FHA vs Conventional loans
4 minute read
January 2, 2021


Simply put, there are visible differences when considering FHA vs Conventional loans. FHA loans permit lower credit scores while on the other hand, conventional loans are very much easier to deal with. A buyer has to pay the low down payment on getting the mortgage in conventional loans. No wonder! All the types of loans have their pros for buyer and seller, but somehow, the requirements you need differ.

Comparison of FHA vs Conventional loans

First of all, analyze which loan is for first time home buyers and which one is for the well-established buyers. You need to understand a few concepts to make the best decision.

Down payment

FHA loans are the loans that the Federal Housing Administration provides security while the other type which is conventional mortgages have federal agency security. In FHA loan, you pay a 3.5% down payment atleast and have credit scores of 580 or sometimes higher.

As compared to conventional loans, where you pay a minimum 3% down payment and have a credit score of 600 with sufficient savings.

Credit scores

If you apply for the FHA loans for qualifying easily, you need to have a good credit score that is 580 or maybe higher in some cases. A buyer with a 500 – 579 approx. credit score qualifies but pays 10% as a down payment.

However, if a borrower applies for Conventional loans, he needs a credit score of 620 approximately for the qualification. Because if you do not have a good credit score, you have to pay a high-interest rate on the conventional loan.

DTI ratios

The DTI ratio represents the borrower debt-to-income ratio, representing the percentage of the monthly income that a borrower spends on paying the other debts, like mortgage, student loans, automobile loans, and credit card payments. If a borrower’s DTI ratio is higher, he has to face more risk while paying the loan.

For the qualification of an FHA loan, a borrower has a debt-to-income ratio of 50% or sometimes less. But if a borrower wants to apply for conventional loans, then the debt-to-income ratios must be up to 50% if they need to qualify for a loan. Many lenders permit a high ratio because the approval is easier for buyers with approximately a DTI ratio of 43%.

Mortgage insurance

If we have to face default cases, then this mortgage insurance provides every possible protection to the lender. So in the case of conventional loans, you have to pay for the insurance when your down payment is 20%. Conversely, in FHA loans, they always wanted insurance on the respective mortgage if you have paid any down payment. Some common differences are:

  • Premiums cost relating to FHA loan insurance remains the same as early whatever your credit score. Conventional loans charge high private mortgage insurance if a borrower has a low credit score.
  • The charges of FHA and conventional loans changes according to the down payment.
  • In an FHA loan, the insurance is present for the entire life of the loan while in another type the insurance can be canceled automatically when the loan gets over.

Loan limits

Both types of loans can easily limit the total of loans that a client is borrowing and hence the maximum loan size vary. Many loan supervisors change the loan limitation on an annual basis according to the situations of the markets.

Property standards

The usage of property and condition matters a lot when making a comparison.

The FHA considerations are stricter. At the same time, hunting for a property you have to consider safety, shops, local restriction, and the quality of construction. After getting an FHA loan, a borrower can live in the home and consider it the primary home.

You can use a conventional loan for purchasing a good home for your vacations or use as a primary residence. A borrower can also use this loan type to buy any reasonable property that they can later use for investment.


FHA refinancing: “streamline”. You can easily get a refinance without any credit checking, income verification, and appraisal charges.


By now you should be able to decide the loan option smartly. Choose suitable types of loans. Think twice before arriving at any decision. Each one has its benefits and setbacks. Keep your requirement in front while deciding or if you are confused, contact Aceland Mortgage for expert guidance.

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