHANewsBlog.com was launched in 2010 by seasoned mortgage professionals wanting to educate homebuyers about the guidelines for FHA insured mortgage loans. Popular FHA topics include credit requirements, FHA loan limits, mortgage insurance premiums, closing costs and many more. The authors have written thousands of blogs specific to FHA mortgages and the site has substantially increased readership over the years and has become known for its “FHA News and Views”.

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