FHA Insured mortgages: Understanding the basics

by Cheryl Pendenza - Realtor®/Broker Associate 12/08/2022

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Backed by the Federal housing administration, FHA insured mortgages can be an excellent choice of financing for potential homeowners. These loans are insured by the government rather than a bank or other lending institution, and as such have slightly different requirements and processes.

How FHA loans work

An FHA loan has fixed rate terms with fixed interest rates. Flexible underwriting standards are meant to allow for homeowners who may otherwise not be able to afford private loan programs. Their debt-to-income ratio, credit score and other financial requirements also tend to be more flexible.

However, the borrower must purchase FHA mortgage insurance, which protects the lender against losses should the borrower default. As with almost all other mortgage lenders, mortgage insurance is required if your minimum payment is under 20%.

FHA loan limits

The maximum amount you can borrow with an FHA loan varies. Different states, counties and cities can affect the total amount you're able to borrow. This is because the money comes from a government budget set based on factors like income and population. Research the limits in your area while considering this financing option.

How to apply for an FHA loan

The first step in applying for a FHA loan is to choose a lender. There are many choices of reputable lenders offering FHA-backed mortgages for qualified borrowers. Once you choose your lender, you'll submit an application either online or directly with a loan officer.

Gather quotes from multiple lenders before deciding. Just like with traditional mortgages, shopping around for the best deal is a good idea. Before completing the application process, make sure you're getting the best possible rate for your mortgage.

To complete the application, you'll have to provide basic details about yourself and your property. You'll also need to give the lender supporting financial documents to verify things like savings, debt and income.

During this time, the lender will run a credit check to determine your eligibility. Typically, FHA mortgages require a score of at least 500. Your lender may consider multiple financial factors. However, it's important to show evidence of solid credit history to better your chances of approval.

Borrowers who qualify for FHA loans can experience the benefits of a government insured mortgage and better afford their dream home. If you're interested in obtaining a FHA loan, this information is sure to get you started. 

About the Author

Cheryl Pendenza - Realtor®/Broker Associate

Bringing more than 30 years of experience to the table, Cheryl has a paralegal degree, banking background, and is a member of many professional, civic, and community organizations.

Qualified • Experienced • Skilled

"As a full-time REALTOR®, I am dedicated to providing my clients with a high level of service by building relationships, marketing, and negotiating on their behalf. As a homeowner, I realize how important homeownership is.

Cheryl brings warmth and compassion to her client relationships and referrals have become the backbone of her business. "I’m grateful for every referral and welcome the opportunity to help clients achieve their real estate goals.”

Cheryl Pendenza, Broker Associate affiliated with RE/MAX Andrew Realty Services since 1999 is a local businesswoman and formidable negotiator who can help you achieve your real estate goals. Supporting family, community and local business is important to Cheryl and she can often be found at one of the local restaurants, shops, or galleries.