30-Year Fixed FHA Mortgage Rates

    30-Year Fixed FHA Mortgage Rates: How This FHA Loan Term Works

    Nowadays, first-time homebuyers’ median income is $80,000 – hardly enough to afford a home without a loan. If you have a bad credit score or a high debt-to-income ratio, an FHA mortgage might suit you. 

    An FHA loan is a government-backed mortgage, ideal for first-time homebuyers with a poor financial history. FHA loans come in two standard terms – a 30-year contract and a 15-year contract. 

    In this guide, you’ll learn about how a 30-year fixed-rate FHA mortgage works and what factors influence your rates.

    shutterstock 669633394 4

    What Is A FHA 30-Year Fixed Mortgage?

    FHA loans are insured by the Federal Housing Administration. These mortgages have relaxed credit score requirements, which are ideal for low-to-moderate-income households. Unlike conventional loans, FHA mortgages accept a down payment as low as 3.5%. 

    To qualify for an FHA loan, you must: 

    • Have a credit score of at least 580 
    • Have a debt-to-income (DTI) ratio no higher than 43%
    • Have at least 1 to 2 years of consistent employment history
    • Present a property that adheres to FHA regulations

    FHA mortgages offer two standard terms: 15 and 30 years. A 30-year fixed-rate mortgage will last for 30 years, but homebuyers who want to pay off their loan faster can apply for a 15-year fixed mortgage instead.

    Homebuyers can take out an FHA loan with their U.S. bank, credit union, or a private lender. However, the minimum requirements will vary depending on where you make your application. The good news is that borrowers can still avail of low mortgage rates amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP)

    Like private mortgage insurance (PMI) on a conventional loan, mortgage insurance protects lenders if homebuyers default. 30-year FHA mortgages charge an interminable mortgage insurance premium (MIP), no matter the size of your down payment. 

    Mortgage insurance charges borrowers with two fees: 

    • An upfront mortgage insurance premium, which costs 1.75% of the total borrowing amount
    • An annual mortgage insurance premium, which can cost between 0.45% to 1.05% of the total borrowing amount

    Lenders typically ask for the upfront fee along with other closing costs. Borrowers who can’t afford the upfront mortgage insurance premium can request to roll it into the home loan amount. 

    How much your MIP costs will ultimately affect your final mortgage rate. Use online tools such as a mortgage calculator to get an accurate prediction of how much your mortgage loan will be. 

    Mortgage Rates

    Compared to conventional loans, rates on FHA mortgages are typically lower. However, this isn’t always the case. Your interest rate might vary according to: 

    • Your financial history, including credit ratings and annual income
    • How big your down payment is
    • External economic factors

    The better your credit score and the more sizable your down payment, the lower your interest rate will be. But the better the economy is performing, the higher the mortgage rates on the housing market. 

    Compared to 15-year fixed mortgages, 30-year mortgage loans charge a higher interest rate. However, this rate will vary from lender to lender. Always compare quotes with multiple lenders to determine which term best suits your needs. 

    shutterstock 1414828031 10

    Factors That Affect 30-Year FHA Mortgage Rates

    30-year FHA mortgages are attractive for their low-interest rates. However, these rates will fluctuate every fiscal year. Some lenders will also charge higher rates depending on how risky you are to insure or how well the economy performs. 

    While it can be challenging to predict your final interest rate, knowing what factors influence this amount can help direct the home-buying process. 

    Economic Activity

    An economically healthy society will generate higher incomes. The more consumers have, the more they will spend. 

    During periods of economic growth, the housing market becomes more in-demand. However, mortgage loan lenders only have a limited supply of dispensable funds. Thus, they increase interest rates to keep up with the rising demand. 

    On the other hand, poorly performing economies cause income to drop and spending habits to slow. As consumers stray from the housing market, lenders may offer lower interest on FHA loans. 

    The Federal Reserve

    Contrary to popular belief, the Federal Reserve does not directly influence FHA mortgage rates. However, it does set a federal funds rate, which protects financial institutions against U.S. bank failures. Depending on which state you are from and what U.S. bank you are working with, these reserve mandates might vary. 

    When the federal funds rate increases, it may become too expensive for one bank to borrow money from another. Thus, they pass on the responsibility to consumers, increasing rates on your loan. 


    No two lenders will impose the same mortgage rate. Lenders with a higher overhead or closing costs may charge higher interest. 

    As a rule of thumb, always compare rates with at least two different lenders. Lender rates can appear lower than market value if you aren’t quoting accurately. Always present your complete credit profile and specify the terms of your 30-year loan to get an accurate quote. 

    Calculate your annual percentage rate (APR) to unearth any hidden costs and get a complete picture of your closing costs and overall mortgage. 

    Financial History

    If you are like the average American who has $90,460 in debt, you might still qualify for FHA loans – you just might not get the rates you want. FHA mortgage lenders will review your financial history to determine how likely you are to repay your loan. If you have a positive borrowing history, lenders will consider you less risky to insure. 

    Naturally, higher credit scores and a lower debt-to-income ratio will qualify you for lower interest rates. Some FHA lenders will accept a credit score of as low as 500. However, homebuyers will have to make a down payment of at least 10% to obtain a favorable interest rate. 

    Loan-To-Value Ratio 

    Your mortgage’s loan-to-value ratio compares the home value to the base loan amount. Calculate your LTV ratio by dividing the total loan amount by how much the property costs. 

    Suppose you can make a 5% down payment ($7,500) on a $150,000 home. Divide how much you are borrowing ($142,500) by the property amount to get an LTV ratio of 95%. 

    The good news is that FHA loans accept loan-to-value ratios of up to 96.5%. However, your final interest rate may increase. You can reduce your LTV ratio by making a larger down payment or finding a more affordable property.

    shutterstock 534365146

    Discount Points

    Discount points pertain to the amount of money you pay to your lender to lower your interest rates. How much one point is equivalent to will depend on your lender. For instance, one point might equal $1,000, but in most cases, a point equals 1% of the total cost of your loan. 

    If your lender offers discount points, you can “buy down your rate” by up to 0.25% of the entire borrowing amount. 

    How To Calculate 30-Year FHA Mortgage Rates

    With the help of tools like a mortgage calculator, estimating your loan’s total cost is relatively simple. 

    First, you’ll have to note down the following information: 

    • The cost of the property
    • The down payment amount
    • The loan term (in this case, 30 years)
    • The interest rate presented by your lender

    Once plugged into the mortgage calculator, it will reveal information such as: 

    • Your monthly payments, with interest and optional costs
    • The total interest you will pay over the life of the loan
    • The total cost of the mortgage and interest over 30 years 

    Note that online mortgage calculators do not include the cost of mortgage insurance premiums.

    The Advantages & Disadvantages Of A 30-Year Fixed FHA Mortgage

    Below are a few reasons you should consider an FHA 30-year fixed-rate loan and what you should look out for. 


    • Your monthly payments are more affordable. Compared to a 15-year fixed-rate FHA mortgage, terms spanning 30 years cost less. People can make extra payments when able, allowing them to repay the amount more reliably.
    • You can purchase a more expensive home. With more time to pay off your FHA loan, you can afford to look into a property with a higher purchase price. You might even qualify for a higher loan amount. 
    • You can make early repayments. Lower monthly payments allow borrowers to build savings and eventually repay the amount early. You can make early repayments by adding to your monthly fees or making several payments at a time. Unlike other types of mortgages, you won’t incur a penalty for repaying your principal early. 


    • You pay higher interest. Unlike 15-year terms, a 30-year fixed loan will have a higher interest rate. Overall, you’ll pay more in total interest, which can make it challenging to build equity. Your loan balance will also remain higher for longer. 
    • It’ll take longer to repay the loan. Naturally, it will take longer to repay your loan amount, which can prevent you from moving to a new property. Under the Federal Housing Administration, FHA-approved homes can only be primary residences. Thus, you cannot rent the property to move into another one while you’re still paying it off.
    • Mortgage insurance can get costly. If you choose to roll your upfront mortgage insurance premium into your monthly payments, the total cost of your loan will rise. Unfortunately, there is no way to eliminate MIP other than refinancing into another type of loan. 

    What Is The Difference Between 30-Year FHA & Conventional Mortgage Rates?

    A conventional 30-year fixed loan is not the same as one insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Below are a few of their main differences. 

    Mortgage Insurance

    Both conventional and FHA loans charge mortgage insurance. However, private mortgage insurance (PMI) on a conventional loan is only required of people who cannot afford a down payment of more than 20%. Mortgage insurance premiums (MIP) on an FHA loan are required, no matter how large your down payment is. 

    While conventional borrowers can eliminate PMI when they achieve home equity of at least 20%, MIP cannot be terminated. The only way to eliminate MIP is to refinance out of your FHA loan.

    Down Payment 

    FHA loans are popular for their low down payment requirements. However, you can only qualify for a 3.5% initial payment if your credit score is at least 580. People with credit scores as low as 500 must make an initial payment of at least 10%.

    Conventional loans demand higher down payments to mitigate risk. While a 20% down payment isn’t required, you will have to pay PMI if you cannot provide the amount. PMI will increase your overall rates.

    Credit Requirements

    Conventional home loans have stricter credit score requirements of at least 620 or higher. Not to mention, they will also demand a lower debt-to-income ratio of no higher than 36%. First-time homeowners will benefit from lenient FHA loan requirements, qualifying with a credit score of only 580.

    Keep in mind that a higher credit rating will lower your overall interest payments, regardless of what type of loan you need. You can improve your score by settling outstanding debt payments such as those on credit cards or existing loans.

    shutterstock 503419588

    Interest Rates

    Because they are government-backed loans, FHA lenders are protected if a borrower defaults. Thus, FHA mortgage insurance can offer competitive rates. 

    Ultimately, the same factors will influence your final rates, whether you are taking out a conventional or FHA loan. These factors include: 

    • Your financial history, including your annual income, credit rating, DTI ratio, and more
    • Market interest rates, federal reserve rates, and housing demand
    • The base home loan amount
    • Mortgage insurance premiums 

    Frequently Asked Questions About FHA Mortgage Rates

    Below are answers to a few frequently asked questions about 30-year FHA mortgages. 

    Is an FHA loan cheaper than a conventional loan?

    It depends. Conventional mortgage products aren’t always cheaper than FHA loans. Instead, the selling point of FHA loans is that they have lenient credit requirements for low-to-median-income borrowers. 

    Can you get a lower rate on your loan?

    Yes, you can lower your FHA loan rate by paying off credit card debts or reviewing your credit report online. You can also make a bigger down payment or consider earning discount points. 

    Is a 30-year FHA loan better than a 15-year FHA loan?

    A longer-term FHA loan will benefit you if you need more time to pay off your mortgage and want a lower rate. However, it will take more time to build equity in your home unless you make extra payments. 

    Is a fixed-rate FHA loan better than an adjustable-rate mortgage?

    Fixed-rate and adjustable-rate FHA loans over 30 years differ in how much interest you pay. Fixed FHA loan rates are predictable and easy to repay. Adjustable-rate type loans charge lower interest on the onset and increase over time. 

    Get a better idea of how much either loan will cost by calculating your annual percentage rate (APR). 

    In Conclusion

    30-year FHA loan rates are advantageous to borrowers who have a poor financial history and need more time to pay off their mortgage. Whether a loan term of 30 years is right for you depends on what you can afford and how other factors affect your closing costs and borrowing amount. 

    Can’t decide between an FHA loan term of 15 or 30 years? Consult with the experts at Wesley Mortgage, LLC. Visit our website for more information about FHA loans and whether you qualify. 

    Written By Ed Wallace
    Follow the author on: