FHA Mortgage Insurance Rates Now Risk Based

Major changes go into affect on the FHA loan program on Monday July 14, 2008. These changes are very significant and will impact the affordability of these loans for many borrowers, especially those will less than stellar credit who can’t put 5% down. Basically, almost everybody in todays market.

Essentially, the Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium (UFMIP)and monthly Mortgage Insurance IMI) will now be risk based. Even though the borrower has the option to pay UFMIP in cash upfront, it is typically financed into the loan. Bear in mind that UFMIP is not part of the regular closing costs. FHA has always charged a flat upfront mortgage insurance premium for every borrower regardless of credit risk. Until last week UFMIP on the 30 year fixed FHA loan was at 1.5%. The monthly mortgage insurance payment has also always been fixed at 0.5% for the 30 Year loan. These percentages will now change effective Monday.

UFMIP will now be charged on a risk basis, i.e., based on your credit score. It will range from 1.25% for lower-risk borrowers to 2.25% for riskier borrowers. In dollar terms this means that on a $200,000 loan UFMIP can range from $2,500 to $4,500. Remember this is on top of the closing costs and down payment already due. Since this can be financed into the loan, your final loan amount will reflect this cost. Having poor credit will now be expensive even on FHA loans.

Monthly mortgage insurance will vary from 0.5% and 0.55% and is determined by the loan to value. If you are putting less than 5% down than its set to 0.55% but if you’re putting more than 5% down it will be 0.5%. Monthly mortgage insurance is calculated by multiplying the percentage to the loan amount and dividing by twelve. So on a $200,000 loan and a MI rate of 0.55% your monthly mortgage insurance payment is $83.34.

First time home buyers who fall in the hefty 2.25% UFMIP bracket do have a way to obtain a slight reduction to UFMIP. If you are borrowing more than 95% of the purchase price (loan to value) and your credit score is below 559 then you may be eligible for a reduction in your UFMIP by 0.25% – so it would be 2.00%. However, you need to complete a HUD-approved pre-purchase counseling session. FHA will only provide the discount after you have successfully completed the course and will ask for a certificate of completion.

Additional Reading on FHA: Is the FHA Loan Program Right For Me?

Relevant FHA Down Payment Assistance related posts on other blogs:

Arizona Republic Article on DPA
Dear HUD, Stop Being a Bully
Real Estate Road Signs – “Buy A House for $500 Down”

Down Payment Assistance Programs

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