FHA Tightens Mortgage Requirements

The FHA has tightened lending standards, all in an effort to remain solvent.

Higher monthly fees. Earlier this month, Congress gave the green light for the FHA to raise the monthly premium it charges on loans; a presidential signature is expected.

FHA-backed loans have looser restrictions than other mortgages on down payments -- now at 3.5% of the home's selling price -- but require borrowers to pay an upfront fee and a monthly fee. The legislation allows the FHA to hike the monthly fee to as much as an annualized 1.5% of the loan balance, up from 0.55%, though initially it will go only to 0.9%.

The initial fee was increased earlier this year to 2.25% from 1.75%, though the FHA has said it will bring it down to 1% with the higher monthly fee.

A fee that doesn't go into paying off the loan? That would surely help. (sic)

Credit scores are now raised to 580 minimum for a 3.5% down payment.

Sellers can only contribute 3% instead of the 6% for borrower costs to sell the house. That puts the borrowers costs to 6.5% of the purchase price on a new home.

The FHA is also tightening underwriting standards.

The changes are a result of legislation passed earlier this month.

So much for the ownership society, but that was a fiction anyway, it was the debt with reduced income society in reality.

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