Today and Tomorrows FHA Borrower: New changes to FHA lending guidelines and their effects on borrower qualification.

Written by Michael A. Foote, CMB on . Posted in fha mortgage insurance

Well the summer is almost over and as we head into another fun filled school year in my home, FHA has some new rules for me to follow at the office. The job to qualify people for a home loan has never been tougher. As many recent mortgage borrowers can attest, the application process can be daunting, haunting, and overall intrusive to no end. Many borrowers feel the headache is not worth the reward.

Now we have word from HUD that FHA rules and guidelines will be changing yet again. Most notably and directly related to borrower qualification are the new MI requirements. These requirements were signed into law by President Obama on August 12, 2010 and gave the HUD secretary more authority and flexibility to change and modify the FHA program as needed to ensure continued liquidity in the mortgage market place.

Effective for originations in the beginning of October 2010, Upfront Mortgage Insurance goes from 2.25% to 1.0% for loans greater than 15 years in duration and over 95% loan to value. This is basically all low money down FHA purchase 30 year fixed loans. But wait, that’s good news. You thought this article would be glum didn’t you. Yes, that is good news, but HUD also changed the monthly mortgage insurance from the current .55% to 1.55% for the same type of transaction.

But what does this really mean to the average FHA borrower? Let’s take a simple hypothetical purchase transaction. The borrower is buying a home for $275,000 and is going to put down the 3.5% and will finance his upfront mortgage insurance premium. Here is how this deal looks today versus post October 2010 changes.

                                                Old                          New

Borrowers pmt. @ 4.500%     $1374.90                 $1358.06

MMI Monthly MI Pmt            $121.63                   $346.00

Totals                                      $1496.53                 $1704.26

FHA has essentially raised the borrowers Principal, Interest and Mortgage Insurance Payments by $60 a month. This is an increase of 12+%.

While this increase seems timely considering the government’s spending of late and talk of expiring tax credits and new taxes too. This increase will get FHA much needed capital, more quickly, by requiring borrowers to pay more monthly versus financing a large amount of the overall insurance over the life of the loan.

With rates still hovering slightly above the all-time lows, this modest increase should not impact the purchase market a great deal. There maybe a few borrowers who are squeezed out of financing a higher priced home, but maybe that is the strange side-effect, some borrowers will not be able to buy as expensive of a home as they would like. And that is OK.

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