FHA loans are popular among first time home buyers who have little savings or less than ideal credit scores.
FHA loans are an attractive option, especially for first-time homeowners because it is insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Primarily, the federal government insures loans for FHA-approved lenders in order to reduce their risk of loss if a borrower defaults on their mortgage payments. Typically the borrower can be approved with 3.5% down vs 20% that is required on other loan programs.
The FHA insures mortgages issued by lenders, like banks, credit unions and nonbanks. That insurance protects lenders in case of default, which is why FHA lenders are willing to offer favorable terms to borrowers who might not otherwise qualify for a home loan.
An FHA home loan can be used to buy or refinance single-family houses, two- to four-unit multifamily homes, condominiums, and certain manufactured and mobile homes.