Home ownership rates in America continue to increase at a steady rate due in a large part to the implementation of FHA home loans more than seventy years ago. Over the years, FHA has helped Americans gain the financial independence that comes with owning a home. By creating jobs and reasonable mortgage rates for the middle class, financing military housing, and producing housing for the low income and the elderly, FHA has helped Americans become some of the best housed people in the world with over 73 million Americans currently owning their own homes.
By serving as an umbrella under which lenders have the confidence to extend loans to those who may not meet conventional loan requirements, FHA's mortgage insurance allows individuals to qualify who may have been previously denied for a home loan by conventional underwriting guidelines.
FHA loans benefit those who would like to purchase a home but haven't been able to put money away for the purchase, like recent college graduates, newlyweds, or people who are still trying to complete their education. It also allows individuals to qualify for a FHA loan whose credit has been marred by bankruptcy or foreclosure.
The most popular FHA home loan is the 203(b). This fixed-rate loan often works well for first time home buyers because it allows individuals to finance up to 97 percent of their home loan which helps to keep down payments and closing costs at a minimum. The 203(b) home loan is also the only loan in which 100 percent of the closing costs can be a gift from a relative, non-profit, or government agency.
Insurance on FHA mortgages are often rolled into the total monthly payment at 0.5 percent of the total loan amount which is roughly half of the price of mortgage insurance on a conventional loan. After five years or when the loan balance reaches 78 percent, the additional mortgage insurance is typically met and therefore drops off the total monthly payment.
It is not necessary to meet a minimum income requirement in order to qualify for a FHA loan but debt ratios specific to the state in which the home will be purchased have been put into place to prevent borrowers from getting into a home they cannot afford. This is done through a close analysis of income and monthly expenses.