It's a catchy marketing pitch: "720 and above, don't go gov." And it has potentially far-reaching significance not only for large numbers of first-time and moderate-income home buyers this year, but for the dominant source of low down payment mortgages many buyers depended on during the past several years: FHA. The new "720" jingle, used in advertisements by Radian Guaranty Inc, one of the highest-volume players in the industry, refers to FICO scores and spotlights the steadily rising cost of FHA insurance premiums compared with private competitors. As the result of those fee increases -- the most recent hike in premiums took effect April 1 -- and the impending revocation of the right to cancel premiums for most new FHA borrowers starting June 3, private mortgage insurers can now ...
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