How To Speed Up The FHA Loan Process

When you’re ready to buy a home, there’s an anxious excitement that’s within you, making you feel like a small child on Christmas night. One question that is probably burned in your mind throughout the home search process is, “How long is this going to take?” 

If you’re a first-time home buyer, you’ll likely be using some programs through the Federal Housing Administration, also known as the FHA. With any kind of home loan, there’s many variables that can affect how long the process will take. This can be due to many factors including the seller’s circumstances and the nature of your loan. 

When you’re securing a home loan backed by the FHA, you may wonder how long it’s going to take for the entire process to finish from beginning to end. 

Variables That Affect The Loan Process

Underwriting

This is one of the variables that can fluctuate the most in the home loan process. Once you have found the home that you love, the lending process can take a few weeks beyond the point where you sign a contract. This part could entail many different steps that may become hurdles for you as a borrower. Your loan officer can also have an impact on the length of the process. Some loan people are just faster than others! 

Keep in mind that you can’t close on an FHA loan until you get through the underwriting process. In the underwriting process for an FHA loan, it will be assured that you meet all of the criteria necessary for securing the loan, such as the standards that have been established by the HUD (Department Of Housing and Urban Development).      

Closing On An FHA Loan

While it’s difficult to say the exact amount of time that it will take for a loan to process, there’s some things you can do ahead of time to prepare. If you apply for an FHA loan before you have even found a home, you’ll expedite the process a bit. If you have been pre-approved prior to making an offer on a home, you’ll likely be in a better position than if you haven’t yet met with a lender. This will also make the underwriting process move a bit faster for you, provided there aren’t any major red flags on your paperwork.  

FHA Appraisals

FHA appraisals do differ a bit from appraisals for a home with a more conventional loan. With an FHA appraisal, the appraiser must look for things in two main areas including any health and safety issues and determine the market value of the property as well. This process will most likely only take a few days. Part of the appraisal process may include the appraiser looking at similar properties in the area in order to get a bit of a comparison on the value of the property. 

Can You Speed It Up?

If you have everything in order before you even decide that you’re ready to go on the house hunt, you’ll discover that the process of securing an FHA loan will be a bit smoother. Talk to a lender before you start the process so you can familiarize yourself with the requirements. Once you can present the lender with the right documents, they’ll be able to do their job with little intervention on your part.

Thinking about Refinancing Your Home

With mortgage rates at all time lows, you might be wondering if you should be considering refinancing your home. While it may seem like a great thing to do, there are a few things to consider before you decide.

An obvious reason for refinancing to a lower interest rate is the monthly, and even more importantly the long term, savings you will get. Depending on the decrease in interest rate and the amount of the loan, you could see a savings of at least $50/month or $600/year or $6000/10 years. Refinancing to a shorter term loan can also help save on the interest you pay over the life of the loan so if you can afford a 15 year mortgage the benefits outweigh that of a 30 year.

Some things to consider –

If you have owned your home for a long time, your monthly payments are going more towards the principal of the loan, not the interest. Refinancing would cause you revert back to monthly payments of more interest than principal, losing the equity that you have built in your home.

You may be charged for an appraisal on your home which can be around $500. The bank will want to make sure that you are refinancing for an amount your home is worth so some out of pocket expense is required.

If you plan on moving in the next few years, refinancing may not be worth the amount you will pay in closing costs. There are several refinancing calculators available on the web including at http://www.zillow.com/mortgage-calculator/refinance-calculator/ and http://www.smartmoney.com/calculator/real-estate/should-i-refinance-my-mortgage-1302835660427/.

No matter what you choose, being fully informed of all the options, costs and advantages/disadvantages is key to a successful refinance. Make sure you talk with you current lender, as well as other lenders to get the best refinance possible.

Are You a Bad Borrower?

Getting approved for a loan isn’t always a good thing. You have to make sure you are a good borrower. What makes a bad borrower? There are several types of loans you should avoid if you don’t want to overextend yourself and potentially damage your credit rating.

Payday loans Interest rates on pay day loans often run high into the triple digits.  They are designed to be extremely short-term. Pay day loans often put borrowers in a cycle of debt that can be difficult to break because borrower usually can’t pay off the original loans and keep returning to the service.

Car title loans Borrowing against an asset is usually never a good idea. Most car title loans charge interest with an annual percentage rate of well over a 100 percent and they are generally due within one month. If the borrower can’t pay back the loan, the lender will take your car and sell it.

Tax refund anticipation loans Another loan with an extremely high interest rate is a tax refund anticipation loan. If you need more money you can change the amount that’s withheld from your paycheck. That way you give yourself a raise and the government takes only the amount that’s owed.

Co-signing a loan Co-signing a loan for someone else has you taking on all of the responsibility of another financial obligation with none of the benefits. Too often co-signers find themselves left with the loan long after the other person on the loan has stopped paying. It usually never makes sense to take on someone else’s debt.