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Commonly Asked Questions About FHA Home Loans

by 55+ Community -Founders' Ridge 12/17/2018

If you’ve been considering taking the next step toward homeownership, you’ve likely heard about FHA loans. Offered by the Federal Housing Administration (hence, “FHA”), these loans are great for a number of people hoping to purchase a home but who don’t have a large down payment saved.

There are many misconceptions about FHA loans since they’re often advertised by large, private mortgage lenders but are technically a government program. In order to clear up some of the confusion, we’ve provided answers to some frequently asked questions regarding FHA loans.

Read on to learn about FHA loans and how they might help you purchase a home.

Who issues an FHA loan?

FHA loans aren’t issued by the government. Rather, they’re issued by private lenders but insured, or “guaranteed,” by the government.

Since lenders want to make sure they’ll see a positive return from lending to you, they typically want you to have a high credit score and a large down payment (typically 20%). However, not everyone is able to meet those requirements. In this situation, the FHA is able to help you acquire a loan by giving your lender a guarantee.

Are there different types of FHA loans?

Yes. In fact, there are nine distinct types of loans guaranteed by the FHA. These include fixed rate mortgages, adjustable rate mortgages, refinance loans, reverse mortgages, VA loans, and more.

What do you need to qualify for an FHA loan?

It’s a common misconception that you need to be a first-time buyer to qualify for an FHA loan. However, if you have previously owned a home that was foreclosed on or if you’ve filed for bankruptcy, the foreclosure and bankruptcy have to be at least three years old.

You’ll also need to demonstrate a stable employment history, usually including two years of employment with the same employer.

Finally, the FHA will ask you for your current and previous addresses, the last two years tax returns, and the W-2 forms from any of your recent jobs.

What is the most I can borrow with an FHA loan?

The FHA sets mortgage limits on loans depending on the state and county you’ll be living in. For a single-family home, the limit ranges from $275,000 to $451,000. So be sure to check the limits for your state and county.

Can you refinance an FHA loan?

Refinancing a loan is a great way to receive a lower interest rate or to shorten the term of their mortgage to save in the total number of interest payments. In fact, the FHA typically only allows refinancing when it will result in lower interest payments on a loan.

What is the minimum credit score needed to qualify for an FHA loan?

While you don’t need excellent credit to qualify for a loan, the FHA will require you to have a score of at least a 580. You can check your score for free online from a number of companies, such as Mint or Credit Karma. Be aware, however, that scores vary between credit bureaus. So, it’s a good idea to check your FICO score once per year, which is the score used by mortgage lenders.

About the Author

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55+ Community -Founders' Ridge

Set on a picturesque hill and centrally located in the desirable Westfield Section of Middletown, Founders’ Ridge is a New 55+ Condominium Community of up to 75 Ranch and Cape Style detached homes.  Named for the Founding Fathers and Mothers of Middletown, each model bears the name of one of our town’s founders – The Allen, The Martin, The Cornwell, and The Whitmore to name a few. 


Attractively priced from $289,900.00, our homes range from approximately 1200 Sq. Ft. to 2250 Sq. Ft.  Our models offer 2 – 4 bedrooms, attached 2 car garages, natural gas heat and AC, city water and sewer and all underground utilities.  Standard features include wood kitchens with granite tops, stainless steel appliances, tiled laundry and baths, hardwood in living areas, paver patios or decks, paved driveways and professional landscaping.
Founders’ Ridge offers a unique agreement with adjacent Ascentria Care’s Luther Ridge, private apartment living for residents age 62+.  Residents of our community have access to meeting and game rooms, and even dining opportunities (for a small fee) all of which are accessed via quiet, peaceful walking trials connecting both communities.


Centrally located on the Connecticut River, the City of Middletown boasts amenities for any lifestyle.  Residents may take advantage of The Institute for Lifelong Learning at Wesleyan University as well as various other university community activities.  The active Middlesex Historical Society offers additional programs such as museum exhibits, walking tours, and re-enactments among its many events.  Wadsworth Mansion offers a summer concert series and our river and parks offer a wonderful opportunity to explore the outdoors.  Also located in the downtown area is Middlesex Hospital, affiliated with the world-renowned Mayo Clinic, Middlesex offers quality medical care and world class technology.  


We would be remiss if we did not mention our thriving Main Street, famous for award winning cuisine at over 30 restaurant locations, and a Downtown Business District boasting over 40 shops for unique purchases and window shopping and a calendar full of events, performances and more.  Don’t forget about the newly opened RJ Julia & Wesleyan Bookstore alive with frequent happenings and book signings by famous authors.  Our community truly offers something for everyone!