Facing a financial crisis, FHA is asking first-time buyers to pay for the sins of borrowers who came before them. Increases in FHA mortgage insurance premiums and new, tougher underwriting standards that take effect April 1 will cost new borrowers significantly more than refinancing borrowers who have had an FHA loan four years or longer.
On April 1, FHA ill raise the annual mortgage insurance premium paid by borrowers on most new FHA loans by 10 basis points, or 0.1 percent, which the agency expects will add $13 a month to the average borrower’s monthly payments. FHA will also increase premiums on jumbo mortgages (those $625,500 or bigger) by 5 basis points or 0.05 percent, to 155 basis points — the maximum currently allowed by law. Certain streamline refinance transactions will be excluded from the premium increases, the agency said.
The agency is saddled with as much as $16.3 billion in debt due to defaults on loans it insured as the housing market crashed and is facing the grim possibility of asking Congress for a bail out in the midst of the rancorous debate over the budget deficit.