How Much House Can I Afford Having an FHA Loan?

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is a federal agency that oversees the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Together, HUD and the FHA strive to increase home ownership and boost community development throughout the country. They execute their objectives, in part. As with a traditional loan, your earnings relative to your own expenses dictates how much home you can manage with an FHA merchandise.


While the national government does not provide financing for FHA loans, it supports creditors who choose to supply them. Underwriting advice is received by Personal lenders from HUD, but finally make their acceptance decisions. Relative to conventional loans, income and credit rating criteria for FHA loans are less strict. HUD encourages creditors to consider applicants with less than perfect credit for FHA loans. In return, they offer you a guarantee–when a debtor defaults on an FHA loan, the agency taps a pool of cash, funded by loan holder’s mortgage insurance premiums, and pays the remaining balance on your bad loan.


While HUD needs you to have a minimum credit score of 580 to qualify for a 3.5 percent down payment on an FHA loan, as of 2010, it does not require a minimum credit rating for acceptance. The property you are looking to fund cannot exceed a certain value, as determined by an area-specific basis by HUD. In the City and County of San Francisco, for instance, the FHA limit for a one-unit dwelling is 729,750, as of February 2009.

Debt-to-Income Ratio

The key criterion that determines how much you can afford, not just your chances in acceptance, having an FHA loan is the debt-to-income ratio. Underwriters for FHA loans assess the amount of your total house payment, including principal, interest, insurance and taxes, relative to a monthly gross earnings. Based on HUD’s”Mortgage Credit Analysis for Mortgage Insurance” record, this ratio cannot exceed 31 percent, meaning you can devote no more than 31 percent of your earnings to your home payment. Lenders scrutinize the amount of total debt, including the mortgage, you have against your earnings. This ratio cannot exceed 43 percent. HUD explains your debt-to-income amounts can transcend the above-mentioned levels if you display”compensating factors” These include a”demonstrated ability” to make home payments comparable to the payment you would make if approved for an FHA loan, a substantial amount of money in savings and a deposit of more than 10 percent.


You can use a mortgage calculator to plug into your income and expenses and get an estimated mortgage amount for an FHA mortgage. If you earn a monthly salary of $5,500, expect to pay monthly property taxes of $150 and insurance premiums of $200 to your new house, put $350 per month toward a car payment and pay $300 per month in credit card and other debt obligations, you might be eligible for an FHA loan of around $182,556 using a monthly payment of $980, according to the Mortgage Calculator. These amounts are based on a 30-year loan using a 5-percent interest rate.


While HUD authorizes creditors to exercise flexibility when crunching charge and allowable ratio–associated numbers, FHA loan consent is hardly guaranteed. According to HUD data, the average FICO credit rating of borrowers accepted for FHA loans has been 697. Of these borrowers qualified as first-time house buyers. The rate of software to endorsements, or accepted mortgages, was 68%, which translates into some 32-percent denial speed.

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