Mortgage Myth Busters

FHA Loans vs Conventional Loans - Comparing 20 percent down - Eye opening - 10-11-10

FHA loans vs conventional loans


FHA loans have been the major talk in the news as of lately. One loan officer e-mailed me the other day, asking if FHA is going away. I asked, how did you come up with this?  Because three realtors had mentioned it to them. I have not heard a thing, but let's use common sense.  If FHA loans would go away, then the housing market would crash for good. Just my opinion.

Just the other day, a realtor made a comment stating that the buyer was better off putting their 20 percent down with a conventional mortgage and not with a FHA mortgage, so they could avoid the mortgage insurance. Okay, in theory, this sounds great, but there is a huge unknown that is not talked about. The borrower's credit score, which was a middle score of 623.  Yes, you could still do a conventional loan down to a 620, if it gets approved in the system. But let's look at the numbers and understand this better.




The example below is based on a $275,000 purchase price with 20% down. One reason why conventional rates are a little higher and more costly in this scenario as in FHA rates is because Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have added penalties per se. If you are putting down less than 30% and your credit score is less than 720, certain fee penalties would apply to you, which would increase your rate and or points.  The credit score that I am going to use is 623 and I will still show in this example that FHA loans are cheaper (depending on your goals), even with 20% down while trying to avoid the mortgage insurance. 



***And keep in mind, some lenders have penalties on FHA mortgages with credit scores under 660 or can't do them. And many lenders can't do FHA loans under 640 now. And beware of those that promise you a mortgage with scores under 620. It can happen, but they aren't as easy as advertised. Please read - Credit scores/FICO scores - I need a 700 credit score? ***

FHA loans vs conventional loans with 20 percent down

Disclaimer :  These rates are examples of today's pricing, and the spread shown in the example is real with the same profit margin for both sides. The conventional rate also includes the penalty for the 623 credit score, hence why the interest rate is much higher.



One main fact is that you will be adding $2,200 onto your principal balance if you did the FHA mortgage because of the FHA one-time mortgage insurance premium.  If you do the math, the conventional loan isn't better until after 2.7 years. But keep in mind, the FHA loan becomes better after year 5. Why is this?  because the monthly mortgage insurance falls off after 5 years. 

So, simple math. In the first 5 years, you would have spent approximately $2,360 more on the FHA loan scenario.  But now you are saving $70 a month on the FHA loan and the principal balance is being reduced a tad quicker. So in theory, if you stayed in the house for 7 + years, the FHA loan would be better for you.

Another thought? You would need an extra $2,800 more for the conventional loan also, because of the steep penalty for the credit score.

Reminder : You will be subtracting a few more dollars per month from your principal because your interest rate is lower, which would offset the interest that you would write off on the 4.625% rate. Just something else to remember, but consult your tax consultant or CPA. 


FHA Myth - Some people, including loan officers, without doing the math, will say that FHA loans are more expensive because of the Upfront Mortgage Insurance. Because in this scenario, you are adding $2,200 to the FHA loan and because of the new monthly mortgage insurance change. This kind of mortgage myth needs to be squashed on all levels. It starts with the borrowers goals.


This person is also thinking about wanting to do extra work within the property, and the 203-k loan is very useful for this situation.


Important Key Point - Don't fall for the trap when a loan officer would say, just refinance down the road. That could be a huge risk. Nothing is guaranteed for the future.




Disclaimer : All of the information is based on my knowledge and of opinion. I will always say that each and every borrower is not the same. And if you are buying in a USDA area or a Veteran, a USDA loan or a VA loan could be better.



For more FHA loans vs conventional loans comparisons :




Donw Payment Series - Cash is King - A Must Read -

  • FHA loans vs Conventional loans - Don't be cash poor!! - Part 2 of 3 - 01-29-10  I want to show even a bigger difference if you put less down. And even if you decided to put less than 10% down, because cash is king now. You can't predict even next week. And keeping in mind of some misleading rumors, that you need more than 10% down to buy a house.








follow Jeff Belonger on Twitter


The FHA Expert's fan page on Facebook     Add Jeff Belonger to your network @ LinkedIN

                                                                            FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK



- FHA Loans - USDA Loans - VA Loans -

- Energy Efficient Mortgages - 

- Conventional Loans - 203 k loans -

- FHA Home Loans - Mortgages -


Experience & Knowledge at its BEST !!!



Follow me on:

Mortgage Myth Busters



For more information on FHA loans, please go to this link. The FHA Expert

For important mortgage insight to watch for, please read : Consumers need to be aware of these Red Flags!



For information about FHA myths & FHA rumors, please read : FHA Myths & Rumors


Copyright © 2011 by Jeff Belonger of Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc

Comment balloon 13 commentsJeff Belonger • October 11 2010 10:31AM
FHA Loans vs Conventional Loans - Comparing 20 percent down - Eye…
FHA loans have been the major talk in the news as of lately. One loan officer e-mailed me the other day, asking if FHA is going away. I asked, how did you come up with this? Because three realtors had mentioned it to them. I have not heard a… more
Have mortgage questions? Have FHA loan questions? How about a…
Are you a consumer with some questions, but not sure who to ask? Are you a realtor who has questions or scenarios, and possibly work with a good loan officer, but could use some extra feedback? You have some outside sites such… more
Mortgage Advertising - It can be very deceptive - Be Very Careful
Why do many advertise. To make money, right? You have to spend money to make money. But are some ads deceptive or misleading? You betcha. What about the little giveaways or gimmicks offered when people advertise? Aren't… more
Renting vs Buying -- Knowing your loan options & what it would…
So you have been weighing your options in regards to either renting or buying It looks like you after thoughtful consideration and planning, that you want to buy a new home. You are now excited, just thinking about this daily. You finally… more
Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, & FHA Loan Limits have been Extended
The Housing Market might finally have some Good News. Just a few days ago, the House and the Senate passed H. R. 3081 This extension allows Fannie, Freddie, and FHA to loan in High Cost areas without charging extremely high rates,… more
There is a Risk involved with using your 401K Account as your Down…
Sometimes finding a home can be a long process, but you did it. You have finally found the home of your dreams. Now there is one thing that stands between you and your new home. It’s the Down Payment. Some home buyers are looking to use… more
You have Mortgage Questions? Where do you go for your answers?
There are just so many questions in regards to mortgages of which consumers and realtors search for places to ask such questions. My problem from searching the internet is that I have seen some really bad, false, or… more
Renting vs Buying a home -- Showing the difference in payments --…
Key Reminder - You don't need 700 credit scores and 20% down to buy Figuring out the differences between renting vs buying a home can be stressful. I gave you some pros and cons of buying a home in Part… more
Yippie, we are out of a recession!!!!
I know it's been all over the news since the 20th of September, that we are now out of a recession since June. But I am curious, where the hell have I been all of this time. Who is stating these facts? Did we just pull millions of… more
Buying a home vs Renting - Understanding & knowing the difference…
In today's economy, you will hear many different rhymes of reason why to rent now or why to buy a new home now. Ultimately it comes down to your own decision and you should only use such news with caution. You might have heard… more