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If you are in the market for an FHA loan, you are probably happy to get many benefits from the loan like a good interest rate along with the need for a low downpayment. While these loans can be very helpful on the path to homeownership, they can be complex. It’s a good idea to hire a realtor who is well-versed in the ins and outs of FHA loans and standards. A real estate agent can help you to find the right property to suit your needs and meet the standards the FHA loan will require.    


Do you know what you’re getting into when it comes to shopping for a home? The FHA sets the rules for how homes get approved for an FHA loan and under what standards. These rules exist because the FHA is insuring the loan, but the organization is not directly funding the loan itself. This insurance protects the lender if the loan is defaulted on. An inspection appraisal report must be completed on each property. The appraiser is required to be an FHA approved appraiser to complete the job.


Loans


There are limits on how much of a loan you can get when it is FHA-backed. This is because the FHA will only insure a loan amount up to this limit. This means that you won’t be looking at high-end homes because the limits are usually quite restrictive as to the type of property you can get. This holds true unless you can afford a larger downpayment than the standard 3.5% required by the FHA.  


Condition Of The Home


FHA-backed home loans can be rejected due to the poor condition of the home. If an appraiser says that the home is unsafe or hazardous to occupants, the loan will be denied. The assessment of the home’s condition is very important to the lender’s decision to grant the loan. The lender may even require that certain improvements be made before the loan can be approved. These improvements can include pest treatments, fixing leaks, or other damages that are deemed hazardous.


The Property Itself


The FHA also sets guidelines for the type of property that you can get. A condo must be in a HUD approved complex, for example. If you want to research FHA-approved condo complexes, you can search right on the HUD website. Each complex meets the Department of Housing And Urban Development’s standards for financial stability, hazard, and liability insurance. If you’re looking at manufactured homes, these are also held to certain standards. The manufactured home must be permanently attached to the foundation, have the ability to be taxed as a real estate property asset, and have been constructed before June 15, 1976.   



If you’ve been considering taking the next step toward homeownership, you’ve likely heard about FHA loans. Offered by the Federal Housing Administration (hence, “FHA”), these loans are great for a number of people hoping to purchase a home but who don’t have a large down payment saved.

There are many misconceptions about FHA loans since they’re often advertised by large, private mortgage lenders but are technically a government program. In order to clear up some of the confusion, we’ve provided answers to some frequently asked questions regarding FHA loans.

Read on to learn about FHA loans and how they might help you purchase a home.

Who issues an FHA loan?

FHA loans aren’t issued by the government. Rather, they’re issued by private lenders but insured, or “guaranteed,” by the government.

Since lenders want to make sure they’ll see a positive return from lending to you, they typically want you to have a high credit score and a large down payment (typically 20%). However, not everyone is able to meet those requirements. In this situation, the FHA is able to help you acquire a loan by giving your lender a guarantee.

Are there different types of FHA loans?

Yes. In fact, there are nine distinct types of loans guaranteed by the FHA. These include fixed rate mortgages, adjustable rate mortgages, refinance loans, reverse mortgages, VA loans, and more.

What do you need to qualify for an FHA loan?

It’s a common misconception that you need to be a first-time buyer to qualify for an FHA loan. However, if you have previously owned a home that was foreclosed on or if you’ve filed for bankruptcy, the foreclosure and bankruptcy have to be at least three years old.

You’ll also need to demonstrate a stable employment history, usually including two years of employment with the same employer.

Finally, the FHA will ask you for your current and previous addresses, the last two years tax returns, and the W-2 forms from any of your recent jobs.

What is the most I can borrow with an FHA loan?

The FHA sets mortgage limits on loans depending on the state and county you’ll be living in. For a single-family home, the limit ranges from $275,000 to $451,000. So be sure to check the limits for your state and county.

Can you refinance an FHA loan?

Refinancing a loan is a great way to receive a lower interest rate or to shorten the term of their mortgage to save in the total number of interest payments. In fact, the FHA typically only allows refinancing when it will result in lower interest payments on a loan.

What is the minimum credit score needed to qualify for an FHA loan?

While you don’t need excellent credit to qualify for a loan, the FHA will require you to have a score of at least a 580. You can check your score for free online from a number of companies, such as Mint or Credit Karma. Be aware, however, that scores vary between credit bureaus. So, it’s a good idea to check your FICO score once per year, which is the score used by mortgage lenders.


If you have seen your latest credit score and feel like you’re less than financially fit, don’t fret. There’s plenty of reasons why people end up with bad credit. There’s also plenty of things that you can do to amend and work with your bad credit. 


The Factors


Mortgage lenders look at a variety of factors when it comes to your credit and determining if you’re ready for a home loan. These include:


  • Age of credit
  • Payment history
  • Amount of credit debt


If you have opened new accounts frequently or ran up credit card balances without paying them down, these behaviors could negatively affect your credit score. 


Changing Your Habits


Just changing one of these bad habits can help your credit score in a positive way. This also means that a bad credit score doesn’t equal not being able to get a home loan. Your home loan may just come at a higher price. 


What If You’re Turned Down For A Loan?


You can ask your lender why you’re unable to get a loan. Some possible reasons that you’re getting rejected:


  • Missed credit card payments
  • Failure to pay a loan
  • Bankruptcy
  • Overdue taxes
  • Seeking a loan outside of what you can afford
  • Legal judgements
  • Collection agencies


If you have defaulted on a loan, missed payments or filed for bankruptcy, chances are that you’ll have trouble securing a home loan. Other factors that can affect your credit score include negative legal judgements that have affected your credit, or having a collection agency after you. 


How To Fix It


If you have bad credit, it’s not the end of the world. It’s possible that lenders can give you a loan if your credit score isn’t too low. You could, however, face higher interest rates as a penalty for a low credit score. This is due to the fact that you’re more likely to default on a loan based on your risk factors. 


You can improve your credit score by:


Keeping existing accounts open

Refraining from opening new accounts

Trying not to approach too many lenders to find the right interest rate. Every time you get a credit check, it affects your score. 


Finding A Loan


Signs of bad credit can take awhile to disappear from your credit report. Sometimes, you have the opportunity to explain to lenders what these factors are in detail so you can secure the loan. There are even mortgage companies that assist you through the loan process to give you a boost in getting the loan.


FHA Loans


FHA loans are a great program option especially for people with bad credit. These loans offer low down payment options and have lower credit score standards. FHA loans have been helping people to secure their first homes since 1934.


If you have bad credit, the dream of home ownership is still possible. If you’re early in the process, get to work and keep that credit score up so that when you head out to apply for a loan, you’ll be able to secure it.         




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