FHA Loans are one of the most popular loans that we close in St. Louis. In fact, The Home Loan Expert closes more FHA Loans than any lender in the country. But what exactly are FHA loans, and what are some great FHA Lenders in St. Louis?
Just want to get started on your St. Louis FHA Loan? Get started on our 5-minute loan approval application today!
At The Home Loan Expert, we’ve helped St. Louis residents purchase their home with affordable St. Louis home loans and refinancing options. From private loans, a Type A loan, and cash-out refi, The Home Loan Expert can help you understand the FHA loan limits and the best lenders.
What is the FHA?
The Federal Housing Administration, or FHA, is a government agency operating within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), providing mortgage insurance to FHA-approved lenders. The goal of the FHA is to make mortgages accessible and affordable for lower-income and first-time homebuyers, multi-family rental properties, hospitals, and residential care facilities. They do this by insuring the loan, thereby protecting the mortgage lenders from potential losses.
The FHA is funded by income generated through mortgage insurance premiums, also referred to as MIPs. As FHA loans allow for lower down payments and lower credit scores in comparison tos traditional lenders, this allows for homeownership for thousands of Americans who may otherwise not qualify got a mortgage.
The Federal Housing Administration was established in 1934 during the Great Depression, when the housing market drastically decreased as a result of the banks failing. Large down payment requirements of 30-50%, and short mortgage periods of five to 10 years meant that home ownership was out of reach for working class families.
Once the FHA was established, and with the granting of FHA-secured loans, down payment requirements went down, and the mortgage lifespan grew to 20-30 years. Since 1934, the FHA has insured over 50 million mortgages throughout the U.S., and is the largest mortgage insurer in the world.
What is an FHA Loan?
FHA Loans are mortgages from private lenders that are insured by the government. If you are a first-time homebuyer, or have a low to moderate-income, an FHA loan may be just what you need to become a homeowner. The only current FHA requirement to buy a home is a down payment of 3.5 percent. At 3.5 percent this means that loans are insured for up to 96.5%.
Banks and other lenders are willing to work with “higher risk borrowers,” knowing that the Federal Government is backing them. FHA loans have much to offer over conventional loans, such as:
- Lower qualifying credit scores
- Lower down payment requirements with more flexibility regarding the origin of the down payment (personal savings, gift, or even grants).
- Candidates can have a higher debt-to-income ratio
FHA percentages are also lower than are seen with traditional loans. The rate won’t change, excepting for credit score, amount borrowed or percent borrowed. A conventional loan uses loan adjusters that change the rates and percentages for the mortgage loan.
FHA also insures mortgage loans in the U.S and U.S territories for the following properties:
- Single-family homes
- Multifamily properties
- Residential care facilities
What is the max FHA Loan amount in St. Louis, Missouri?
The max FHA loan amount in St. Louis, Missouri is $420, 680 for a single-family home.
Is it hard to get approved for an FHA Loan?
Approval for an FHA loan is dependent on several factors. An FHA loan requires a 3.5% down payment, a 43% debt-to-income ratio and a 580 credit score. However, a credit score as low as 500 can be accepted but you’d be required to put down 10% for a down payment instead of the 3.5%.
What is the downside of FHA Loans?
FHA loans have been a popular choice and have some great advantages. However, it’s important to examine every aspect to ensure that you are making the right decision when it comes time to buy your home.
Some aspects to contemplate when considering an FHA loan are:
- FHA loans are only available for certain types of properties
- Some loans may require closing costs that don’t exist with conventional loans
- Every FHA loan requires mortgage insurance built into the loan
- Lenders may have their own rates, fees and approval processes separate to the FHA, so research is needed
- FHA loan limits restrict your borrowing power
Types of FHA Loans in St. Louis
Traditional Mortgage Loan: This is a regular mortgage loan that applicants can use for their primary residence.
203(k) Mortgage Program: This is a traditional mortgage with extra money added for home repairs and renovations. If you purchase a home that needs some TLC, this is the loan for you.
FHA Energy-Efficient Mortgage: Interested in making environmentally friendly home upgrades to save energy? This loan includes extra funds to do so. Examples of eligible upgrades include new solar panels or insulation to retain heat.
Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM): If you’re a senior, you might struggle to find retirement options if you don’t have a solid pension plan. The Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) is a reverse mortgage that offers mortgage payments to the applicant in exchange for equity in their home. You can receive the payments every month or withdraw them at your discretion through a line of credit. You might consider a combination of these two options.
Section 245(a) Loan: Maybe you started a business and need a few months to get the profits flowing. Or, you’re promised a promotion in the next few months at your current corporate job. This Graduated Mortgage Payment (GPM) loan starts with monthly payments at a certain amount that increases over time. You can also opt for the Graduated Equity Mortgage (GEM) loan, which increases monthly principal payments specifically over time to gain more equity in your home faster.
Now that you’re up to speed on FHA Loans, let’s explore the FHA Loan Limits Ohio offers.
Ready for your St. Louis FHA Loan? Get started on our 5-minute loan approval application today!
FHA Mortgage Lenders in St. Louis, Missouri
The Home Loan Expert
If you’re looking to get a home loan in Missouri, then The Home Loan Expert has got you covered. Boasting a seamless online experience and a plethora of options for mortgages and home loans in St. Louis, The Home Loan Expert is an ever-reliable portal for your home-owning journey.
Because they understand that the process can be a little bit overwhelming, The Home Loan Experts strive to keep things as easy and stress-free as possible. Getting your application approved is a breeze when you get started with their 5-Minute Loan Approval* application. Ensuring that the process is as personal as it is professional, they put the customer and the community first.
Loans & Services:
- FHA Loans
- Adjustable-Rate Mortgages
- Bank Statement Mortgages
- Cash-Out Refinance
- Conventional Loans
- Debt Consolidation
- First Responder Loan Program
- Fixed-Rate Loans
- Home Purchase Loan
- Jumbo Home Loans
- No Income Verification Loans
- Union Loans
- USDA Loans
- VA Loans
- Zero Dollar
- Personalized and hands-on service.
- It’s like working with a friend who’s also a home loan expert.
- Best in class closing costs
- Variety of loan and mortgage options
- Robust down payment assistance options
- Given the number of loan choices available, some prior homework might be necessary in order to zero in on the best loan for you.
Minimum down payment: Ranging from 3% to 0% (for VA members)
A well-known name in home loans in Missouri and beyond, U.S. Bank is a dependable financial institution. With a small selection of loans and services, they can be a good option for your first foray into the business of home-owning. U.S. Bank also offers the American Dream program, which assists consumers who are looking for homes in low to moderate-income neighborhoods.
They also offer programs to help interested buyers to cover some or a large portion of the closing costs and down payment. U.S Bank also provides a full team of mortgage loan officers to guide you towards owning your dream home in a prime location like St. Louis.
Loans & Services:
- FHA Loans
- Conventional Loans
- Adjustable-Rate Mortgages
- VA Loans
- Jumbo Loans
- Investment Property Loans
- New Construction and Lot Loans
- Handy monthly payment calculator
- Devoted customer support base for applications
- Slightly antiquated and confusing online experience
- Drawn out prequalification process
Minimum down payment:
Ranging from 3.5% down to 0% (for VA members)
Hero Loan–one of the fastest growing lending platforms in the country–serves active- duty military, veterans, and their families. Their mission is to provide fast, personalized service while supporting veteran-owned businesses and events.
As a direct-endorsed VA Lender, Hero Loan can close VA loans in as little as 14 days–compared to most lenders that take up to 60 days. They underwrite all VA loans in house, meaning lower mortgage rates and no upfront or out of pocket costs—that includes the appraisal.
Hero Loan has an enticing roster of loans and services that they offer. Apart from the standard VA loan, some of these also include:
- FHA Loans
- VA Streamline Refinancing
- Conventional Loan Refinancing
- VA Cash-Out Refinancing
After you’ve made your choice, you can use their website to fill out a few preliminary details and apply for the loan or service that you have chosen. From there, a loan officer will be assigned to you who will take you through the minutiae and explain the details of the loan that you are about to borrow.
In addition, they will also help you get the all-important VA Loan Certificate of Eligibility and fill out all the VA paperwork for you. After you’ve sorted out the necessary details, all that remains for you to do is wait till the loan is closed. But don’t worry–with Hero Loan that takes as little as 14 days (compared to the standard two months)!
- Complete all VA paperwork for clients
- Underwrite all VA loans in-house
- Can close VA Loans in as little as 14 days
- No appraisal fees or out-of-pocket fees
- Services are for active-duty military, veterans, and their families only
Minimum down payment:
$0 down payment
Head here for a full list of the best home loans and mortgage lenders in Missouri.
FHA Loan Requirements St. Louis, Missouri
Individual lenders might have some variation in their FHA Loan requirements, but the basics are the same. Before anything else, you’ll need:
- Valid Social Security number
- Proof of residence in the United States
- Legal age according to your state
After you meet these qualifications, an FHA Loan is easier to obtain than a traditional mortgage. Here are some more specific FHA Loan requirements:
- Minimum credit score: 500
- Loan term length: 15 or 30 years
- Minimum down payment: 3.5% for credit scores over 580; 10% for credit scores between 500-579
- Down payment gift: Entire down payment can be a gift
- Down payment assistance: Programs available
- Mortgage insurance: Upfront and every year for the life of the loan or 11 years
- Mortgage insurance premiums: 1.75% up front; 0.45%-1.05% annually
If your credit score is less than 500, consider lowering your debt-to-income ratio, setting alarms to avoid late payments, or delaying your mortgage application until your credit score is a bit higher.
What is an FHA Loan Limit?
An FHA Loan limit is the maximum loan amount you can borrow while still having the FHA insure that loan. FHA Loans have been a success for many homeowners, and offer many people greater affordability and access to credit that they otherwise might not be eligible for with a regular bank.
How are FHA Loan Limits Determined?
The FHA determines loan limits based on the region, cost of living, average construction costs, and the average home sale price for a particular area. Every year, the FHA updates the FHA Loan limit depending on changes in all the above factors for different states and counties.
Areas with lower costs have a “floor” limit which is lower than average, while higher-cost areas have a “ceiling” limit that is higher than average. Otherwise, the FHA Loan limit is typically 115% of the median price of a state or city’s average home, provided the amount is before the area’s ceiling and floor limits.
Some regions are considered “special exceptions,” where the FHA allows for higher loan limits due to increased construction costs.
What are the FHA Loan Limits in St. Louis?
The FHA loan limits in St.Louis are as followed:
- Single-family: $420,680
- Duplex: $538,650
- Tri-plex: $651,050
- Quad-plex: $809,150
Important FHA Loan Terms
As you learn more about FHA Loan requirements, limits, and more, it’s essential to keep track of some standard terms that might pop up. Here are some important FHA Loan terms for your reference:
FHA: Federal Housing Administration
Ceiling: Higher FHA Loan limit than usual for higher-cost living areas
Floor: Lower FHA Loan limit than usual for lower-cost living areas
Mortgage Insurance: Insurance you must pay every month to protect yourself in case you default on loan payments. Having this insurance is often a requirement for many FHA Loans.
Conclusion: FHA Loans in St. Louis, MO
St. Louis FHA Loans make mortgages more attainable for first-time homebuyers in Missouri, and other prospective buyers that struggle to meet traditional bank loan requirements. Consequently, FHA Loan requirements are easier to fulfill and offer better affordability–and are safer for both the lender and borrower.
So whether you’re looking to purchase a new home or refinance one in St. Louis, St. Charles, Clayton, Ladue, Wentzville, O’Fallon, Creve Coeur, Kirkwood, Maryland Heights, Richmond Heights, Fenton, Ellisville, or across the river in Illinois, in Edwardsville, Collinsville, Glen Carbon, Fairview Heights, O’Fallon, Swansea, Alton, or Belleville, Troy, or anywhere in St. Louis and the surrounding areas, give us a call or apply online at www.thehomeloanexpert.com.
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