Lots of home buyers get a FHA loan especially first time home buyers with limited credit history. This is a good loan product that is backed by Housing and Urban development. This loan allows buyers to buy with a minimum of 3-1/2% down payment. This down payment may be gifted, or come from a grant or down payment assistance such as the bond program. This helps lower income buyers participate in the home buying process.
Since FHA allows buyers to buy with a low down payment and often have little to no money of their own invested in the property, the risk of foreclosure is higher. Therefore mortgage insurance is required. Mortgage insurance protects the bank incase the borrower defaults. Unless a borrower puts a minimum of 10% down on a FHA loan, the mortgage insurance remains on the loan for the life of the loan. Consequently, a borrower with a strong credit history and a high credit score may decide to use a conventional loan where the mortgage insurance will fall off after the value reaches a 78% loan to value or the borrower requests it at an 80% loan to value.
FHA charges an upfront fee, currently 1.75% of the loan amount as well as a monthly fee. Recently the government lowered this fee from 1.35% per month per annum to .85% per month. This is a huge savings for buyers using a FHA loan.
How this equates. I will use a 100,000 loan for ease of numbers. Note the savings on a $200,000 loan are double.
100,000 loan with a 1.35% per month per annum fee is $112.50 added to the loan each month.
100,000 loan with .85% per month per annum fee is $70.83 added to the loan each month.
This makes the monthly mortgage payment more affordable. This is a substantial savings over the life of the loan.