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
One type of question that sometimes arises about FHA loans-- Is there a no-credit-check version of an FHA mortgage loan? What is the criteria required for FHA loans that do not require a credit check and/or appraisal?
One not-so-common question about FHA loans still comes up often enough to discuss in detail. Some FHA loan applicants want to know if they can purchase a residence from another family member using an FHA insured mortgage.
Except for obligations specifically excluded by state law, the debts of the non-purchasing spouse must be included in the borrower’s qualifying ratios if certain conditions are met.
Some FHA borrowers have questions about applying for an FHA loan after experiencing a short sale on a previous home. The FHA loan rules found in HUD 4155.1 have the answers for borrowers applying for an FHA mortgage after a short sale.
The FHA and HUD issued new rules for mortgage insurance designed to add fiscal security to the loan program, and when those rule changed the new guidelines were published in Mortgagee Letter 2013-04.