When it comes to financing a home a buyer is faced with the decision of what type of loan they want. The two most common choices are FHA or Conventional. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Follow the chart below to see which one is a fit for you!
For more information on homes available for FHA or Conventional
Which Loan is better for you?
• Credit scores less than 680.
• Less than 5% down payment and no reserves to use.
• Borrowers with past foreclosures between 3 and 7 years old.
• Borrowers with past short sales between 2 and 4 years old.
• Borrowers who need a gift for the down payment and/or closing costs, prepaid taxes and
The FHA Mortgage Insurance premium is a premium that exists for the FHA Loan that is
paid up front and monthly by the homebuyer. This premium protects the lender should the
buyer default. They vary per state and per type of loan Kentucky home buyers qualify for. In Kentucky, upfront mortgage insurance premiums are 1.75%.
Below are the rates per type of loan:
• 15-Year Fixed with down payment more than 10%: .45%
• 15-Year Fixed with down payment less than 10%: .70%
• 30-Year Fixed with down payment more than 5%: .80%
• 30-Year Fixed with down payment less than 5%: .85%
• Credit scores greater than 680
• Greater than or equal to 5% down payment with reserves
• Borrowers with past foreclosures over 7 years old.
• Borrowers with past short sales between 5-7 years old.
• Borrowers who have a lot of money saved up and want to get rid of mortgage insurance within the first 5 years give or take. 20% equity position is needed for no mi
The biggest difference between conventional loans and FHA loans comes down to the mortgage insurance. Mortgage insurance is more expensive for FHA loans, but the trade off is a lower fixed rate than conventional loans.
On Conventional loans there is no upfront mortgage insurance like FHA, and if you have a high credit score you can possibly get a lower monthly mi premium as compared to FHA where everybody gets the same mortgage insurance premium not matter your credit score or down payment.
Lastly, FHA Mortgage insurance is for life of loan, whereas Conventional mortgage insurance or pmi it’s called, is discontinued once you reach the 80% threshold equity position of your home loan.
Again, I would not get too caught in FHA having mortgage insurance for life of loan, because most loans are only kept open a minimum of 5-7 years so a lot of times it may make sense to go with the lower rate and pay the mortgage insurance with FHA because most people don’t hold their mortgage for 30 years.
You can call or text me with your questions and we can compare the differences based on your credit score, down payment and income.
Equal Housing Lender. NMLS#:57916 http://www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org/Rates, terms, and program information are subject to change without notice. Subject to certain approvals, terms and conditions. This is not a commitment to lend.
Not part of any government lending agency and only lending in the State of Kentucky.
Looking at FHA loans vs Conventional loans can arm you with a lot of valuable information as these are the 2 most popular mortgage loan products today. Before getting to the content let’s look at some abbreviations that will need to be defined.
Most of the disadvantages of conventional mortgages stem around qualifications and resources needed upfront. If a borrower has significant resources most of these disadvantages are of little consequence.
The major advantage to going with an FHA loan is that there are much more lax credit standards you have to meet to obtain financing. Usually, FHA mortgages require a lower down payment, can work with lower credit scores, less elapsed time is needed if you have some credit problems (charge-offs, foreclosures) and you can use a non-occupant co-borrower or co-signer (who is a relative) to help you qualify for the loan. That way you can use blended ratios. Blended ratios are debt-to-income ratios that equally blend or combine the primary borrower’s income and the non-occupant co-borrower’s income and monthly payments to help get approval for the loan. Except for HomeReady (formerly Fannie Mae HomePath) mortgages, conventional loans do not allow you to use a non-occupant co-borrower.
Most of these disadvantages involve extra requirements or limits added to the process of the house (see Pros and Cons of FHA Loans). Some of these might not be disadvantages depending on one’s personal situation, but they are extra steps to note. Since FHA mortgages are a government program, more care and consideration goes into the process, which may be better in some situations.
There are four important numbers in deciding which loan you will go with: credit scores, down payment amount, debt-to-income, and mortgage insurance percentage rate. Conventional mortgages and FHA home loans have different limits and rates which are important to examine. They also have important differences which affect the availability of properties, the condition of the properties one wishes to buy and how your down payment can be paid. So comparing FHA loans vs Conventional loans can sometimes be a tricky endeavor.
These four numbers are important to know and will affect one’s decision to pursue a particular type of home loan. Knowing your combination of numbers as you are looking to buy a house will help buyers find the best loans for their particular situation.
Thus, if one is wanting a low-risk transaction then the FHA home loan route is a better option to pursue, even though it limits your options for homes that you might wish to buy. If one is looking to fix-up a house and raise its equity quickly then a conventional loan is going to be more beneficial because there are no requirements as to the condition of the house and it’s occupied status.
In this article, we have given you the basic parameters of FHA loans vs Conventional loans. The conventional loans are for people who have a better financial track record and can handle a larger upfront cost. Because of PMI, conventional loans are cheaper in the long run if you can put enough of a down payment to get rid of PMI. However, there are no down payment assistance programs to help you reach that goal. FHA loans are for people who are looking to build their investment and in some cases may not have a great financial track record. FHA loans have lower down payment requirements and many grants/forgivable loans to help people wanting to buy a first house in which to live for at least a few years. It is important to assess your situation and decide which mortgage is going to work better for your circumstances.
Both mortgages have a lot of benefits and drawbacks because they are designed for people with different needs. This article has hopefully helped you to get a basic understanding of the different terms and conditions of different mortgage packages when looking at FHA loans vs Conventional loans. Home buying can be an emotional roller coaster and the knowledge in this article will help you navigate the various emotional struggles of home buying.
I also pulled one of the reviews from the website…
“I recently used Credit Karma in Canada (where I live) to determine if I would be able to get a mortgage on a new home. My score from them show my credit to be well into the good category at 716. I then approached a company for a mortgage ( I would never have considered this with a bad score). I was contacted within a few hours that my credit score was 618. I asked this company if they had the right name. When I told them my documented score, I was informed that they do not recognize credit Karma’s information. Therefore I find Credit Karma to be useless. I wonder how many others have had doors slammed in their face by this. My wife has not been well and it was very hard on her. Thanks for nothing Credit Karma.”
For my clients, I recommend either Privacy Guard or Credit Check Total to monitor their credit reports and scores. These sites cost about $20-$30 per month to access/track new credit reports and scores. This is the least expensive way that I’ve found to obtain new credit reports and scores that we use for our credit repair service.
Privacy Guard uses a “Credit Xpert” score which is fairly similar to a “FICO score” that banks use to risk grade you for a loan.
Credit Check Total uses a “FICO 8” score which is a generic consumer credit score. This is also very close to a score banks use to grade you.
FICO has designed over 50 different scoring models designed for specific industries (mortgage, auto, credit card, etc..) which will all produce a different 3 digit score ranging from 300-850. Are you confused yet?
If you’re thinking of applying for a loan/credit, go to MyFICO and purchase all of your FICO scores. Their cost is about $60 for all your FICO scores. This will be accurate information that will show you the same scores that the banks will see to approve or deny you.
Share this post with anyone you know that uses Credit Karma!
Where do buyers begin?
Haley Newton, a loan officer with Starkey Mortgage in Sherman, said the first step in the buying process is not finding a house, rather it’s getting qualified for a home loan. Buyers need to first find out how much house they can afford and if they can actually purchase a home.
“A lot them want to know what the first step is, and many people believe that the first step is finding a house, but that’s actually the second step,” Newton said. “You want to get qualified with a local lender to know what you’re pre qualified for, and then go out and find a house, which is the hard part.”
What documents do buyers need to provide to get qualified and pre approved?
qualification is typically the quick and easy initial step and approval is a more involved process. The qualification process starts with an application, which most lenders have available online, though Newton said buyers can call a lender or meet them in person to fill it out. After buyers fill out an application, which covers the buyers’ finances and history, the lenders will verify the information for preapproval and that requires the supporting documents.
“Once they’re prequalified, we’ll give them a list of documents they need depending on their application,” Newton said.
The list typically calls for pay stubs from the last 30 days, tax returns for the last two years, bank statements for the last two months, W-2s, IDs and Social Security cards.
Jeremy Lewis, branch manager of Grayson Home Loans, said sometimes the lender may require divorce decrees and documentation to indicate other income depending on the buyers’ situation. After approval, Lewis said he usually gives the buyers a call, and they figure out a loan program that best fits the buyers.
How much do buyers need for a down payment?
Short answer: It depends on the loan.
Lewis said the down payment is often the main concern for buyers, and it’s not a set amount. Depending on the loan type and what programs the buyers are eligible for, the down payment can be as little as zero down. Loans from the Federal Housing Administration, Veteran Affairs and the U.S. Department of Agriculture each have a set of stipulations that include the percentage required for the down payment.
“It depends on the loan type they’re going with — whether it be a conventional loan, an FHA loan, a VA loan or a USDA loan, it will determine what they’re going to have to place down — what their initial investment is going to be,” Lewis said. “There are still those out there out there that think they have to put 10 to 20 percent down, which is not correct. They can, in certain programs, put as little as zero down.”
Newton said there are down payment assistance programs in the state that can help cover the amount needed. These programs are income based and are capped anywhere from $55,000 to $75,000 depending on the program.
What’s the deal with closing costs?
In addition to a down payment, buyers also need funds to cover the closing costs. Lewis said the closing costs depend on the loan amount as a higher loan amount is going to cost more. About half the closing costs are directed to building the buyers’ escrow account, and the other half is a combination of fees for items such as the title and appraisal.
“Closing costs are another piece of the puzzle they’re going to have to come up with,” Lewis said. “However, in a Texas residential contract, you can ask the sellers to pay a certain percentage, depending on the loan type, for your closing costs.”
Buyers can negotiate with the sellers and ask that the seller pays a portion of the closing costs, which if the buyers qualify for a down payment assistance program, the initial costs can be very low.
“If you’re able to use the down payment assistance programs in addition to requesting the seller to pay some of their closing costs, they can actually get into a home with little to nothing down,” Newton said.
What is an escrow account?
“It kind of works like a separate checking account, and the purpose of that account is to pay the yearly tax bill that comes due every January, and their insurance premium that’s due once a year depending on when they closed on their home,” Newton said.
The initial money put into the escrow account is part of the closing costs, and Lewis said homeowners then add to it monthly when they make their house payments. The account is for buyers to put back money so property taxes and insurance are covered.
“Say when their tax bill comes due in January, there will be plenty of money in the account for them to pay their taxes, so that way they’re not coming up $2 to 3 to 5,000 all at once to pay their tax bill,” Newton said.
Can buyers purchase a home with a bad credit score?
Newton said buyers don’t necessarily need the best credit in order to get a home loan, and she noted that first-time home buyer programs have recently lowered their credit score requirements.
“A lot people around here they don’t necessarily have bad credit, they just don’t have a lot,” Newton said. “They don’t use their credit.”
Newton said lenders will work with buyers and give them steps to take over 60 to 90 days to boost their credit score to where they can buy a home.
“It can be intimidating but we can walk them through it,” Newton said.
Buyers should consult with local lenders, and Lewis said he guides buyers through the process so they know what to expect.
“There’s so many different moving parts to a loan anymore,” Lewis said. “I try to keep everyone versed and ready for what’s to come in the process and what to expect.”
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The view and opinions stated on this website belong solely to the authors, and are intended for informational purposes only. The posted information does not guarantee approval, nor does it comprise full underwriting guidelines. This does not represent being part of a government agency. The views expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily reflect the view of my employer. Not all products or services mentioned on this site may fit all people. NMLS ID# 57916, (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org). Mortgage loans only offered in Kentucky.
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Joel E Lobb
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Kentucky FHA, VA, USDA & Rural Housing, KHC and Fannie Mae mortgage loans.