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Expert Tips for Finding the Best FHA Loan Rates

Written by
Wesley Mortgage
August 3, 2023
min read

FHA loans are mortgages that are insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). This means that the government guarantees the loan, which makes it less risky for the creditor to offer loans to borrowers with lower credit scores or who have smaller down payments.

They offer more flexible lending guidelines, making FHA loans a good option for borrowers who might not qualify for other types of mortgages.


What Are the Different FHA Loans?

 FHA loans come in two types:

  • Standard FHA loans: The most common type of FHA mortgage. They have down payment requirements of 3.5% and allow for higher debt-to-income ratios than conventional loans.
  • FHA 203(k) loans: FHA mortgages that are designed for borrowers who want to buy a fixer-upper. They allow for up to $6,000 in closing costs and can be used to finance up to 100% of the purchase price and renovation costs.

What Are the Qualifications for an FHA Loan?

FHA loans are available to first-time homebuyers and those with low or moderate incomes. To qualify, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a credit score of 500 or higher
  • Have a down payment of 3.5% of the purchase price
  • Pay a mortgage insurance premium (MIP)
  • Meet income requirements
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Purchase a home that meets FHA requirements

Factors to Consider When Shopping for an FHA Loan

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has played a pivotal role in facilitating homeownership opportunities for millions of Americans. With its low down payment requirements, lenient credit standards, and attractive interest rates, FHA loans have become an increasingly popular choice for homebuyers. However, navigating the realm of FHA loans can be complex, as there are various aspects that borrowers must carefully consider before making a final decision.

Follow are seven such factors to evaluate when shopping for an FHA loan.

Down payment

At least 3.5% of the purchase price of the home, which is lower than the 5% down payment required for a conventional loan.

Credit score

A credit score of at least 580 to qualify.


You must have a steady income that proves you will be able to afford the mortgage.

Debt-to-income ratio

Your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) should be no more than 50%. The mortgage, including taxes and insurance, should not exceed 50% of your income.

Closing costs

FHA loans have higher closing costs. Factor these expenses into your budget.


You might have to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI). PMI is an insurance policy that protects the creditor in case you default. 

Loan limits

FHA loan limits vary. Check the loan limits in the county where you plan to buy a home.

Evaluating an FHA Loan Rate 

When considering an FHA loan mortgage rate, compare it to current market rates and determine if it is competitive. Research the rates online and speak with a creditor. Keep in mind that your credit score, down payment, and other factors can impact the rate. Shop around before making a decision.

Maximum loan amount 

The amount that you can qualify for will depend on your credit score, income, and debts. It is best to speak with a creditor to get a better idea. They can walk you through the application process and help you understand the specific requirements.

Comparing FHA Loan Rates

To compare rates from different lenders, you can do the following:

  1. Get pre-approved from multiple lenders: This will give you an idea of your interest rate and payment range.
  2. Compare the interest rates, fees, and terms of each offer: Read the fine print to understand the costs involved.
  3. Choose the financier that offers the best terms: Consider the interest rate, fees, and closing costs when making your decision.

Here are some additional tips for comparing FHA loan rates:

  • Shop around early in the home-buying process: This will give you time to compare rates and secure the best deal.
  • Provide the lender with the necessary financial documents: That includes your proof of income, assets, and debts.
  • Ask about discounts: Lenders sometime offer savings or special programs for borrowers.
  • Negotiate: Some lenders may be willing to lower interest rates or fees if you ask.

Pros and Cons

FHA loans have numerous advantages, including:

  • Low down payment requirements: FHA loans require a down payment of 3.5%, as opposed to 5% for most conventional loans.
  • Flexible credit requirements: FHA loans have more lenient credit requirements, which means that borrowers with lower credit scores may qualify.
  • High debt-to-income ratio: FHA loans allow for a higher debt-to-income ratio, which means that borrowers with higher debts may still qualify.
  • No prepayment penalties: Borrowers can pay their loans without additional fees and not have to stress about having prepayment penalties.
  • FHA loans are assumable: meaning the loan can be transferred to a new buyer when the owner sells the home.
  • Assistance programs: Several down payment assistance programs are available. These methods can help borrowers with the costs associated with the purchase of a property.

FHA loans also have disadvantages, including:

  • Higher interest rates than conventional loans: as lenders charge a premium for FHA insurance.
  • Higher upfront fees: including an upfront mortgage insurance premium (MIP) of 1.75% of the loan amount.
  • More stringent appraisal requirements: The property being purchased must meet certain standards to qualify.

Tips for Improving Your Credit Score

Follow these tips and qualify for better interest rates on loans and other financial products:

  • Pay your bills on time, every time. This is the most important factor in a credit score.
  • Keep your credit utilization low. Use less than 30% of your available credit.
  • Dispute all errors on your credit report.
  • Pay down your debt. The less debt, the better the credit score.
  • Do not over-apply for new credit.
  • Check your credit report for signs of fraud.



In general, FHA loans can be great mortgage options for borrowers who may not qualify for a conventional loan. If you are thinking about buying a home and you have not saved a lot of money, an FHA loan may be a good option. To learn more about FHA loans and whether you qualify, visit the Federal Housing Administration or contact a mortgage lender, such as Wesley Mortgage.

Wesley Mortgage is home to a team of mortgage professionals who are experts in all home loans, from conventional to FHA. Our loan officers can provide you with the necessary information and resources to make your homeownership dreams come true!

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