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FHA Loans Get More Expensive; LPMI Alternative

April 13, 2011 by Danilo Bogdanovic  
Filed under Mortgage/Lending

If Uncle Sam hasn’t made you dislike April 15 enough, the FHA will. As of April 15, new FHA loan guidelines go into effect which raise the cost of an FHA loan to borrowers.

How and where are the increases? In the Mortgage Insurance (MI) part of the equation.

How much is the increase? Let’s take a look at some examples…

Sales Price Loan Amount(Base) Old MI New MI

$200,000      $193,000     $144.75      $184.96 (+$40.21 per month)

$325,000       $313,625     $235.22      $300.56 (+$65.34 per month)

$450,000       $434,250     $325.69      $416.16 (+ 90.47 per month)

You may be wondering why the FHA is raising the cost of mortgage insurance (and the overall loan) to borrowers now. In my humble opinion…it’s part of their plan to recoup their past losses and protect themselves from future losses. The FHA is still licking their wounds (aka financial losses) from all of the foreclosures and general down market of the past 5 years.

It may also be a sign that the FHA and government in general believes that there is a recovery taking place and, therefore, the market (and borrowers) are able to absorb the added cost. (Whether they’re correct or not is not a debate I’m going to get into right now)

This isn’t good news if you’re an FHA borrower. But you may have an alternative.

It’s called Lender Paid Mortgage Insurance (LPMI). It’s a type of loan where, rather than paying monthly Mortgage Insurance, your interest rate is higher. There are pros and cons to LPMI though I think the pros outweigh the cons in most cases.

Here’s an overview of LPMI…

- LPMI is not an FHA loan product. It is a private lender program backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

- LPMI generally requires a 5 percent down payment rather than 3.5 percent for an FHA loan. There are some 3 percent down LPMI programs out there, but they are more expensive for the borrower than than an FHA loan under the new guidelines.

- Even though your interest rate is higher with LPMI, your overall monthly mortgage payment is typically less than an FHA loan with a lower interest rate with Mortgage Insurance.

- Mortgage Insurance may or may not be tax deductible – there are strict income and other guidelines that the borrower must meet. But mortgage interest is tax deductible.

New FHA loan versus LPMI loan

Here’s an example of an FHA loan under the new guidelines versus an LPMI loan on a $400K purchase ($30K down payment, $380K financed)…

New FHA – 4.75% interest rate (based on a 720 – 760 FICO/credit score)

$ 2,002.08 Principal and Interest
$ 348.33 Mortgage Insurance
$ 343.33 Taxes
$ 70.00 Homeowner’s Insurance
$ 2,763.74 Total

LPMI – 5.375% interest rate (based on a 720 – 760 FICO/credit score)

$ 2,127.89 Principal and Interest
$0 Mortgage Insurance
$ 343.33 Taxes
$ 70.00 Homeowner’s Insurance
$ 2,541.22 Total

The difference in the total monthly mortgage payment is $222.52. This does not include the tax benefits of writing off the additional interest with the LPMI option.

New FHA -4.75% interest rate (based on a 680 – 719 FICO/credit score)

$ 2,002.08 Principal and Interest
$ 348.33 Mortgage Insurance
$ 343.33 Taxes
$ 70.00 Homeowner’s Insurance
$ 2,763.74 Total

LPMI – 5.75% interest rate (based on a 680 – 719 FICO/credit score)

$ 2,217.57 Principal and Interest
$0 Mortgage Insurance
$ 343.33 Taxes
$ 70.00 Homeowner’s Insurance
$ 2,630.90 Total

The difference in the total monthly mortgage payment is $132.84. As in the previous example, this does not include the tax benefits of writing off the additional interest with the LPMI option.

New FHA loan versus LPMI loan versus your credit score

The amount you save with LPMI financing is significant if you have a very good to great credit score. But that amount quickly decreases the lower your credit score is. The reason for this is that private lenders want to attract those with very good to great credit and protect themselves from those with mediocre and bad credit.

If your credit score is below 680, the the LPMI is most likely not for you because it requires 6 points (6 percent of the total loan amount) for the lender to even consider you as a candidate for LPMI financing. If you fall into this category, then an FHA loan is probably going to be more cost effective for you.

Is an FHA loan or LPMI loan better for you?

This is a very general outline of the changes and a general comparison between an FHA loan and an LPMI loan. There are lots of other details that come into play and everyone’s situation is different. You should speak with an experienced and honest lender that knows all of the “fine print” so you can make an educated decision about what is best for you.

I got my lesson about the new FHA and LPMI loan guidelines from the lender I’ve been working with for over 8 years now -  Darran Anthony of First Home Mortgage in Leesburg, VA. Darran is very experienced, extremely knowledgeable and will tell it like it is. Give him a call or send him an email to see which financing option is best for you, whether it be FHA, LPMI or one of the other financing options available. Here is his contact info…

Darran Anthony, Branch Manager – First Home Mortgage, Leesburg, VA – 703.443.1150 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              703.443.1150      end_of_the_skype_highlighting ext 3410 – danthony@gofirsthome.com

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