The FHA Announces Two Big Changes That Will Cost Borrowers Thousands More

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For the longest time homebuyers have relied on FHA loans to obtain mortgages using just 3.5% down. These government-backed loans have historically helped borrowers that otherwise might have had a hard time getting a loan to become homeowners. All FHA loans require the borrower to pay Private Mortgage Insurance, a premium paid each month by the buyer to insure the lender against default. FHA covers the insurance.

In light of financial troubles and exhausted reserves, the FHA recently announced that it would be changing its program. The two biggest changes have to do with the amount of premium due each month as well as the length of time these premiums are due.

Increased PMI Premiums To Take Effect April 1, 2013
Right now, all borrowers that put less than 20% down on their FHA loan are expected to pay 1.25% of the loan amount each month but effective April 1 of this year, the monthly premium amount goes up to 1.35%. On a $200,000 home that increase amounts to about $17 each month.

PMI To Be Charged for the Life of the Loan For Minimum Down Payment Borrowers
The second change will have a lot more impact on borrowers. As of right now, all FHA loan holders are required to pay PMI until they either have 22% equity on their home or for the first five years of the loan (with a minimum PMI payment period of 5 years). As of June 3rd 2013, borrowers that put less than 10% down will be required to pay PMI for the life of the loan. Furthermore, if borrowers do pay 10% down, they would have to continue with PMI for at least a minimum of 11 years.

Buyers Must Be Under Contract By March 25, 2013 To Avoid Lifetime PMI
The mortgage industry expects a flood of new FHA applications, especially prior to April 1st since for FHA loans that have a case # assigned by April 1st, the lifetime PMI change will not apply. What this means to you as a buyer is that you should aim to be under contract by March 25th so that you can get your FHA case # back by April 1st. This does not mean that you need to close on your loan prior to April 1st of this year.

Conventional Loans Will Likely Become More Popular
With these adjustments to the program, conventional loans will likely become more popular. Consider this comparison of a FHA loan with a conventional on a home priced at $200,000, once the changes have taken place:

Type of Loan
Down Payment
Monthly Mortgage Insurance

Looking at the above example, there would be a savings of $1,300 each year by opting for a conventional loan.

Changes Being Made to Rebuild FHAs Financial Reserves
There are two reasons for these changes. First, the FHA is trying to recover its reserve and second, the organization expects to reduce the number of FHA loans it insures with the expectation that more borrowers will turn to conventional loans.
If you would like to find out more about this, or better yet if you want to avoid having to pay month after month for the life of your FHA loan, contact us today and we will help you find your new home. Don’t wait – this one is huge.

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Pay Off  YOUR Debt,  NOW!

The only way to raise a credit score is to pay off your debt or at least reduce it to an acceptable level!
 I recommend paying off high interest rate  credit card debt first.They can suck the life out of your finances! As for those, "magic cure" credit repair commercials you hear and see promising a quick fix, their scam is even greater than high interest rate scam your credit card company is charging you!

What steps do you need to take to build your credit score to the highest level possible? How can you secure a mortgage with a lower interest rate? Use my common sense guidelines provided below to get rid of the debts that have reeked havoc on your chances for a lower-interest mortgage on your dream home.

1.) Pay Your Bills on Time – All the Time!
I know, I know – this isn’t always easy. But, lenders of all kinds look for reliability on your part. Since loaning money is a risk for them, they look for signs that you have a reliable income and the discipline to pay your bills over time. When they see those signs, they say to themselves, “Hmmm, this person looks like a good risk to me; therefore, he or she deserves a lower interest rate.”

2.)  Do Not – I Repeat! – Do Not Open Unnecessary Credit Cards!
People sometimes open credit card accounts in order to increase their available credit. Absolutely avoid this temptation! It’s simply too darned easy to charge for items you don’t really need, and, before you know it, you’re back in debt or have increased it to an unreasonable degree.

3.) Budget, Budget, Budget!
Financially, this is possibly the most “unsexy” task there is, and yet it’s the most vital and important one you can possibly undertake! YOU need to figure out where you stand financially. Budgeting will allow you to get rid of debt, improve your credit score, and shape a low interest rate financial future for you!

4.) How Much Debt is Too Much?
Here’s the first question to ask yourself in terms of budgeting: How much debt is too much?
Actually, there’s a standard financial formula that allows you to answer that question. This formula is called the debt to income ratio, and what it does is measure your net monthly income against your debt.

Here’s an example:
"George” has a net monthly income of $2000 and his monthly debt payments are $500.
So, to get his debt-to-income ratio, George divides $500 by $2000 and gets this ratio:
500÷2000 =.25 (25%)
Is this a good ratio?
Well, financial experts generally agree that debt expenses should be 25% or less of your income. George’s ratio is reasonable but could be better.So, what’s the ratio of your debt to your income? Figure that out by taking the next step.

5.) Calculate Your Debt-to-Income Ratio
You can answer that question by completing the following tasks:

Task 1: Analyze your bills from the last month. Add up all the fixed expense items (rent, mortgage, car payments, child support, loan payments, etc.)

Task 2: Review your credit card bills and add up the minimum payments owed on each card.

Task 3: Figure out your monthly take-home pay (net salary).

Task 4: Divide your monthly fixed expenses by your monthly income to get your debt-to-income ratio.

What percentage did you get? If it’s 25% or greater, then it’s definitely time to budget in order to reduce or eliminate your debt.

I’d be happy to discuss some more in-depth  budgeting tips and provide you with information on mortgages at the same time!