Why Choose 7th Level for your FHA Mortgage Loan?
At 7th Level Mortgage, our FHA loan programs have expanded guidelines for first time home buyers, for people with bad credit or previous poor credit scores in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Delaware, New York, Florida, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Maryland and Minnesota. See how we can get you into a home using FHA loan programs today in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, Minnesota, Colorado, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Florida, Texas, Ohio and Georgia.
Our team is familiar with FHA loan programs, helping you to find the right one to meet your needs. Plus, we understand each FHA loan requirement based on each state, so we can ensure you are eligible. Let’s explore what an FHA loan is, some requirements, and why you should consider one before making your next home purchase.
An FHA insured loan is a US Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insurance backed mortgage loan which is provided by an FHA-approved lender. FHA insured loans are a type of federal assistance and have historically allowed lower income Americans to borrow money for the purchase of a home that they would not otherwise be able to afford. To obtain mortgage insurance from the Federal Housing Administration, an upfront mortgage insurance premium (UFMIP) equal to 1.75 percent of the base loan amount at closing is required, and is normally financed into the total loan amount by the lender and paid to FHA on the borrower's behalf. There is also a monthly mortgage insurance premium (MIP) which varies based on the amortization term and loan-to-value ratio.
The FHA does not make loans. Rather, it insures loans made by private lenders, like 7th Level Mortgage. The first step in obtaining an FHA loan p[rogram is to contact several lenders and/or mortgage brokers such as 7th Level Mortgage and ask them if they are FHA-Approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to originate FHA loans. As each lender sets its own rates and terms, comparison shopping is important in this market.
Second, the lender or broker ie. 7th Level Mortgage, assesses the prospective home buyer for risk. The analysis of one's debt-to-income ratio enables the buyer to know what type of home can be afforded based on monthly income and expenses and is one risk metric considered by the lender. Other factors, e.g. payment history on other debts, are considered and used to make decisions regarding eligibility and terms for a loan. FHA loan programs for buyers who don't meet a minimum 620 FICO score may be subject to higher mortgage rates.
Although the FHA establishes minimum FHA loan program qualifying criteria for this type of loan, each lender that offers FHA financing may have stricter criteria or overlays. Not all lenders offer the same approval criteria so it is important to make sure you are dealing with a lender like 7th Level Mortgage, LLC. We do NOT restrict FHA credit criteria nor do we impose any overlays.For example, FHA will allow a borrower to qualify with a 55% total debt to income ratio. Most lenders have tightened their guidelines and will not approve borrowers with more than a 50% debt to income ratio. At 7th Level Mortgage, LLC, we follow FHA loan programs guidelines and give homeowners every opportunity to qualify with no restrictions or overlays to the program.
An FHA loan can provide a path for those looking to purchase a home. Each county has different loan limits, so our team ensures that your loan will qualify based on the local limits where you are buying your property and FHA loan requirements.
FHA loans also provide the benefits of providing the means to cover a down payment, making it easier for you to meet the requirements for a home purchase. Typical conventional mortgages require a 20% down payment, which can be out of reach for some individuals and families, especially those in a lower income bracket or who might also be dealing with less than perfect credit. If you have a bankruptcy on your credit record, an FHA loan can provide you with an option to purchase a home while your credit repairs itself.
You have more options available to cover closing costs or your down payment. These include gifts from the seller or gifts from family or friends. Doing so allows you to complete the closing and meet your financial obligations. Homeownership does not have to be out of reach with an FHA loan.
Most prospective homebuyers seek to purchase a home using the FHA loan program for a variety of reasons. Mostly, first time home buyers and even repeat homebuyers will qualify under the FHA loan program because it has expanded qualifying criteria.
- FHA allows for a down payment of only 3.5% of the purchase price.
- Debt to income ratio’s are expanded to 55% instead of 43- 45%.
- Down payments can be gifted from immediate family members.
- Credit score requirements are lowered to a minimum of 580.
- There are shorter waiting periods, typically 2 to 3 years from a discharged bankruptcy, foreclosure or short sale.
- Seller’s can contribute up to 6% of the purchase price towards the closing costs.
FHA loan programs are typically one of the easiest types of mortgage loans to qualify for because it requires a low down payment and you can have less-than-perfect credit. An FHA down payment of 3.5 percent is required. Borrowers who cannot afford a traditional down payment of 20 percent or can’t get approved for private mortgage insurance should look into whether one of the an FHA loan programs is the best option for their personal scenario.
The low down payment funds can also be gifted to you under the FHA loan program, which makes it unique. However, you will need to meet the requirements for the size of the gift and providing any necessary proof as necessary to meet the FHA guidelines.
Another advantage of an FHA loan is that it can be assumable, which means if you want to sell your home, the buyer can “assume” the loan you have. People who have low or bad credit, have undergone a bankruptcy or have been foreclosed upon may be able to still qualify for an FHA loan. There are several guidelines, including waiting periods, that will apply before your FHA loan can be approved. Working with your lender, you can determine if enough time has passed between your bankruptcy or foreclosure and your new FHA loan.
You knew there had to be a catch, and here it is: Because an FHA loan does not have the strict standards of a conventional loan, it requires two kinds of mortgage insurance premiums: one is paid in full upfront – or, it can be financed into the mortgage – and the other is a monthly payment. Also, FHA loans require that the house meet certain conditions and must be appraised by an FHA-approved appraiser.
Upfront mortgage insurance premium (MIP) — Appropriately named, this is an upfront monthly premium payment, which means borrowers will pay a premium of 1.75% of the home loan, regardless of their credit score. Example: $300,000 loan x 1.75% = $5,250. This sum can be paid upfront at closing as part of the settlement charges or can be rolled into the mortgage.
Annual MIP (charged monthly) —Called an annual premium, this is actually a monthly charge that will be figured into your mortgage payment. It is based on a borrower's loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, loan size, and length of loan. There are different Annual MIP values for loans with a term greater than 15 years and loans with a term of less than or equal to 15 years. Loans with a term of greater than 15 Years and Loan amount < or =$625,000.
- Loans with a term of greater than 15 Years and Loan amount < or =$625,000
- LTV less than or equal to 95 percent, annual premiums are 1.30%
- LTV above 95 percent, annual premiums are 1.35%.
- Loans with a term of greater than 15 Years and Loan Amount >$625,000
- LTV less than or equal to 95 percent, annual premiums are 1.50%
- LTV above 95 percent, annual premiums are 1.55%
- Loans with a term of 15 years or less and Loan amount < or =$625,000
- LTV less than or equal to 90 percent, annual premiums are .45%
- LTV above 90 percent, annual premiums are .70%
- Loans with a term of 15 Years or less and Loan Amount >$625,000
- LTV less than or equal to 90 percent, annual premiums are .70%
- LTV above 90 percent, annual premiums are .95%
Example (for LTV less than 95 percent on a 30 year loan): $300,000 loan x 1.30% = $3,900. Then, divide $3,900 by 12 months = $325. Your monthly premium is $325 per month. The Mortgage Insurance will be in your payments for the entire loan term if your LTV is >90%. If your LTV is = or < 90%, the Mortgage Premium will be for the mortgage term or 11 years, whichever occurs first.
Single family home mortgages with amortization terms of 15 years or less, and a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of 78 percent or less, remain exempt from the annual MIP.
FHA Mortgage Insurance Duration
The duration of your annual MIP will depend on the amortization term and LTV ratio on your loan origination date. Please refer to this chart for more information:
When choosing the right mortgage for your home purchase, there are many different things to consider. While an FHA mortgage does have an insurance requirement, it can also provide an affordable option for individuals and families looking to purchase their first home or refinance their current home.
Our team can walk you through the MIP process, helping you to determine how much it will cost you throughout the life of your home mortgage loan. Plus, we can walk you through the rest of the loan terms to better understand your costs, both at closing and monthly. This can effectively help you manage your budget, regardless of the economic climate.
If you are ready to finance the purchase of your new home, there are multiple FHA loan requirements that you should be ready to satisfy for your lender. It is critical to note that you need to be able to provide proof of income through your tax returns, W-2s, 1099s, or pay stubs. Doing so will also help you to verify several other items on the list below:
- Must have a steady employment history or worked for the same employer for the past two years
- Must have a valid Social Security number, lawful residency in the U.S. and be of legal age to sign a mortgage in your state
- Must make a minimum down payment of 3.5 percent. The money can be gifted by a family member.
- New FHA loans are only available for primary residence occupancy
- Must have a property appraisal from a FHA-approved appraiser
- Your front-end ratio (mortgage payment plus HOA fees, property taxes, mortgage insurance, home insurance) needs to be less than 31 percent of your gross income, typically. You may be able to get approved with as high a percentage as 46.99 percent. Your lender will be required to provide justification as to why they believe the mortgage presents an acceptable risk. The lender must include any compensating factors used for loan approval.
- Your back-end ratio (mortgage plus all your monthly debt, i.e., credit card payment, car payment, student loans, etc.) needs to be less than 43 percent of your gross income, typically. You may be able to get approved with as high a percentage as 56.99 percent, but this is not a common occurrence, especially if you have less than perfect credit. Your lender will be required to provide justification as to why they believe the mortgage presents an acceptable risk. The lender must include any compensating factors used for loan approval.
- Minimum credit score of 580 for maximum financing with a minimum down payment of 3.5 percent. Lenders may require a higher credit score, depending on the area, size of your loan, or your current DTI.
- Minimum credit score of 500-579 for maximum LTV of 90 percent with a minimum down payment of 10 percent. FHA-qualified lenders will use a case-by-case basis to determine an applicants' credit worthiness.
- Typically you must be two years out of bankruptcy and have re-established good credit. Exceptions can be made if you are out of bankruptcy for more than one year if there were extenuating circumstances beyond your control that caused the bankruptcy and you've managed your money in a responsible manner. Keep in mind, your lender will have to determine if you have reestablished good credit or money habits in the time since your bankruptcy and you will likely be required to provide additional proof to establish your case.
- Typically you must be three years out of foreclosure and have re-established good credit. Exceptions can be made if there were extenuating circumstances and you've improved your credit. If you were unable to sell your home because you had to move to a new area, this does not qualify as an exception to the three-year foreclosure guideline. Again, the importance of providing proof of the circumstances surround your foreclosure is key to obtaining an exception from your lender if you are looking to make a home purchase within the 3 year time frame.
For homebuyers with less than perfect credit or a smaller down payment, an FHA loan can be the solution to financing your new home. Here is what you need to know about the FHA loan program as you start your financing journey.
An FHA-insured loan is a U.S. Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insurance backed mortgage loan provided by an FHA-approved lender. These loan programs provide a type of federal assistance that allow lower income Americans to borrow money for the purchase of a home. Lenders benefit because with the backing of the federal government, their risk level for making these loans is reduced. However, there are financial implications related to using this FHA loan program. The benefit for those who have struggled to repair their credit or are only able to save a smaller down payment is that they can still have the opportunity to stop renting and start down the path to homeownership.
To obtain this mortgage insurance from the FHA, an upfront mortgage insurance premium (UFMIP) equal to 1.75 percent of the base loan amount is required at closing. This premium is normally financed into the total loan amount by the lender and paid to the FHA on the borrower’s behalf.
As part of the program, a borrower will have a monthly mortgage insurance premium (MIP), which varies based on the amortization term and loan-to-value ratio.Your monthly loan payment will reflect that MIP, which may be removed once your mortgage is below 80% of your home’s appraised value, provided that you are able to refinance into a conventional mortgage loan. This MIP will reflect the length of your loan, as well as the size of your down payment.
An FHA loan offers:
- A low down payment of only 3.5% of the purchase price
- Debt to income ratios are expanded to 55% instead of 43-45%
- Down payments can be a gift from family
- Credit score requirement is a minimum of 580
- Shorter waiting periods for those who have a bankruptcy, foreclosure, or short sale on their record
- Seller can contribute up to 6% of the purchase price towards closing costs
It is important to keep in mind, however, that the MIP will be part of your monthly mortgage payment and may impact how much house you can afford. The duration of your annual MIP will depend on the amortization term and LTV ratio on your loan origination date. Your new home will also have to meet certain conditions and be appraised by an FHA-approved appraiser.
There are also certain properties that cannot be purchased under the FHA mortgage loan program. Working with your lender, you can determine if your potential home meets these property requirements. In many cases, this means that commercial properties would not qualify for an FHA mortgage loan.
- Must have steady employment or worked for the same employer for the past two years
- Must have a valid Social Security number, lawful U.S. residency, and be of legal age to sign a mortgage in your state
- Make minimum down payment of 3.5%
- New FHA loans must be for a primary residence occupancy
- Your front-end ratio (mortgage payment plus HOA fees, property taxes, mortgage insurance, home insurance) cannot exceed 31% of your gross income
- Your back-end ratio (mortgage plus all your monthly debt) needs to be less than 43% of your gross income
- Minimum credit score of 500-579 for maximum LTV of 90% with a minimum down payment of 10%
- Must demonstrate efforts to rebuild credit after foreclosure, bankruptcy, or short-sale
This loan program can offer benefits to those who need assistance in making a first-home purchase. It is important to weigh the additional costs that come with the MIP as you decide if an FHA loan is right for you! Recognize, however, that if you have a limited down payment or less than perfect credit, this FHA loan option with MIP may still provide an affordable means to make your first home purchase in New Jersey or Florida.
7th Level Mortgage’s home state is in New Jersey, and no one understands the nuances of FHA lending in the state better than our team. FHA loans in NJ have some of the same requirements as the rest of the nation, including a minimum down payment of 3.5%, a minimum credit score of 580, and manageable levels of debt. Due to these relaxed lending requirements, FHA loans are incredibly attractive to many borrowers in New Jersey.
Based on the historically low interest rates, New Jersey residents have the opportunity to own a home, instead of continuing to deal with higher rents from year to year. Like other states, there are maximum loan amounts for FHA loans in New Jersey that vary by county, and range from $331,760 to $765,000 for single-family homes. These limits are higher for properties with multiple units. To find out more about the maximum loan amounts in your area, and determine if an FHA home loan is right for your circumstances, contact the experts at 7th Level Mortgage today.
FHA loans are an excellent option for individuals considering the purchase of a home in Florida, particularly if they are a first-time home buyer. FHA loans are ideal for borrowers in a low- to moderate-income bracket and those who don’t have a perfect credit record. Provided that the borrower has a stable employment record, moderate debt in relation to their income, and a low down payment, they can likely qualify for an FHA loan to get into their desired Florida property quickly. Using a lender familiar with the FHA loan program can assist in making your application process go quickly and smoothly. FHA loans do have maximum limits; for most areas of Florida, this figure is $331,760 for single-family homes, although some areas have increased maximum amounts – up to $552,000 - due to higher median incomes. Contact 7th Level Mortgage today to find out what the loan limit may be in the area you are searching in and to find out how you can secure an FHA loan.
FHA loans provide a viable option to purchase a home and lock in a mortgage rate to keep your monthly loan payment fixed. With rental costs increasing around the country, particularly on the East Coast, a fixed rate mortgage can be a budget-friendly way to manage your living costs.
If you want to purchase a home, our team can walk you through the FHA loan requirements and determine your eligibility. We provide you with the expertise of our loan origination staff, who can help you find the right loan to fit your needs and budget. Contact us today to learn more about an FHA loan and whether it is the right fit for you.