Real Estate Glossary

What's an FHA loan?

An FHA loan is a type of mortgage that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which is a government agency. The FHA insures these loans, which are made by private lenders, to help make it easier for people to purchase a home.

One of the main benefits of an FHA loan is that it allows borrowers to make a down payment of as little as 3.5% of the purchase price of the home. 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, making it easier for people who may not have the best credit to qualify for a home loan.

FHA loans also come with mortgage insurance, which is required for the life of the loan. This insurance protects the lender in case the borrower defaults on the loan. The insurance premium is typically added to the monthly mortgage payment and can be either an upfront premium or a monthly premium, depending on the loan terms.

There are several different types of FHA loans available, including the FHA 203(b) loan, which is the most common type and is intended for people who are buying or refinancing a primary residence. Other types include FHA-insured loans 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, FHA loans are a popular option for first-time home buyers and for people who may not have a lot of money saved up for a down payment or who may have some credit challenges. The FHA's flexible terms and lower barriers to entry can help to make the home-buying process more accessible for many people.