FHA Growing Equity Mortgages
Loans for Borrowers with Rising Incomes
FHA Growing Equity Mortgages are home loans that are tailored for first time home buyers or young families. These likely homebuyers are often not in a position that would warrant them being able meet the many upfront and monthly costs that are involved.
FHA's Section 245(a) enables those who currently have a limited income but expect their monthly earnings to increase, to purchase a home with the help of a Growing Equity Mortgage in which payments start small and increase gradually over time. As the mortgage payments grow the additional payment is applied toward the principal on the loan thus reducing the mortgage term. Growing Equity Mortgages also allow homeowners who are interested in further reducing the term of their mortgage to apply scheduled increases in their monthly payments to the outstanding principal balance.
How it Works
Through this and other types of mortgage insurance programs, the lender helps low and moderate-income families purchase homes by keeping the initial costs down. 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. It also protects lenders against loan default on mortgages for properties that include manufactured homes, single-family and multifamily properties, and some health-related facilities.
Through the Growing Equity Mortgage program first-time home buyers and others with limited incomes can start out with a low monthly mortgage payment that will increase gradually over time therefore allowing them to purchase a home sooner than they would be able to through conventional financing programs.
Growing Equity Mortgages are eligible for insurance under Section 203(b) for one to four family homes; Section 203(k) for home purchase, refinancing, or rehabilitation; Section 203(n) for shares in cooperative housing; and Section 234(c) for units in condominiums. Growing Equity Mortgages must meet the requirements of the section under which they are insured but certain exceptions are available.
Each of the five Growing Equity Mortgage plans provides for monthly payments to be increased by a fixed percentage during each year of the loan. The initial year's payments to principal and interest are based on a 30 year level payment schedule. Thereafter the amount of the monthly payments for the next 12 months will increase each year by between 1 and 5 percent depending on the plan selected. The actual term of the mortgage will not exceed 22 years and may be less depending on the specific Growing Equity Mortgage plan and interest rate selected.
Most lenders who use this mortgage insurance product make their requests through a provision known as "direct endorsement," which authorizes them to consider applications without submitting paperwork to HUD.
Growing Equity Mortgages are available to anyone who anticipates their earnings to increase appreciably and intends to use the mortgaged property as their primary residence.