FHA Streamline Refinance: 5 Strict Conditions


An FHA streamline refinance provides you with something you rarely enter the financial world: a bit of a shortcut, saving you money and time.

But not everyone can get it. Only borrowers who meet certain conditions could possibly get a rest when refinancing a house purchase loan that was originally backed by the Intended.

We take a look at the five strict conditions you should know about if you want to score an FHA streamline refinance – and one big bump in the route to this savings shortcut that you will want to look for.

How streamlined could it be?

“We’re already insuring the loan that will be refinanced, making this about as streamlined because it gets,” says Kevin Stevens, an FHA spokesman. “There isn’t any income check required and no appraisal required.”

Eliminating the wages and credit verification and appraisal not just reduces time, hassle and paperwork, but additionally saves the extra fees, too.

The reasoning would be that the FHA has valued the home, and most from the work it takes to get an FHA loan has already been done. Therefore the do-over isn’t overdone.

The first 4 hurdles to clear

Of course, mortgages are rarely push-button easy. Here are four conditions you’ll need to learn about prior to starting?an FHA streamline refinance:

    • You can’t be delinquent in your current FHA loan. “We’ve [other] tools for borrowers who can’t afford their debts,” Stevens says.
    • You can’t take?out more than $500 in cash from the refinance.
    • It should be a minimum of six months since your current mortgage was issued.
    • You can’t improve your loan amount to pay for closing costs.

The biggest requirement of all

There is a fifth – and quite unusual – stipulation.

“We all do require that there be a benefit to the customer,” Stevens says. Which means the FHA is looking for you to definitely lower your term or lower your mortgage rate of interest – or both.

The FHA accustomed to mandate that a refinance simply give a lower payment, however the agency realized that could cause a false economy.?“While a [lower] payment itself could be beneficial, if you’re getting there simply by upping your term, there is no net benefit because you’re paying more,” Stevens says.

The added costs of interest compounded over one more period of time can significantly outweigh the benefits of a lower payment per month.

The added costs of interest compounded over one more period of time can significantly outweigh the advantages of a lesser monthly payment. Utilizing a mortgage refinance calculator can help you understand the financial trade-off between cutting your payment and adding years for your loan term.

While the FHA allows borrowers to improve your finance term by up to 12 years, it needs to be offset by a rate reduction. “Otherwise it’s not worth refinancing,” Stevens says.

>> MORE: Best refinance lenders for FHA loans

There is really a catch

One potential disadvantage to an FHA streamline refinance: You’ll pay a brand new upfront mortgage-insurance premium and?continue shelling out monthly premium payments.

In an FHA streamline refinance, you can wrap the upfront premium – but no other closing costs – right into a higher amount borrowed as part of the refinance – as long as there’s still a “net financial benefit” towards the borrower, Stevens says.?That means the numbers have to operate in your favor, all costs considered.

The upfront premium is 1.75%, except for FHA loans originated before April 2009; those require an upfront premium of only 0.01%. Monthly premium?payments vary according to the loan amount and loan-to-value ratio, which is based on dividing the loan amount by the home’s purchase price.

Tips to maximise your FHA streamline refinance

As always, it pays to comparison shop with various lenders. Simply because the FHA guarantees your loan doesn’t mean every lender’s terms will be the same.

Mortgage lenders often add “overlays” – additional costs and requirements to FHA loans. For example, a lender may require a credit report on an FHA streamline refinance, even though the FHA doesn’t.

And Stevens offers another word of advice: Calculate your personal long-term savings.

“Just because [a refi] meets our ‘net tangible benefit analysis’ doesn’t mean it’s for sure in the welfare of this individual consumer. They’re still going to need to make that choice by themselves,” he says.

What’s next?

  • Want to do this?

    Compare today’s FHA refinance rates

  • Want to dive deeper?

    Shop the very best FHA streamline refi lenders

  • Want to explore related?

    Learn about no-closing-cost refinances