FHA Approved Lenders in California
FHA loans are a good option for a variety of borrowers. This includes those who want to place a low down payment, as well as those that struggle with some credit issues. Some think of FHA loans as subprime mortgages, but they technically are not. However, they do serve borrowers that can not qualify for a prime mortgage or conventional loan.
2023 California FHA Loan Requirements
You may view the primary FHA loan requirements for California below. Each individual FHA approved lender may have some of their own loan requirements in addition to these.
Credit – Most California FHA lenders will require that you have at least a 580 credit score. However, we work with a few lenders that will go down to a 500 credit score if you have compensating factors, and if you can place a larger down payment.
Down Payment – The standard down payment requirements for a FHA loan is 3.5% of the purchase price. So on a $200,000 loan, the down payment would need to be $7,000. If your credit score is below a 580, you may need to place as much as 10% down in order to qualify.
FHA Loan Limits – The FHA loan limits are the maximum loan amount available in a particular county. You can view the 2023 FHA loan limits for California, on this page.
Employment – FHA loans require that you prove 2 years of consistent employment. You will need to provide at 2 years tax returns, and most lenders want to see your 2 most recent bank statements as well.
Property – The FHA has property requirements, which includes what are known as “minimum property standards”. The home you want to purchase must undergo an appraisal and meet these guidelines, which relate to the condition of the home. The appraisal must also verify the value of the property.
Mortgage Insurance – There are two types of mortgage insurance premiums (MIP) required for all FHA loans. The first type is upfront mortgage insurance premiums (UPMIP), which is 1.75% of the total loan amount. This fee can be included in the loan, and does not need to be paid out of pocket. The second type of mortgage insurance premiums is paid monthly, which is 0.85% of the loan amount (calculated annually, but paid monthly as part of the monthly mortgage payment).
These are the standard requirements for a FHA loan. When you apply, if you are approved, you will be provided a checklist of requirements known as “loan conditions”, which will outline what you must provide in order for the loan to close.
Best FHA lenders in California
Below are our top picks for the best FHA lenders in California:
1.) Quicken Loans
2.) Guaranteed Rate
5.) Fremont Bank
6.) Trilogy Mortgage
7.) Home Loan Artist
8.) Capstone Direct
Please note: We are not affiliated with all mortgage lenders that are featured on our website. We include who we consider to be the best lenders for various mortgage programs. If you would like some help getting connected with an excellent FHA lender in California, please fill out this form.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are FHA loans only for first time home buyers?
No, FHA loans are not restricted to first time home buyers. If you have owned a home before, you may still get a FHA loan. However, you may only have one FHA loan and they are only available for primary residences.
How do I apply for a FHA loan in California?
It is very easy to get pre-qualified or to apply for a FHA loan. We recommend having us match you with a FHA lender in California based on your personal needs (such as estimated credit and loan amount). To be matched with a FHA lender, please fill out this form.
Is down payment assistance available on FHA loans?
Yes, if you qualify for down payment assistance, you can be used with a FHA loan. There are many programs available that provide funds to use for down payment assistance. We can help you find out if you qualify for any of them.
Are cosigners allowed on FHA loans?
Yes, cosigners are allowed on FHA loans. At least one of the borrowers must occupy the property. Non-occupying co-borrowers are allowed though, which means the person cosigning does not need to live at the property that is financed using a FHA loan.
How long after a bankruptcy can you get a FHA loan?
The FHA rules state that you must wait at least 2 years after filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy. For a chapter 13, you only need to wait until you have successfully made 12 months of payments. Additionally, you will need to provide the court trustee’s written approval. Also, keep in mind that the clock doesn’t start upon filing, but rather once the bankruptcy has been discharged.
How long after a foreclosure can you get a FHA loan?
The FHA rules state that you must wait at least 3 years before you are eligible for a FHA loan. However, there is an exception to this rule if there were “extenuating circumstances”, such as a job loss. You would also have to show some improvements to your credit since the foreclosure. In the event that the circumstances and credit improvements are satisfactory, you would only have to wait until after 1 year before you can apply for a FHA loan.
What are the options to refinance an FHA loan?
The FHA offers two different programs for refinancing an FHA loan. This includes the FHA streamline refinance, which allows you to easily lower your interest rate and mortgage payment (and does not require a credit check, income documentation, or a new appraisal). The other option for refinancing an existing FHA loan, is the FHA cash out refinance, which allows you to pull out money from the equity in your home.