FHA Streamline Refinance FAQ

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This FAQ will answer your questions about the FHA Streamline Refinance program which was created by the FHA to make it quick and easy to refinance your existing FHA loan.

What is the FHA Streamline Refinance program?

The FHA created the streamlined refinance program over 25 years ago to make it simple and fast for anyone with an FHA loan to lower their interest rates. They do this through a "streamlined" process which utilizes the already existing paperwork from your original loan to serve as the foundation of the process. This eliminates a huge amount of time! For more general info on FHA loan requirements see this article titled: FHA loan requirements.

I have a conventional non-fha mortgage, can I utilize the FHA Streamline Refinance program?

Unfortunately, no. One of the few requirements of this program is that your current home loan MUST be an FHA loan.

What are the basic requirements for an FHA Streamline Refinance?

Besides the original loan being an FHA loan, the only other real requirement is that your mortgage payment must not have been more than 30 days late in the last 12 months.

I have a 15 year fixed FHA loan, can I refinance to a 30 year loan?

Yes, with a 15 year loan (variable or fixed) you can refinance to a 30 year loan (variable or fixed).

I have a 30 year fixed rate FHA loan, can I refinance to a 15 year loan?

No, if you have a 30 year loan, you must refinance to a 30 year loan.

I have a lot of equity in my home, can I take some cash out at closing with the FHA streamline refinance program?

No, you are not permitted to take any cash out with the FHA streamline refinance loan program.

houseonmoney250.jpgIs a credit check required?

No, there is no credit check required. This is part of the streamlined process.

Is an appraisal required?

No, most FHA approved lenders do not require an appraisal for an FHA streamlined refinance.

Are there closing costs associated with an FHA streamline refinance?

Yes, there are closing costs and they vary depending on the lender. However, as long as you have enough equity in your home, the closing costs can be wrapped into the loan.

Do I have to use my current lender to refinance through the program?

No, for a list of approved lenders in your area, visit the HUD site: FHA approved list. Another option is Lending Tree, which has recently expanded its service to allow borrowers looking for refinancing to check their eligibility for FHA loan programs based on their local county-level loan limits.

What is an FHA Streamline refinance 203K Loan?

The FHA Streamline 203K Loan is designed for homeowners who want to make home improvements to their FHA financed home. It allows homebuyers to finance an additional maximum of $35,000 into their mortgage to improve or upgrade their home. You cannot use the FHA 203k loan for major structural improvements.

You can also find out more information about FHA 203K loans at the HUD website: www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/203k/faqs203k.cfm

You can find out more information about FHA Streamline Refinance at the HUD website: www.disasterhousing.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/buying/streamli.cfm

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Source: FHA.gov and HUD.gov
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