FHA stands for Federal Housing Administration. An FHA mortgage is one that is insured by the Federal Government. FHA loans are administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
The federal government got into the mortgage business as a response to the Great Depression. When the economy tanked in a big way, the housing market was hit hard. Many construction workers were unemployed. Only one in every four families owned their own home.
To understand why, all you have to do is take a look at the mortgages that were available. According to the HUD website, mortgages could finance only 50% of the purchase price and the loan had to be paid off over 3 to 5 years with a balloon payment at the end.
FHA Mortgage Advantages
Since FHA loans are backed by the federal government, lenders can allow for less money down than on conventional mortgages. It also means that if your income wouldn’t meet the levels required for a conventional loan, you might qualify for an FHA loan.
One of the factors that lenders look at when deciding to give you a loan is your debt-to-income ratio. This the number that says how much of your income goes to monthly debt payments. With an FHA loan you can carry more debt and still be eligible for a mortgage.
Every state has variations on who qualifies for an FHA loan and how much they can borrow. To find out more about buying a home and the FHA program you might qualify for, go to this website: http://www.hud.gov/buying/index.cfm
FHA First Time Buyers
If you’re buying your first home, you might qualify for FHA programs where you can buy for as little as 3% down and most of the closing costs would be added into the loan amount. There are also special programs for homes that need repairs. An FHA loan can also be used to make your home more energy efficient.
Mobile homes and manufactured homes qualify, in some cases, for FHA loans. There is one program for the land that the home sits on and another for the home itself.
If you are over 62 years old and own your home, you might qualify for the FHA reverse mortgage program. This program allows you to remain in your home but still cash in on the equity you’ve built up.
You can find a qualified FHA lender at the HUD website: http://www.hud.gov/ll/code/llslcrit.htm
This site is not a broker and does not collect or solicit mortgage applications. Content is for informational or comparison purposes only. Services are not available in New York. Products and services may not be available in all other states.