What is an FHA loan?
An FHA loan is a mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration. FHA-insured mortgages are available with a 3.5% down payment for borrowers with credit scores of 580 or higher. FHA loans are well-suited for home buyers who have little saved for a down payment, credit challenges or both. FHA loans are popular among first-time home buyers.
FHA-insured mortgages can be used for purchases and refinances for a variety of home types, including single-family houses, two- to four-unit multifamily buildings, condominiums and manufactured homes that are attached to a permanent foundation. Both fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages are available.
How to find FHA interest rates today
NerdWallet’s mortgage rate tool can help you find competitive FHA mortgage rates today that are tailored to meet your needs. Click “More Filters,” or tap “Filter and Sort,” and select “I’m eligible” under “FHA Loan Eligibility.” After updating, you can see an interest rate quote without providing personal information.
FHA loan rates vary by lender
You can save money by comparison shopping because each lender offers its own combination of interest rate and fees.
If you’re approved, each lender will provide you with a Loan Estimate form. This will let you compare interest rates, origination fees and closing costs. Comparing Loan Estimates from more than one lender will give you confidence that you’re getting the right loan for your situation.
FHA loan pros and cons
An FHA loan is a popular option for first-time home buyers who need a low down payment requirement. If you qualify, you can get a mortgage with as little as 3.5% down.
FHA loans are beneficial for those who have weak or damaged credit. If you’ve had financial difficulties in the past or you just haven’t had time to build a strong history of on-time payments, an FHA loan could address your mortgage needs.
When you make a down payment of less than 20%, you’re usually required to get mortgage insurance. With some combinations of down payment size and credit score, FHA insurance costs less than private mortgage insurance on a conventional loan.
Not only can FHA loans be used to buy detached single-family homes, multifamily homes, townhomes and condos, they can also be used to buy manufactured and mobile homes. A variation of the FHA loan, called the 203(k), allows you to finance both a home purchase and necessary renovations with the same mortgage.
You’ll have to pay FHA mortgage insurance premiums every month. Mortgage insurance protects the lender’s stake in the loan if you default, but the premiums increase your monthly payments. FHA mortgage insurance can’t be canceled, so the way to get rid of it, once you have enough equity, is to refinance the loan. In contrast, you can cancel private mortgage insurance when your mortgage balance reaches 80% of the home’s value.