An FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loan is a loan insured against default by the FHA. In other   words, the FHA guarantees that a lender won’t have to write off a loan   if the borrower defaults – the FHA will pay.
FHA loans are not for everybody. Nevertheless, they are a great help to some borrowers.
FHA loans allow people to buy a home with a down payment as small as 3.5%. Other loans might not allow such a low down payment.

FHA loans offer a few other bells and whistles:

3.5% down payment required on purchase Easier to use gifts for down payment and closing costs No prepayment penalty Financing  for home improvement using  FHA 203k programs

Who can get an FHA Loan?

Almost anybody can get an FHA loan. There are no income limits.  However, there are limits on how much you can borrow. In general, you’re limited to median home prices in your area.  To find the limits in your region, visit HUD’s Website. To qualify for an FHA loan, you’ll need to have reasonable debt to income ratios. You don’t need perfect credit but you will need to have a credit score of at least 620.


USDA Loans

  The  Guaranteed Rural Housing Loan Program is offered through the Rural Housing  Service (RHS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The program  offers assistance to low and moderate-income rural residents whose income is  equal to or less than 115% of the area median income. It was designed to assist  qualifying rural residents with better access to affordable housing finance  options with little or no down payment or out-of-pocket costs.

There  are several advantages to using USDA’s Home Loan Program.

100% Financing Low Monthly Mortgage Insurance(MI) Low Mortgage Interest Rates Low Closing Costs Never a Pre-payment Penalty with USDA


If you’re not behind  on your mortgage payments but have been unable to get traditional refinancing  because the value of your home has declined, you may be eligible to refinance  through  Home  Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). HARP is designed to help  you get a new, more affordable, more stable mortgage. Here are the   steps to see if you are eligible for the HARP program.

Ensure Fannie or Freddie backs your mortgage

To check if your  mortgage is backed by Fannie Mae, visit http://www.fanniemae.com/loanlookup/.  If your mortgage is not found, try Freddie Mac’s loan lookup at https://ww3.freddiemac.com/corporate/. Mortgages not listed on either website are not backed by Fannie or Freddie and,  therefore, are not HARP-eligible.


Determine if your mortgage is old enough

mortgage must have started in mid-May 2009 or earlier. You can find your  mortgage start date by looking at your closing paperwork. In the  upper-right-hand corner of your settlement is your “funding  date”–that’s the date you’re looking for.

Does your current  mortgage have LPMI?

HARP 2.0 is designed to help homeowners with or without private mortgage insurance  (PMI), but  the government’s revisions specifically excludes homeowners that chose  lender-paid mortgage insurance

You must be current

HARP 2.0 requires that all homeowners have made their last six mortgage  payments on time, with a maximum of one 30-day late payment in the past year.

Find and organize your  supporting paperwork

Since HARP mortgages are underwritten like every other type of mortgage, you  will be required to provide bank statements, a drivers license, homeowners  insurance information, pay stubs and W-2s. If you’re self-employed, you’ll have  to provide a few years of tax returns to verify your income.