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Frequently Asked Questions
About the FHA Loan Program

As an experienced FHA mortgage origination company, our objectives are to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information available about the FHA Loan program.  On this page, we're pleased to provide you with a list of questions we are frequently asked concerning our FHA loan program.

Is the FHA loan program only for first-time home buyers?
What is the minimum credit score for the FHA loan program?
Can I streamline refinance my FHA loan at anytime?
Can I purchase a multi-unit home using the FHA loan program?
Can I really buy a home with no money down using a FHA loan?
How does a past bankruptcy affect getting an FHA Home Loan?
I had a past foreclosure, can I still qualify for an FHA loan?
How do I eliminate the FHA mortgage insurance premium?
I have collection accounts, am I going to have to pay these off ?
I have a federal tax lien, am I still eligible for a FHA Loan?

Question?

Is the FHA loan program only for First Time Buyers?

Answer:

Not at all.  The FHA loan program is open to any Home Buyer or homeowner who qualifies under the FHA loan underwriting guidelines and property type requirements.  Outside of these factors you can be a real estate investor with multiple investment properties or own a second home and still acquire a FHA Loan on your primary residence.
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Question?

What is the minimum credit score for the FHA loan program?

Answer:

The FHA loan program does not use credit scores for qualifying mortgage applicants.  Unlike traditional conventional mortgage programs underwritten based upon guidelines established by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the FHA program is geared towards credit quality vs. traditional credit scoring models.  This offers an opportunity for FHA Home Buyers to achieve homeownership and can provide FHA Refinance solutions to those individuals who have had past credit problems.
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Question?

If I have an existing FHA loan, can I streamline refinance my loan at anytime?

Answer:

Absolutely, provided refinancing your home provides a reduced monthly mortgage payments of at least $50 per month; or you are refinancing from an FHA Adjustable Rate Mortgage into a Fixed Rate loan.  For adjusting your loan terms, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) considers this a streamline refinance for existing FHA Loans.
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Question?

Can I purchase a multi-unit home using the FHA loan program?

Answer:

Provided you will be occupying one of the units attached to the multi-family home, yes, you can finance a duplex, tri-plex or four-plex, using the FHA Home Loan program.  If you do not intend on occupying one of the units within the multi-family property, the property will not be eligible for FHA financing.
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Question?

Can I really buy a home with no money down using the FHA loan program?

Answer:

Using a traditional FHA Loan, no, the FHA loan does not allow for 100% financing as of this time.  Using a HUD approved gift source, such as a gift from; parents, relatives, documented friend, or employer, you can have someone else assist you with the funds necessary for the required down payment.  As of October 1, 2007 seller funded Down Payment assistance provided through third party 501C3 Charity organizations are no longer acceptable sources by HUD.  Qualified home buyers can utilize HUD approved grants to help meet FHA required down payment amounts and in some instances these programs will assist with Closing Costs as well.
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Question?

How does a past bankruptcy affect my chances of getting an FHA Home Loan?

Answer:

Having a past Bankruptcy on your credit report does not always mean you will not qualify for the FHA loan program.  Under the FHA underwriting guidelines, the typical home buyer or home owner can finance using the FHA loan program two years after the date of the bankruptcy discharge. Homeowners presently in a chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan may be eligible to refinance. Please contact our office to learn more!
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Question?

I had a past foreclosure, can I still qualify for an FHA loan?

Answer:

FHA guidelines stipulate that home buyers who have experienced a past foreclosure must wait at least three years from the date of foreclosure before becoming eligible for an FHA loan.  If the foreclosure involved a government insured loan, the home buyer will no longer be eligible for an FHA loan.
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Question?

How do I eliminate the FHA mortgage insurance premium from my monthly mortgage payment?

Answer:

Because the FHA loan is a government insured program, the MIP (mortgage insurance) premiums a homeowner pays cannot be canceled regardless of the loan to value ratio that results from paying down the mortgage principle or natural home appreciation.  These premiums are designed to ensure the solvency of the FHA program and facilitates the financing of other homebuyers just like you.  The FHA has a mandatory minimum time limit of five years of monthly mortgage insurance premium payments for all 30 year loans. The only way to eliminate these premiums is to Refinance from an FHA loan into a conventional Freddie Fannie Mortgage, or payoff the FHA insured loan.
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Question?

I have collection accounts.  Am I going to have to pay these off to get approved for my FHA Loan?

Answer:

Any judgment or past due child-support issues will have to be resolved in order to qualify for an FHA Loan.  Past collection accounts really vary based upon the compensating factors associated with each debt.  In most instances you will need to plan to payoff any creditors in which the bad debt is less than three years old.  Collection accounts for utilities (electric, phone) and cell phones will traditionally be required to be paid in full, with almost no exceptions. The required payment of any collection account is at the discretion of the underwriter.  The compensating factors associated with the debt will determine whether or not the underwriter requires the settlement of specific collection accounts.  In most instances, again you will need to pay off your collection accounts.
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Question?

I have a federal tax lien, am I still eligible for FHA Loan?

Answer:

Yes! Under certain conditions, even with a federal tax lien, you may still be able to qualify for an FHA Loan.  Primary conditions associated with qualifying for an FHA loan with a federal tax lien, revolves around having a well established repayment schedule in which monthly payments have been made in a timely fashion.  As a part of underwriting, the monthly tax lien payment will be applied against your qualifying ratios.
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