How To Qualify For FHA Loan in South Shore California (Alameda County)

How To Qualify For FHA Loan in South Shore California (Alameda County)

Looking for an FHA Loan in South Shore California?

An FHA loan is a home loan that’s insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). They are popular especially among first time home buyers because they allow down payments of 3.5% for credit scores of 580+.

How Does an FHA Loan Work?

Borrowers can qualify for an FHA loan with a down payment as little as 3.5% for a credit score of 580 or higher. The borrower’s credit rating can be between 500 – 579 if a 10% down payment is made. It’s significant to remember though, that the lower the credit rating, the higher the interest borrowers will receive. Something also worth noting is that the FHA loan limits affect your FHA mortgage insurance – its just part of the FHA loan qualifications.

The FHA program was created in response to the rise of foreclosures and defaults that happened in 1930s; to provide lenders with sufficient insurance; and to help grow the housing market by making mortgages much more accessible and attainable for consumers with less than perfect credit or a low down payment due to FHA mortgage limits in South Shore, California. Essentially, the federal government insures loans for FHA-approved lenders in order to reduce their risk of loss if a borrower defaults on their home loan payments.

Because of that insurance, mortgage companies can, and do, offer FHA mortgages at really attractive rates and with less stringent and more flexible qualification requirements. The FHA is an agency within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.


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Benefits of FHA Loans: Low Down Payments and Less Strict Credit Score Requirements

Typically an FHA loan in South Shore is one of the easiest types of mortgage loans to get approved for because it requires a low down payment and you can have less-than-perfect credit. For FHA loans, down payment of 3.5 percent is required for maximum financing. Borrowers with credit scores as low as 500 can qualify for an FHA mortgage loan.

Borrowers who cannot afford a 20 percent down payment, have a lower credit score, or can’t get qualified for private mortgage insurance should look into whether an FHA loan is the popular option for their personal scenario.

Another advantage of an FHA home loan is that it’s an assumable mortgage which means if you want to sell your house, the buyer can “assume” the loan you have. People who have low or bad credit, have undergone a bankruptcy or have been foreclosed upon may be able to still qualify for an FHA loan.

FHA Allows a 3.5% Down-Payment

For today’s home buyers, there are only a few mortgage options which allow for down-payments of five percent or less for residents of Alameda County. The FHA is one of them.

With an FHA mortgage, you can make a down-payment as small as 3.5%. This benefits home buyers who don’t have a lot of money saved up for down-payment; and, home buyers who would rather save money for moving costs, emergency funds, or other needs.

FHA Allows 100% Gift Funds

The FHA is aggressive with respect to gifts for down-payment. Very few mortgage loan programs will make it possible for your entire down-payment for a home to come from a gift. The FHA will.

Via the FHA, your entire 3.5% down-payment can be a gift from parents or another family member, an employer, an approved charitable group, or a government home-buyer program. If you’re using a down-payment gift, though, you’ll need to follow the process.

The FHA Hybrid provides for an initial fixed interest rate for a period of three or five years, and then changes annually after the initial fixed period. The 3/1 and 5/1 FHA Hybrid products make it possible for up to a 1% annual interest rate adjustment after the initial fixed interest rate period, and a 5% interest rate cap over the life of the loan. The new payment after an adjustment will be calculated on the current principal balance at the time of the modification. This insures that the payment adjustment will be minimal even on a worst case rate change.

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Who Are FHA Loans For?

FHA loans are offered to low-income individuals who have credit scores as low as 500. Individuals with a credit score between 500-579 can obtain an FHA loan with a down payment of 10%; individuals with a credit score higher than 580 can get an FHA loan with as little as 3.5% down. The Federal Housing Administration does not lend the borrower the money to take on a home loan or to buy the property. Rather, the borrower pays a monthly or annual mortgage insurance premium to the FHA to insure the loan which the lending institution issues to him or her. In case of default, the lender’s financial risk is minimized since the FHA would step in to cover the payments.

Having no credit history is not a problem with an FHA loan for Alameda County. Instead of your credit report, the lender may look at other payment-history records, such as utility and rent payments.

Even people who have gone through bankruptcy and foreclosure may still qualify for an FHA loan. However, the lower the credit score and the lower the down payment, the higher the interest rate.


(Or call 213-474-7389 to ask a local lender anything!)

Types of FHA Home Loans

In addition to its popular FHA loan, the FHA likewise insures other loan programs used by personal loan providers. Here’s a take a look at each of them.

  • FHA 203( k) loans – These FHA loans help homebuyers purchase a home– and refurbish it– all with a single home mortgage. Property owners can likewise utilize the program to refinance their existing home loan and include the expense of redesigning tasks into the new loan. FHA 203( k) loans been available in 2 types:
    • The restricted 203( k) has a simpler application process, and the repairs or enhancements should amount to $35,000 or less.
    • The basic 203( k) requires extra documentation and applies to improvements costing more than $5,000, however the overall value of the property must still fall within the FHA home mortgage limitation for the area.
  • House Equity Conversion Mortgage, or HECM – A HECM is a popular type of reverse mortgage and is also guaranteed by the FHA. A HECM permits older homeowners (aged 62 and up) with substantial equity or those who own their homes outright to withdraw a portion of their home’s equity. The quantity that will be available for withdrawal varies by customer and depends on the age of the youngest borrower or eligible non-borrowing partner, current interest rates and the lesser of the home’s evaluated worth or the HECM FHA mortgage limit or prices.
  • FHA Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) program – Energy efficient home loans backed by the FHA permit property buyers to acquire houses that are already energy effective, such as EnergyStar-certified buildings. Or they can be utilized to buy and redesign older houses with energy-efficient, or “green,” updates and roll the expenses of the upgrades into the loan without a larger deposit.
  • FHA Section 245( a) loan – Also called the Graduated Payment Mortgage, this program is geared at customers whose incomes will increase over time. You start out with smaller sized regular monthly payments that slowly go up. Five particular plans are readily available: three plans that permit five years of increasing payments at 2.5 percent, 5 percent and 7.5 percent annually. 2 other plans set payment boosts over 10 years at 2 percent and 3 percent yearly.

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FHA Loan Limits for 2022

For 2019, the flooring limitation for FHA loans in the majority of the country is $314,827, up from $294,515 in 2018. For high-cost areas, the ceiling is $726,525, up from $679,650 a year back. These limits are referred to as “ceilings” and “floorings” that FHA will guarantee. FHA updates limit quantities each year in response to changing home costs.

FHA is needed by law to change its amounts based upon the loan limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, or FHFA, for conventional home loans guaranteed or owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Ceiling and flooring limitations vary according to the expense of living in a certain area, and can be different from one county to the next. Areas with a greater expense of living will have higher limitations, and vice versa. Unique exceptions are made for housing in Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and the Virgin Islands, where house building and construction is more expensive.

FHA Loan Relief

Loan servicers can use some versatility on FHA loan requirements to those who have suffered a major financial hardship or are having a hard time to make their payments.

That relief might be in the form of a short-term period of forbearance, a loan modification that would lower the interest rate, extend the payback period, or postpone part of the loan balance at no interest.

The FHA Hybrid Adjustable Rate

FHA administers a number of programs, based on Section 203(b), that have special features. One of these programs, Section 251, insures adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) which, particularly during periods when interest rates are low, enable borrowers to obtain mortgage financing that is more affordable by virtue of its lower initial interest rate. This interest rate is adjusted annually, based on market indices approved by FHA, and thus may increase or decrease over the term of the loan. In 2006 FHA received approval to allow hybrid ARMs, in which the interest is fixed for the first 3 or 5 years, and is then adjusted annually according to market conditions and indices.

How do you Qualify for an FHA Loan in South Shore CA?

The FHA makes it relatively simple to qualify for a home loan. Again, the government guarantees the loan, so mortgage lenders are more willing to approve mortgages. However, lending companies can (and do) set standards that can be stricter than FHA requirements. If you’re having trouble with one FHA approved lender near South Shore CA, you might have better luck with shopping around for a better option.

Note: you never know until you apply. Even if you think you won’t qualify after reading this page, talk with an FHA approved lender in South Shore to find out for sure.

Income limits: there are none. You’ll need enough to show that you can repay the mortgage loan but these loans are geared towards lower income applicants. If you’re fortunate enough to have a high income, you aren’t disqualified like you might be with certain first-time home buyer programs.

FHA Closing Costs

While FHA defines which closing costs are allowable as charges to the borrower, the specific costs and amounts that are deemed reasonable and customary are determined by each local FHA office.

FHA Debt Ratios

In order to prevent home-buyers from getting into a home they cannot afford, FHA guidelines have been set in place requiring borrowers and/or their spouse to qualify according to set debt to income ratios.

FHA Credit Issues

An FHA loan applicant’s past credit performance that shows good credit history and a solid track record of timely payments will likely be eligible for the mortgage.

How to Find FHA Lenders

Customers get their home loans from FHA-approved lending institutions in South Shore rather than the FHA itself, which only guarantees the loans. FHA-approved lending institutions can have different rates and costs, even for the very same loan.

FHA loans are available through numerous sources– from the most significant banks and cooperative credit union to neighborhood banks and independent home mortgage lending institutions. Costs, services and underwriting standards vary amongst lending institutions or home loan brokers, so it’s crucial to search.

Discover more about how to discover low FHA home loan lender.


(Or call 213-474-7389 to ask a local lender anything!)