Getting a home can be a hassle. But it doesn't have to be. This is why the Federal Housing Administration has come up with the FHA loans. This loan is to make more flexible and affordable mortgage plans available for people looking to be homeowners who do not have a strong credit score. In this article, you will learn what the FHA loan is all about, how it works, what makes you qualify for it, and how to apply for it.
What is an FHA Home Loan?
The FHA loan is backed by the government and requires down payments much lower than other types of loans. You could get to pay as low as 3.5% if you qualify for it. And not only that, but the FHA home loans also involve lower minimum credit scores than many others.
For these reasons, many first-time home buyers prefer to opt for an FHA loan. The 2020 Annual Report of the Federal Housing Administration showed that over 83% of all FHA loans were requested by borrowers purchasing their first homes. However, you do not need to be a first-time home buyer to qualify for the loan.
Again, getting a home is not the only thing you could use the FHA loan for. For example, if you want to renovate your home or refinance your mortgage, you could also consider an FHA loan.
How Does the FHA Loan Work?
First, you have to realize that you would still need to apply for the FHA loan with traditional financial institutions such as banks and credit unions. This is because they are the ones who manage the loans. And where the government comes in is the insurance of the loans. The FHA loans are government-backed or government-insured.
Further, FHA loans usually come with the option of spreading over 15-year and 30-year terms with fixed interest rates. This is to make things flexible for the borrower. However, borrowers have to pay FHA mortgage insurance. This is to indemnify the lender from a loss if the borrower defaults.
How to Apply for the FHA Loan
If you are looking for how to apply for an FHA loan, there are some things to consider. But first, who can qualify for an FHA loan? Here are the needed requirements.
- Credit Scores: What credit score do you need for an FHA loan? If you are looking to apply for a loan with a 3.5% down payment, you would need a minimum credit score of 580. However, if it is a 10% down payment loan, your minimum credit score should be 500 to qualify for the loan.
- Debt-To-Income ratio: You are required to have a relatively healthy debt-to-income ratio. Your monthly debt payments are not expected to be more than 43% of your gross income.
- Type of Mortgage: Part of the requirements for the FHA loan is that you need to buy, renovate, or refinance a mortgage. And the home has to be your primary residence. Also, this loan should be used on a home with between one and four units.
- Financials: Your lender would need to undertake some verification processes. This would include matching your credit with your income. This process would also involve the valuation of the property you are looking to take the loan for.
Once you meet these requirements, compile the documents you might need, such as tax returns, driver's license, full statements of your assets, etc. Then you could reach out to multiple lenders to compare their offers. Bear in mind that interest rates differ. So, you should be open to picking the one that best works for you.
The FHA loans were created to present more flexible plans for you to be a homeowner. If you are looking to renovate your home or refinance your mortgage, the FHA could be an excellent opportunity for you to do that.