FHA Loan Articles
News, updates, and explanations to keep you informed.
FHA Debt-to-income Ratio Requirements
FHA loan requirements include a maximum debt to income ratio. When a borrower applies for an FHA mortgage, they are required to disclose all debts, open lines of credit, and all possible approved sources of regular income. Using this data, the bank and the FHA calculate the borrower's debt-to-income ratio.
How much can that ratio be? According to the FHA official site, "The FHA allows you to use 29% of your income towards housing costs and 41% towards housing expenses and other long-term debt."
Those percentages should be examined side-by-side with the debt-to-income requirements of a conventional home loan. In many cases the borrower gets only 28% of the income to put toward housing, and 36% of the income to put towards housing expenses and other debts.
Do these numbers seem unforgiving? The FHA does offer some flexibility in the debt-to-income ratio requirements under the right circumstances. An FHA loan applicant may be given some leeway with debt-to-income ratios when they have a large down payment, net worth that shows the lender's flexibility is justified, or the buyer has the ability to pay more because of a large savings account or other cash reserves.
FHA guidelines also offer flexibility in this area for borrowers applying for less than the maximum FHA loan terms. Do you anticipate lower monthly housing expenses at some point? That can also change the debt to income ratio. Have a detailed discussion with the loan officer about these issues--you may be able to have the debt to income ratio re-calculated to get the loan you need.
FHA NEWS and RELATED ARTICLES
When applying for an FHA home loan, some lenders may ask for tax paperwork as part of the application process. Some borrowers may wonder if this is legal, or an acceptable practice for home loans in general.
There are many questions about the official FHA loan rules for occupancy for single-family home loans. According to FHA rules, a borrower must occupy the home purchased with a single-family FHA loan as a personal residence as a condition of loan approval.
After the housing market crisis of the previous decade, many mortgage borrowers found themselves having trouble making their monthly payments. In some cases, borrowers just walked away from the mortgage completely and allowed the home to be foreclosed upo
The FHA has announced it would accept electronic signatures (also known as e-signatures) on several FHA home loan documents. The new policies are found in detail described in FHA Mortgagee Letter 14-03.
Some of your FHA loan closing costs may be financed, and some may--after being negotiated between buyer and seller--be paid by the seller within the boundaries of the FHA loan programís rules. The borrower can also pay some closing costs out of pocket.