It's a common misconception that conforming, or conventional financing, requires a 20% down payment. However if you have decent credit scores (660 or above) then most lenders out there will extend you conventional financing with less than 20% down ... even as little as 3% down (which is .5% less of a down payment than FHA requires).
Lenders are able to do this because you can take out an insurance policy on the mortgage, called private mortgage insurance (PMI for short), which protects mortgage lenders on "higher risk" mortgages in case of a payment default, and thus makes lenders comfortable to offer conventional financing with less than a 20% down payment.
PMI isn't free (just like any other insurance policy), and there are various ways to pay for the PMI premium, however the two most common ways to pay for the PMI premium is to pay it on a monthly basis (on top of the principal/interest/property taxes/homeowners insurance payment you make) or you can pay a 1 time premium, and never have to pay the monthly amount. The 1 time premium amount is usually the equivalent to around 3-4 years of paying the monthly mortgage insurance, so you would want to go over the numbers to determine which option is better for you.
PMI rates, as well as interest rates on conventional mortgages, are much more credit score sensitive than FHA loans are. So for someone who has a low credit score, and not much of a down payment, FHA usually ends up being the better option between the two.
I'd recommend you speak with a loan officer to determine what all of your options are, and at that point you'll be able to realize if FHA is your best financing option or not.
Shane Milne | NMLS #81195 | Lending in all 50 states