FHA Announces Changes to Lending Guidelines Effective July 14, 2008!!

by Ken Phillips

For the first time in history, FHA will begin using borrowers credit scores to determine risk based pricing and mortgage insurance premiums.

Up until now credit scores were not really a factor used in FHA risked based pricing.
With FHA relaxing some of their strict requirements recently it was easier to qualify buyers with credit scores low enough to prevent them from qualifying for “conventional” financing. As a matter of fact, with 100% financing a thing of the past basically, FHA financing has become very popular among lenders looking for high loan-to-value loans as FHA financing, which can cover up to 97.75% of the purchase price if a buyer is paying their own closing costs on a purchase, still carries low interest rates compared to high loan-to value conventional financing. FHA is a great loan for first time Chico home buyers with little money to put down and/or with low credit scores that prevent them from qualifying for a conventional loan. On July 14, 2008 FHA will begin implementing these changes and it will affect qualifying for many of borrowers.

Here’s a look at the ten major changes to the FHA guidelines:

1. Borrowers with either no score or at least a 500 score may get an LTV >90%.
2. Borrowers with a score less than 500 get a maximum LTV of 90%.
3. Borrowers without scores will require manual underwriting. What this means is no automated underwriting is available i.e. DU, LP, or DO and will require more time to give the realtors/agents a TRUE pre-approval letter.
4. Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premiums will range from 1.25% to 2.25%, depending on score. These upfront MI premiums will still be allowed to financed into the loan.
5. The Monthly Mortgage Insurance will range from .50% to .55% depending on the borrower’s credit score.
6. The premium is based on the borrower with the lowest score.
7. If one of the borrowers has no score, then the Non-Traditional credit grade is used. Non traditional credit is having trade or credit lines added to the borrowers credit report and obtaining a credit rating. These non-traditional trade/credit lines can be utility bills such as water, cable, electric, gas, phone, etc., cellular phone service, and rental history to name a few.
8. Credit rescoring is allowed to improve a borrower’s credit score. There are fees associated with credit rescoring and each bureau charges fees for each tradeline disputed.
9. All FHA Secure refinances >95% LTV with delinquencies have a 2.25% UFMIP and .55% MMI.
10. Along with purchases, these changes will apply to cash-out, rate & term, and non-delinquent FHA Secure refinances.

Feel free to call Ken 865-769-6420 if you have any questions regarding FHA financing or any of Countrywide’s many loan programs .

Sandi Bauman (Chico Homes): Real Estate Agent in Chico, Butte County, California
Tomato University Graduate Real Estate Tomato

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