**BUK**RG Low income households or individuals have few options available to them in terms of home loans, and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans affords them an opportunity to own a house, even if they do not have a down payment. The program began a long time ago around the 1930's, a period when the country experienced high levels of defaults and foreclosures. The FHA loans helped ease the burden by issuing lenders with much needed insurance, and the program was self sustaining with little government support in the form of subsidies. Today the mortgage loans offered by the program go a long way in alleviating home financing needs of low income families. In essence, the Federal Housing Administration does not issue loans but rather insures the loans advanced by other lenders in the private sector. The lenders offer the home loans under varying terms and it is the responsibility of a borrower to choose the best option available to them. Low income households benefit from the FHA mortgage insurance programs due to the lower costs associated with FHA supported mortgage loans. First time home buyers with little or no current debt obligations are permitted to have a blood relative co-signing the mortgage loan, without the need for the relative to stay at the same address with the mortgage borrower. Home buyers can assess their capacity to afford a certain range of properties by putting into consideration the debt to income ratio. Lenders typically pay particular attention to the borrower's credit history and also the debt to income ratio to determine the terms of the mortgage loan. As part of the FHA programs, Section 251 serves the purposes of insuring home financing or refinancing loans, naturally the program comes with variable or floating interest rates . However, hybrid ARMs entail a fixed rate of interest for the initial three to five years, which is consequently adjusted on a yearly basis as dictated by indices and market forces. Non-governmental home loan advancements on the other hand, are guaranteed by the private mortgage insurance (PMI). The firms involved in PMI are responsible for insuring a portion of the borrower's loan as a way of cutting down on the risk taken by the lender. The PMI firm will forward a payment based on the percentage of the borrower's loan in the event of default by the borrower. Naturally, the private mortgage insurance companies charge a fee for their troubles.