FHA Loans

A Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan is a mortgage that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and issued by an FHA-approved lender. FHA loans are designed for low-to-moderate-income borrowers; they require a lower minimum down payment and lower credit scores than many conventional loans. 

FHA mortgage insurance programs help low and moderate income families become homeowners by lowering some of the costs of their mortgage loans. FHA mortgage insurance also encourages mortgage companies to make loans to otherwise creditworthy borrowers and projects that might not be able to meet conventional underwriting requirements, by protecting the mortgage company against loan default on mortgages for properties that meet certain minimum requirements. This includes  manufactured homes, single-family and multifamily properties, and some health-related facilities.

Section 203(b) is the centerpiece of FHA’s single family insurance programs. It is the successor of the program that helped save homeowners from default in the 1930s,  helped open the suburbs for returning veterans in the 1940s and 1950s, and helped shape the modern mortgage finance system. Today, FHA One to Four Family Mortgage Insurance is still an important tool through which the Federal Government expands home ownership opportunities for first time homebuyers

Section 203(b) has several important features:

Downpayment requirements can be low. In contrast to conventional mortgage products, which frequently require down payments of 10 percent or more of the purchase price of the home, single family mortgages insured by FHA under Section 203(b) make it possible to reduce down payments to as little as 3.50 percent. This is because FHA insurance allows borrowers to finance approximately 96.50 percent of the value of their home purchase through their mortgage, in some cases.

Some fees are limited. FHA rules impose limits on some of the fees that mortgage companies may charge in making a loan. For example, the loan origination fee charged by the mortgage company for the administrative cost of processing the loan may not exceed one percent of the amount of the mortgage.

Many closing costs can be financed. With most conventional loans, the borrower must pay, at the time of purchase, closing costs (the many fees and charges associated with buying a home) equivalent to 2-3 percent of the price of the home. This program allows the borrower to finance many of these charges, thus reducing the up front cost of buying a home. FHA mortgage insurance is not free: borrowers pay an up front insurance premium (which may be financed) at the time of purchase, as well as monthly premiums that are not financed, but instead are added to the regular mortgage payment.

HUD sets limits on the amount that may be insured. To make sure that its programs serve low and moderate income people, FHA sets limits on the dollar value of the mortgage loan.

Have Questions?
We Have Answers!

Our team of loan experts would love to hear from you and help!

Call us today at

888-844-7077

Or you can reach out to us and we'll get back to you shortly!

Quick Form

More FHA Loan Resources

FHA requires a mortgage insurance premium (MIP) for its home buying programs. An up front premium of 1.75% of the loan amount is paid at closing and can be financed into the mortgage amount. In addition, there is a monthly MIP amount included in the PITI. Condos do not require up front MIP – only monthly MIP.

The mortgage insurance premium paid on an FHA loan is always significantly higher than on a conventional program. On an FHA loan the borrower will be charged a mortgage insurance premium equal to 1.75% of the purchase price of the property and a renewal premium of .850% in subsequent years. By contrast, the mortgage insurance premium charged at closing on a conventional program is as low as .500% (with 10% down payment) with renewal rate as low as .300% in subsequent years.

FHA requires a mortgage insurance premium (MIP) for its home buying programs. An up front premium of 1.75% of the loan amount is paid at closing and can be financed into the mortgage amount. In addition, there is a monthly MIP amount included in the PITI. Condos do not require up front MIP – only monthly MIP.

The mortgage insurance premium paid on an FHA loan is always significantly higher than on a conventional program. On an FHA loan the borrower will be charged a mortgage insurance premium equal to 1.75% of the purchase price of the property and a renewal premium of .850% in subsequent years. By contrast, the mortgage insurance premium charged at closing on a conventional program is as low as .500% (with 10% down payment) with renewal rate as low as .300% in subsequent years.

There may be closing costs customary or unique to a certain locality, but closing costs are usually made up of the following:

  • Attorney’s or escrow fees (yours and your lender’s if applicable)
  • Property taxes (to cover tax period to date)
  • Interest (paid from date of closing to 30 days before first monthly payment)
  • Loan origination fee (covers lender’s administrative costs)
  • Recording fees
  • Survey fee
  • First premium of mortgage insurance (if applicable)
  • Title insurance (yours and your lender’s)
  • Loan discount points
  • First payment to escrow account for future real estate taxes and insurance
  • Paid receipt for homeowner’s insurance policy (and fire and flood insurance if applicable)
  • Any documentation preparation fees

The down payment for an FHA mortgage can be 100% gift funds. This is one of the key benefits to the FHA program.

Verification of the source of gift money is not required. However, it is necessary that the gift funds be deposited in the borrower’s bank or savings account, or in an escrow account, prior to underwriting approval. Proof of deposit is required.

Gift donors are restricted primarily to a relative of the borrower. They can also be certain organizations, such as a labor union or charitable organization. Contact your local branch for complete information.

If you have ever paid off a home loan backed by FHA, you may have money owed to you. And the government wants to pay you back.

About 1 in 10 FHA borrowers leave money in their escrow accounts when they pay off their loans. The average refund for each borrower is about $700.

Former FHA borrowers who think they might be due a refund can call a toll free number, 800-697-6967, write HUD at P.O. Box 23669, Washington DC 20026-3699, or look for his/her name with the HUD Refund Search Form on their web site.

Section 203(i) provides mortgage insurance for a person to purchase a principal residence in a rural area. The mortgage loan is funded by a lending institution, such as a mortgage company, bank, savings and loan association and the mortgage is insured by HUD.

What are the eligibility requirements?

  • Borrower must meet standard FHA credit qualifications.
  • Borrower is eligible for approximately 97% financing. Borrower is able to finance closing costs and the up front mortgage insurance premium into the mortgage. The borrower will also be responsible for paying an annual premium.
  • Eligible properties are one to four unit structures, including farm housing located on 2 acres or more of land adjacent to an all weather road.