Southern Trust: Minimum Down Payment on FHA Loan

Dated: November 15 2023

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Minimum Down Payment on FHA Loan

What is the Minimum Down Payment on an FHA Loan?

Are you in the market for a new home but worried about the financial requirements? Rest assured, you’re not alone! The thought of coming up with enough cash for a down payment and closing costs can be daunting for many people. 

If you are considering an FHA loan, you may be wondering what the minimum down payment requirement may be. In this article, we’ll discuss down payments, highlight some of the affordable housing options available to low- and moderate-income buyers, and explore the other qualification requirements for FHA loans.


What is an FHA Loan?

First things first, let's define what an FHA loan is. An FHA loan is a mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). This type of loan is popular among first-time homebuyers because it allows for a lower down payment than conventional mortgages. FHA loans also have more flexible credit requirements, making them accessible to people with lower credit scores. However, because FHA loans are backed by the government, they come with certain rules and requirements that borrowers must follow.


What is the Minimum Down Payment Requirement for an FHA Loan?

So, what is the minimum down payment requirement for an FHA loan? The answer is that it depends on your credit score. If your credit score is 580 or above, you can qualify for an FHA loan with a minimum down payment of 3.5% of the purchase price of the home. If your credit score is between 500 and 579, you can still qualify for an FHA loan, but you will need to put down at least 10% of the purchase price.

It's important to note that the down payment is not the only cost associated with buying a home. You will also need to factor in closing costs, which can range from 2% to 5% of the purchase price. Closing costs include fees for things like appraisals, inspections, and title searches. You may be able to negotiate with the seller to cover some or all the closing costs, but it's important to budget for them when planning to buy a home.


How to Find the Cash for Your Down Payment & Closing Costs

If you are struggling to come up with the down payment and closing costs, there are some options available to help you. One is to investigate down payment assistance (DPA) programs. These programs are designed to help low- and moderate-income families afford the down payment and closing costs associated with buying a home. There are many different types of down payment assistance programs available, so it's important to do your research and find the program that best fits your needs.


Another option is to consider getting a gift from a family member or friend to help cover the down payment and closing costs. The FHA allows borrowers to receive gifts from family members, employers, or charitable organizations to help cover the costs associated with buying a home. However, there are specific rules that must be followed when receiving a gift, so it's important to consult with your lender to ensure that you are following the guidelines.


FHA Loan Requirements

In addition to the down payment requirement, there are other boxes that borrowers must tick to qualify for an FHA loan. These include:


  • A minimum credit score of 500 (for a 10% down payment) or 580 (for a 3.5% down payment).

  • A debt-to-income ratio (DTI) of 43% or lower.

  • Proof of steady income and employment.

  • The property must be your primary residence.

  • The property must meet certain minimum property standards set by the FHA.


If you meet these requirements and are interested in applying for an FHA loan, it's important to find a reputable lender, like Southern Trust Mortgage, who knows their stuff. Not all lenders are approved to offer FHA loans, so it's important to do your research and find one that is experienced in this loan program.


Final Notes

The short and skinny of it is this: the minimum down payment requirement for an FHA loan is 3.5% for borrowers with a credit score of 580 or higher and 10% for borrowers with a credit score between 500 and 579. It's important to keep in mind that while a lower down payment can make homeownership more accessible, it also means you will be borrowing more money, which can result in higher monthly mortgage payments and more interest paid over the life of the loan. It's important to weigh the pros and cons of different mortgage options and choose the one that best fits your financial situation and long-term goals. By understanding the minimum down payment requirement and other requirements for an FHA loan, you can be better equipped to navigate the homebuying process and achieve your dream of homeownership.

Are you ready to achieve the dream of homeownership? Connect with one of our skilled Southern Trust Loan Officers today to get started!

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