California FHA Loans –  Requirements and Loan Limits for 2024 – California FHA Lenders

california fha lenders

California home buyers who need a small down payment or have poor credit scores may be able to purchase a home with an California FHA loan. There are many FHA lenders in California who offer FHA loans, but not all of them participate in all of the FHA loan options available.

We will take you through the California FHA loan requirements, detail what is needed to qualify, then help you to get pre-qualified. If you already know that an FHA loan is right for you, then click to connect with an California FHA lender whether you live in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, Fresno, or anywhere else.

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California FHA Down Payment Requirements

The down payment requirements for an FHA loan is the same in every state. The minimum requirement for an FHA loan is 3.5% of the purchase price. However, if your credit score is below 580, then the down payment requirement will be 10%.

If you do not have the down payment needed, you can also use gift funds from a relative.

California FHA Down Payment Assistance

There are various down payment assistance programs in every state. Below is a list of just a few down payment assistance programs that may be available to you in California. Home buyers will need to contact, and arrange for these programs independently. Lenders will accept the funds from these programs for your down payment but they will not arrange for the down payment assistance.

CalHome Program

First Home Mortgage Program

GSFA Platinum Program

My Home Assistance Program

School Teacher Employee Assistance Program

California FHA Loan Requirements for 2024

These are the basic FHA loan requirements for this year. All of these must be met to be approved for an FHA loan. If you are not positive on whether you meet these standards or have questions, an FHA lender can help.

  • Down payment of 3.5% or 10% if your credit score is below 580
  • 2-year employment history with some exceptions allowed
  • Fully document your income for the past two years
  • Minimum FICO score requirement of 500 – down payment will vary
  • Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) is required for every FHA loan
  • Maximum debt to income ratio of 43% with exceptions up to 56%
  • The home must be your primary residence
  • No bankruptcies or foreclosures in the past two years

California FHA Loan Benefits

These are the benefits of an FHA loan versus a conventional loan:

  • Lower credit scores permitted
  • Lower down payment requirement
  • FHA interest rates are lower than conventional rates
  • Gift funds allowed
  • Seller closing cost contributions are allowed
  • FHA loans are assumable
  • Co-signers allowed
  • Higher debt to income ratios permitted

Top California FHA lenders

These lenders are just a few options for you to consider. Please note that each lender is different and it is possible that none of these options are best for you depending upon your scenario.

  1. Carrington Mortgage Services  – Get a Quote
  2. Bank of England California Get a Quote
  3. Flagstar Bank – Get a Quote
  4. Quicken Loans – Get a Quote
  5. Home Point Financial – Get a Quote
  6. Freemont Bank – Get a Quote

Let us help you to find the best FHA lender in your area by completing this FHA loan scenario form with some basic loan scenario information. No credit report will be pulled and we can connect you with the best option.

California FHA Loan Limits

Every county in the United States has specific maximum loan limits that are set for single family homes, as well as 2-4 unit properties. The limits are set based upon the average home sales value in that county. The base FHA loan limit for single family residences in California for most counties is $498,257. Use this FHA loan limit lookup tool to see what the FHA loan limits are in your county.

County Name Single Family 2 Units 3 Units 4 Units
ALAMEDA $1,149,825 $1,472,250 $1,779,525 $2,211,600
ALPINE $503,700 $644,800 $779,450 $968,650
AMADOR $498,257 $637,950 $771,125 $958,350
BUTTE $498,257 $637,950 $771,125 $958,350
CALAVERAS $498,257 $637,950 $771,125 $958,350
COLUSA $498,257 $637,950 $771,125 $958,350
CONTRA COSTA $1,149,825 $1,472,250 $1,779,525 $2,211,600
DEL NORTE $498,257 $637,950 $771,125 $958,350
EL DORADO $763,600 $977,550 $1,181,650 $1,468,500
FRESNO $498,257 $637,950 $771,125 $958,350
GLENN $498,257 $637,950 $771,125 $958,350
HUMBOLDT $498,257 $637,950 $771,125 $958,350
IMPERIAL $498,257 $637,950 $771,125 $958,350
INYO $508,300 $650,700 $786,550 $977,500
KERN $498,257 $637,950 $771,125 $958,350
KINGS $498,257 $637,950 $771,125 $958,350
LAKE $498,257 $637,950 $771,125 $958,350
LASSEN $498,257 $637,950 $771,125 $958,350
LOS ANGELES $1,149,825 $1,472,250 $1,779,525 $2,211,600
MADERA $498,257 $637,950 $771,125 $958,350
MARIN $1,149,825 $1,472,250 $1,779,525 $2,211,600
MARIPOSA $498,257 $637,950 $771,125 $958,350
MENDOCINO $546,250 $699,300 $845,300 $1,050,500
MERCED $498,257 $637,950 $771,125 $958,350
MODOC $498,257 $637,950 $771,125 $958,350
MONO $693,450 $887,750 $1,073,100 $1,333,600
MONTEREY $920,000 $1,177,750 $1,423,650 $1,769,250
NAPA $1,017,750 $1,302,900 $1,574,900 $1,957,250
NEVADA $644,000 $824,450 $996,550 $1,238,500
ORANGE $1,149,825 $1,472,250 $1,779,525 $2,211,600
PLACER $763,600 $977,550 $1,181,650 $1,468,500
PLUMAS $498,257 $637,950 $771,125 $958,350
RIVERSIDE $644,000 $824,450 $996,550 $1,238,500
SACRAMENTO $763,600 $977,550 $1,181,650 $1,468,500
SAN BENITO $1,149,825 $1,472,250 $1,779,525 $2,211,600
SAN BERNARDINO $644,000 $824,450 $996,550 $1,238,500
SAN DIEGO $1,006,250 $1,288,200 $1,557,150 $1,935,150
SAN FRANCISCO $1,149,825 $1,472,250 $1,779,525 $2,211,600
SAN JOAQUIN $656,650 $840,650 $1,016,150 $1,262,800
SAN LUIS OBISPO $929,200 $1,189,550 $1,437,900 $1,786,950
SAN MATEO $1,149,825 $1,472,250 $1,779,525 $2,211,600
SANTA BARBARA $838,350 $1,073,250 $1,297,300 $1,612,250
SANTA CLARA $1,149,825 $1,472,250 $1,779,525 $2,211,600
SANTA CRUZ $1,149,825 $1,472,250 $1,779,525 $2,211,600
SHASTA $498,257 $637,950 $771,125 $958,350
SIERRA $498,257 $637,950 $771,125 $958,350
SISKIYOU $498,257 $637,950 $771,125 $958,350
SOLANO $685,400 $877,450 $1,060,600 $1,318,100
SONOMA $877,450 $1,123,300 $1,357,800 $1,687,450
STANISLAUS $517,500 $662,500 $800,800 $995,200
SUTTER $498,257 $637,950 $771,125 $958,350
TEHAMA $498,257 $637,950 $771,125 $958,350
TRINITY $498,257 $637,950 $771,125 $958,350
TULARE $498,257 $637,950 $771,125 $958,350
TUOLUMNE $498,257 $637,950 $771,125 $958,350
VENTURA $954,500 $1,221,950 $1,477,050 $1,835,600
YOLO $763,600 $977,550 $1,181,650 $1,468,500
YUBA $498,257 $637,950 $771,125 $958,350

FHA 203k Loans in California

FHA 203k loans are a great program which will allow you to borrow the money needed to purchase the home plus additional funds needed to rehabilitate or remodel the home. This program is also available in your area and we work with lenders that help with your FHA 203k loan in California.

When you apply for an FHA 203k loan, you should simultaneously be looking for a contractor who can help with any repairs or remodel that needs to be done on the home you are purchasing. The contractor will provide you with an estimate of what the rehab will cost. Then, the lender will include that amount into the application to determine whether you qualify for the full amount.

You may also need to hire an FHA 203k consultant who will help you with this process and can also work with the contractor each month to manage the requisition payments.

If you would like to fully understand how this program works, we suggest reading our article on FHA 203k loans.

FHA Streamline Refinance in California

The FHA streamline refinance program is available to existing homeowners who would like to refinance for a lower rate while eliminating some of the refinance costs such as an appraisal. You may also get a discount on the mortgage insurance premium which is another advantage.

For more information, please read our article on the FHA streamline refinance.

California FHA Loan Pre-Approval Process

If you are looking for an FHA loan, there is an optimal process you should follow to get pre-approved.

  1. The first step is to make sure you have the minimum down payment needed to qualify
  2. check your credit and try to cleanup anything that is pulling down your scores
  3. Get a copy of your tax returns for the past two years
  4. Get copies of your pay stubs for the past month
  5. Get copies of your last two months’ bank statements
  6. Speak to an FHA lender about your loan scenario

Speak to a lender early in the process because they can identify opportunities to help with your FHA approval. This should be done months before you start looking for a home. Read more about how to get pre-approved for an FHA loan.

What to Look for in an FHA Lender

We take a few things into consideration when looking at which California FHA lenders we work with. Some of these also may be, or should be very important to you as you continue shopping for an FHA loan.

A good FHA lender will:

  • Allow for credit scores as low as 500
  • Provide FHA 203k loans
  • Offer competitive rates and fees
  • Have a great processing and underwriting team
  • Work closely with you throughout the loan process
  • Communicate well and will provide you with updates along the way

California FHA Loan Calculator

FHA Calculator
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Upfront FHA Mortgage

Frequently Asked FHA Questions

Can I get an FHA loan with a bankruptcy?
In general, you will need to wait two years before applying for an FHA loan after a bankruptcy. However, there are some exceptions which may allow you to apply sooner. Read our article on the bankruptcy waiting period.

Are all FHA lenders the same?
Not all lenders who offer FHA loans are the same. They all do not offer all of the FHA programs and their rates and fees may also vary. Most importantly, the individuals who help to process and underwrite your loan will have a huge impact on your FHA loan experience.

Can I use gift funds for an FHA loan?
FHA loans do allow for gift funds to cover your down payment as well as your closing costs. The gift funds must come from a relative or a close friend as approved by the lender. You will need to provide the lender with a gift letter that is signed by the donor.

Do I need an appraisal for an FHA loan?
The FHA does require an appraisal and inspection before your loan can be approved. The FHA inspection has clear guidelines on what needs to be repaired before your loan can close. They want to make sure home buyers are moving into a home that is safe and operational.

Can I get an FHA loan for an investment property?
FHA loans are for primary residences only and if your goal is to purchase an investment property, you cannot use FHA insured financing for that purchase. However, if you are currently living in a home that is financed with an FHA loan, you can move to a new home and keep the current home as an investment.