The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) today outlined future changes to the FHA home loan program. The changes first were proposed last month by Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Shaun Donovan.
Rising defaults on FHA loans have led to the FHA’s cash reserves falling below federally mandated levels. FHA officials hope that policy changes will ensure borrowers have a stronger equity position and are less likely to default.
Policy changes include:
. Raising the up-front mortgage insurance premium: The premium will rise to 2.25 percent from its
current 1.75 percent. HUD is expected to release a Mortgagee Letter on Jan. 21 making the
premium increase effective in the spring.
. Raising the minimum credit score requirements: New borrowers will be required to have a minimum
FICO score of 580 to qualify for the FHA’s 3.5 percent down payment program. New borrowers with
less than a 580 FICO score will be required to put down at least 10 percent. FHA expects this to take
effect in early summer after it goes through the normal regulatory process.
. Reduce allowable seller concessions: The agency is lowering the maximum permissible level to 3
percent from its current 6 percent limit. FHA expects this to take effect in early summer after it goes
through the normal regulatory process.
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