2019 FHA & FNMA Changes That Affect Mortgage Applicants

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Every year changes are made to mortgage limits based on the size of a home as well as the county it’s in. For higher priced areas the amounts will reflect the price of those homes, the same for homes in regions with fairly priced property.

As a buyer, you should be aware of the changes and how they’ll affect you.

2019 Loan Limits, Effective 1 January 2019

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has announced increases in conforming loans that will see single units increase from $453,100 in 2018 to $484,350 in 2019 in most counties. Higher priced counties will see maximums reach $726,525 for single units. For FHA loans the increase will reach $314,827 for single units.

You can get more than these amounts with the right down payment, but in most cases you’ll need to get a Jumbo mortgage which isn’t offered through Government Funded Enterprises like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And these require you to meet far more stringent requirements.

Credit Requirements

To qualify for a mortgage you’ll need a credit score of 500 in the very least. But most lenders require scores of 620 or higher.

Here’s a breakdown of the loan type and the score required:

FHA Loans:

Credit Score: 580 – some lenders are able to approve 500+ credit scores

Down Payment: 3.5% down payment with a credit score of 580. 10% down with a credit score of 500-579

VA Loans:

Credit Score: 620 – some lenders are able to approve 580+ credit scores

Down Payment: None

USDA Loans:

Credit Score: 620

Down Payment: None

203k Loans:

Credit Score: 640

Down Payment: 3.5%

Conventional 97 Loan:

Credit Score: 620

Down Payment: 3%

Conventional Loans:

Credit Score: 640

Down Payment: 5 to 20%

If you’ve been thinking about purchasing a home you should certainly make your way to a mortgage officer who can walk you through the changes and what they mean for your plans to purchase a home. Alternatively, you could speak to your local real estate agent and have them help you understand the changes and their effects. Any reputable agent will have thorough knowledge on the changes, and should be able to explain them to you.

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