On April 1st, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) raised the annual mortgage insurance premium rates, with its primary goal being to bolster the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MMI Fund). And there are more substantial changes coming our way this summer, starting June 3rd when the administration increases the required duration time for the entire life of its mortgage insurance.
The yearly premium on the majority of the FHA mortgage loans impacted by the April Fool's Day changes jumped up about 0.10 of a percentage point, which translates into an approximately $100 annual increase for every $100,000 in the amount of the loan.
If the loan is $625,000 or more, and has a term length of 15 years or more, the amount of the loan will increase by only 0.05 of a percentage point, or $50 annually for each $100,000. The premium varies for each loan, depending on the loan's overall amount, length of term and loan-to-value ratio.
FHA-backed mortgage loans have been a popular financing option, especially for folks with relatively low credit scores, and lower down payment amounts.
Beginning on June 3rd, borrowers with a 78 percent loan-to-value ratio will no longer be able to terminate their mortgage insurance payments, leaving open a small window of opportunity for those with a 20 percent or less down payment to take advantage of FHA's current policy.
What this new policy essentially means for borrowers who take out a loan after June 3rd, is that their mortgage insurance will run all the way to the end of the loan's term. Even those who take out a 15-year loan carrying a starting loan-to-value ratio of 78 percent or more can expect to pay mortgage insurance for at least 11 years.
Home buyers planning on living in their new residence for less than 10 years may not feel much of a financial impact from these new mortgage loan changes. Those expecting to plant their family roots at their recently purchased property can consider refinancing options, such as a conventional, mortgage-insurance-free loan, when the equity has risen because of appreciation and amortization.
For all of the details straight from the horses mouth, so to speak, go to HUD.gov, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD's) website.