An FHA loan is insured by the Federal Housing Administration, a federal agency within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The FHA does not loan money to borrowers, rather, it provides lenders protection through mortgage insurance (MIP) in case the borrower defaults on his or her loan obligations.
FHA loan programs are particularly beneficial to those buyers with less available cash and have more liberal credit guidelines.
Some of the other benefits of FHA financing:
• Only a 3.5 percent down payment is required, though there are government grants and first time buyer programs that can reduce that to zero down!
• Closing costs can be financed ( usually in the form of the seller paying for them)
• Lower monthly mortgage insurance premiums than conventional programs and, under certain conditions, automatic cancellation of the premium.
• More flexible underwriting criteria than conventional loans
• FHA limits the amount lenders can charge for some closing cost fees, which helps keep your costs down
• Loans are assumable to qualified buyers. This is important because right now rates are very low. They may not be in the future making your home more attractive to buyers in later if they can assume your low interest rate loan (and pay you the difference for the sale).
* Down payment can come from many sources including government grants, gifts from relatives or many other sources.