Senate Approves Increase in FHA Fees

Date: Aug. 5th, 2010
Contact: Alan Zibel Associated Press

The Senate on Wednesday gave the Federal Housing Administration the go-ahead to raise monthly fees that borrowers pay the agency.

The annual fee is expected to raise from the current rate of 0.55 percent to 0.9 percent of the total loan. The bill gives the FHA the authority to raise the annual fee as high as 1.55 percent.

Simultaneously, the agency plans to lower the loan initiation fee that was raised from 1.75 percent to 2.25 percent earlier this year. Officials would like to drop the up-front fee down to 1 percent of the total mortgage amount.

The net effect of lowering the up-front fee and raising the monthly fee would mean that someone who borrowed $170,000 at 5 percent would pay an extra $38 per month. Current mortgage holders won’t be affected.

The fee changes are projected to bring in an extra $3.6 billion per year to help stabilize the agency's finances.