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FHA and VA Mortgage Programs

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loans are popular homebuyer choices. These loans must meet certain requirements.

FHA Loan

VA Loan

Features Features
  • Available in a variety of fixed-rate and adjustable-rate loan options.
  • Has down payment options as low as 3.5%.
  • May allow you to use a gift or grant for all or a portion of the down payment or closing costs.
  • Lets you add extra features such as a temporary buydown.
  • You typically have to pay upfront and monthly FHA mortgage insurance premiums.
  • Provides financing for qualified veterans, reservists, active duty personnel, or eligible family members.
  • Available in a variety of fixed-rate and adjustable-rate loan options.
  • Allows closing costs to come from a gift or grant.
  • Has low-and-no-down payment options
  • Lets you add extra features such as a temporary buydown.
Benefits Benefits
  • Requires less cash upfront for your down payment and closing costs.
  • Available for all income levels.
  • Allows a new buyer to take over the loan if you sell your home (subject to loan approval).
  • Allows a co-applicant to help you qualify even if the person doesn't live in the home.
  • Provides a wide range of rate, term, and cost options.
  • Doesn't require monthly mortgage insurance.
  • Provides the potential for minimal out-of-pocket expenses with seller contributions.
Considerations Considerations
  • FHA loans have the benefit of a low down payment but there are other loan products with the same option.
  • Be certain to ask your home mortgage consultant to help you compare the overall costs of all products, including the monthly and long-term costs and conditions of the required mortgage insurance.
  • You can typically only have one FHA mortgage at a time.
  • In many instances, you may find FHA to be a more expensive financing option and should be considered after thoroughly evaluating all other product options that meet your credit qualifying and financial needs.
  • You typically have to pay a one-time VA funding fee that can be financed into the loan amount.
  • You can get financing for your primary residence only.
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FHA mortgage insurance
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) provides mortgage insurance on loans made by approved lenders. FHA mortgage insurance provides lenders with protection against losses against mortgage payment default. The cost of the mortgage insurance is paid by the homeowner as an upfront amount which is usually financed into the loan amount, as well as an amount that is included in the monthly mortgage payment. The amount of mortgage insurance paid on an FHA loan is dependent on the base loan amount, loan term and loan-to-value (LTV) ratio.

Mortgage insurance (MI)

Mortgage insurance protects the lender against a loss if a borrower defaults on the loan. On conventional (non-government) loans, private mortgage insurance (PMI) is usually required if your loan amount is greater than 80% of the home's value. On government-backed FHA loans, mortgage insurance is usually required in the form of both an upfront premium, as well as a monthly premium. The amount of mortgage insurance paid on an FHA loan is dependent on the base loan amount, loan term and loan-to-value (LTV) ratio.

VA funding fee
You are typically required to pay a one-time funding fee on VA loans. This fee ranges from 0.5 to 3.30 percent, depending on your service type, prior use of VA eligibility, and type of loan transaction.