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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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Benefits of an FHA Loan

Benefits of an FHA Loan

Making the decision to buy a house is a big one, followed by the choice of which house to buy. The next biggest decision you make is going to be the type of home loan you need to go through with the purchase.

One option for financing your home is an FHA loan. These mortgages are insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), a government agency committed to stimulating the American housing market, and create ways for people of all income levels to gain access to safe and affordable housing.

In addition to offering competitive interest rates, there are a number of reasons why FHA loans are one of the most popular loan types of mortgages for many first-time homebuyers as well as repeat buyers with lower credit scores. 

Flexible Down Payment and Credit Score Requirements
FHA loans are designed with first-time homebuyers in mind; younger borrowers who haven’t achieved a high credit score yet, and probably don’t have enough savings for a large down payment.  With this in mind, the FHA requires a down payment as low as 3.5% combined with a credit score of 580 or more to qualify for home loans, which is quite lower than the 620 minimum score and 20% down payment that is typically required by conventional lenders.

In the case of borrowers with even lower scores, the FHA allows a minimum score of 500 if the applicant can put up 10% toward the down payment. This is especially beneficial for borrowers who have suffered bankruptcy or foreclosure, which would preclude them from qualifying for conventional home loans.  

More Housing Options
The FHA’s aim is to expand housing opportunities for Americans, which is why FHA loans are suitable to finance various different property types. FHA loans can be used to buy single-family homes, multi-family homes with up to four units, manufactured homes on permanent foundations, and even condominiums.  

Open to All Income Levels
While conventional lenders can have set income limits to qualify for loans, there is no minimum or maximum income limit for FHA loans. Borrowers do not need a qualifying income, but they must show proof of employment, have at least two established credit accounts.  

Cheaper Mortgage Insurance
Many conventional lenders charge expensive Private Mortgage Insurance to borrowers with lower than necessary credit scores who cannot afford a 20% down payment. You can avoid this higher cost with an FHA loan, which requires the same Mortgage Insurance Premium, regardless of your credit score.  

Gift Funds Are Permitted
Even with a low, down payment requirement, the FHA allows the money to be sourced with “gifts,” which are funds not earned directly by the borrowers. This can include money from friends, family, a charity, employers, unions, or state and local government agencies, as long as the gifts are verified in writing by the donor.  

Non-Occupying Co-Signers
This is another advantage for first-time homebuyers with insufficient credit histories. While there are some restrictions, the FHA loans allow applicants to have a co-signer on the loan who does not plan to live on the property. This can be someone (such as a parent) with more established creditworthiness whose income and assets can be used to support the loan.  

The FHA loan has many features that appeal to a vast number of borrowers, but it’s best to consider all your options. Read up on the different mortgage types, and talk to your loan officer to see what the best move is for you!


Understand the Reasons for Private Mortgage Insurance
Carefully Read Your Closing Disclosure
Buying a Home With a Co-Borrower
See Your Credit Scores From All 3 Bureaus
See Your Credit Scores From All 3 Bureaus

More FHA Loan Articles

Home Loan Closing Costs

When you buy a home with an FHA mortgage, cash for closing costs and your down payment is required. It would be easy to assume you simply give the lender cash in the specified amount and that’s the end of the story.

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.

One-Time Close Construction Mortgages vs. Two-Close Loans

Did you know there is an FHA loan option that lets you build a house from the ground up? You can use this mortgage to build on land you own or on land you buy as part of the loan. But you will want to address some issues comparing construction loan options.

FHA Loans, Appraisals, and Excess Land

Sometimes when buying a home there may be a question of surplus or excess land. You likely won’t face this issue when buying a condo unit, but for other types of purchases, this may be an important factor in the appraisal process.

FHA Loan Income Rules to Consider Before Applying

Your lender is required to make sure you can realistically afford your mortgage, and that means verifying that your income is stable, reliable, and will continue after your mortgage has closed. What some don’t realize about this process is that there are standards for verifying income.

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