Real Estate Glossary

What's Federal Housing Administration ( FHA)?

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is a government agency that was created in 1934 as part of the National Housing Act. The FHA's mission is to promote home ownership and to make it more affordable for Americans. The FHA does this by insuring mortgages that are made by private lenders. When a borrower takes out a mortgage that is insured by the FHA, the lender is protected against loss if the borrower defaults on the loan. This means that if the borrower stops making payments and the lender has to foreclose on the property, the FHA will pay the lender a portion of the money that was lost.

One of the biggest benefits of an FHA-insured mortgage is that it allows borrowers to make a down payment of as little as 3.5%. This is much lower than the typical 20% down payment that is required for most conventional mortgages. Additionally, the FHA has more lenient credit requirements than most other types of mortgages. This makes it easier for people who may not have the best credit to qualify for a home loan.

There are a few different types of FHA-insured loans, including the FHA 203(b) loan, which is the most common type. The 203(b) loan is a fixed-rate mortgage that is intended for people who are buying or refinancing a primary residence. There are also FHA programs available for people who are looking to purchase a second home or a rental property, as well as for people who are interested in a reverse mortgage.

Overall, the FHA is a great option for people who are looking to buy a home but may not have a lot of money saved up for a down payment or who may have some credit challenges. The agency's insured loans offer flexible terms and lower barriers to entry than many conventional mortgages.

More information on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development website