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FHA Loan vs. Conventional Loan: A Detailed Comparison

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FHA Loan VS Conventional Loan


Whenever you want to buy a home but have limited funds for a down payment, you may consider the conventional and FHA loans as these can help you whenever you desire to purchase a new residence. The Federal Housing Administration of the U.S. provides insurance to FHA loans offered by their approved lenders.


Anyone can get a conventional loan through credit unions, mortgage lenders, and banks. People can qualify for both. However, conventional loans do not have government insurance. Still, since they are quite different, you need to understand their advantages and disadvantages before deciding which you loan would acquire.


The Conventional 97 Loan


Many people think that they can’t get a conventional mortgage if they only have a 10% to 20% down payment. However, this is not the case.


The mortgage program Conventional 97 lets people borrow 97% with 3% as a down payment. This loan program aims to allow people to have their residence even if they don’t have enough cash on hand. What Conventional 97 loans need is Private Mortgage Insurance.


Things You Should Know About Conventional 97 Loans:


  • It would help if you are buying a home for the first time. However, if you aren’t buying your first home, you may become qualified if you haven’t owned any real estate for at least three years.
  • You may acquire the Conventional 97 loan even if you only have 3% of the home’s purchase price.
  • You will have to buy a PMI or Private Mortgage Insurance to continuously pay premiums until you have an equity of 78% in your loan.
  • This property may be a unit in planned development, condominium, co-op, or single-unit family home.
  • The owner has to be the one to occupy the property.


Contact us to verify if you are eligible to buy a home.


The FHA Loan


The Federal Housing Authority provides insurance to FHA loans. These loans have backing from the government, and people have used them since the 1930s as this can help any first time home buyer with low credit scores and little cash available to become qualified for a mortgage.


For this loan, down payments can only be 3.5% and mortgage lenders are limited in their imposed closing costs, and they also need to meet strict requirements. It can likely offer terms that are attractive as the government guarantees the loans. The FHA loan program aims to help people who are not typically qualified to get a mortgage and become a homeowner.


FHA Loan Requirements Bergen County:


  • You are not required to be a first-time home buyer for FHA loans.
  • You can acquire an FHA loan with just 3.5% of the purchase price if you have a minimum credit score of 580.
  • Borrowers with a 500 to 579 credit score may also become eligible to get an FHA loan, but these kinds of loans usually require a down payment of 10%.
  • The location and type of home can determine the maximum amount of the FHA loan.
  • It is required to pay the 1.75% UFMIP or upfront mortgage insurance premium of your base loan amount that you may either have financed into the loan or paid in cash entirely. When you follow this payment, you will continue providing annual MIP or Mortgage Insurance Premiums for the loan’s whole life.
  • You need to have a minimum of two years of income history or employment.
  • FHA loans are assumable.
  • Borrowers can have up to 55% of the debt-to-income ratio.
  • The property needs to be the borrower’s primary residence.




What is the difference between FHA and Conventional Loan?


The answer to this may have complications because of the numerous variables involved here, like your home buying goals and circumstances. Whenever the price becomes your main cost concern in buying a home, and you have a solid credit score, it would best to get the Conventional 97. It will not just allow you to put down only 3% (against the 3.5% of the FHA). It also doesn’t require the payment of the 1.75% upfront mortgage insurance premium, and you may have a great chance of paying less for your private mortgage insurance.


Aside from these, it also benefits canceling your Private Mortgage Insurance once your loan-to-value ratio drops below 80%. When the LTV ratio of the mortgage falls to 78%, the lender needs to have the PMI canceled as long as you are on the existing mortgage. It occurs whenever the down payment, including the paid principal loan, amounts to 22% of the house’s price. The federal Homeowners Protection Act requires to cancel this even if the market value of the home plummeted.


When will it be the Best Choice to get an FHA Loan?


Initially, you may consider the Conventional 97 loan as the clear winner for any borrower who doesn’t have enough cash. However, this may only be great when everything is equal. However, every variable may change whenever your credit score is low. That is because whenever your credit score is down, you may have a higher interest rate for a conventional loan. In case your credit score becomes less than 620, you may no longer become qualified to get the Conventional 97 loan. Compared to the FHA mortgage insurance payments, private mortgage insurance generally has a higher cost for borrowers with credit scores that are less than 720.


Will There Be A Difference In The Type Of Home You Can Purchase?


The conventional 97 and FHA loans have limits based on the money you borrow, but different sources and factors determine these limits. Based on the county where you can find the home you are buying, there are limits set by the FHA. The conventional loan limits can be subject to the conforming loan limit that the Federal Housing Finance Agency sets annually.


FHA Loan Limits: People may not get an FHA loan whenever the home gets sold within 90 days before the current sale.


FHA and Conventional loans can help people who want to buy a new residence. Conventional loans allow people to buy a home despite not having enough cash but it doesn’t have insurance. FHA Loans are backed by the government so it can help any first time home buyer with little cash and low credit score to have a mortgage. Despite that, it has limits set by the FHA and needs additional appraisal to make sure that the construction is safe and adheres to local code restrictions.