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Less Popular and More Flexible Options
Home Loan Quick Comparison Chart
Program Highlights and Benefits
Conventional Loan Highlights
- As low as 3% to 5% down payment (owner-occupied)
- Minimum 620 credit score required
- Use for primary, vacation, or investment home
- Mortgage insurance not required (lender paid available)
- Can have multiple loans at once
Conventional Loan Benefits
- Best option if you have 20% equity ( or down payment)
- Best option if you have credit scores above 680
- Best option if you are buying an investment property to hold
- Adjustable rate mortgage hybrids fixed for 5,7 or 10 years
- Fixed rate can be adjusted to any term under 30 years
Conventional mortgages offer a unique set of options between Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac underwriting guidelines. While these two guidelines are very similar in many ways, there are important differences when you need it. On many occasions, I have seen Fannie Mae decline a loan while Freddie Mac accepts it.
- As low as 3.5% down payment
- Minimum 560 credit score (lower with 10% down)
- Use for primary home only
- Mortgage insurance required
- Best option if you have minimal down payment
- Best option if you have lower credit scores
- Best option for refinancing if current mortgage is FHA
- Great option for first time home buyers
FHA mortgages offer the most accessible and most flexible underwriting options for most buyers. As a refinance option, FHA offers very unique benefits like shortened waiting periods after a bankruptcy, foreclosure, short sale or deed in lieu.
VA Mortgage Highlights
- No Down Payment required
- Minimum 560 credit score required
- Use for primary residence only
- No mortgage insurance
- Must meet minimum service requirement
VA Mortgage Benefits
- Best option if you have served in the U.S. Military
- Best option if you have no down payment
- Best option if you qualify. Hands down best loan available.
When working with a VA mortgage professional that does this for a living, you will find a VA guaranteed loan to be the most flexible mortgage program available, anywhere. If you are eligible for this loan, thank you for your Service!
USDA Mortgage Highlights
- No down payment required
- Minimum 640 credit score required
- Use for primary residence only
- Property eligibility determined by census tract
- Household income limits apply
USDA Mortgage Benefits
- Best option if you live in an eligible area
- Best option if you meet income limits
- 30 year fixed rate mortgage
The USDA Guaranteed Rural Development loan is a great option if you're buying in an eligible census tract. This loan program offers 100% financing and even allows you to finance closing costs if the appraisal comes in higher than the sales price.
USDA loans offer the security of a 30 year fixed at a low interest and low mortgage insurance rate. The USDA 100% loan is challenging to underwrite and tends to be more strict than FHA, VA, or even Conventional mortgage loans in some cases.
There are 3 different income calculations and compensating factors play a big factor in any debt to income ratio over 43%.
Make sure you are using a mortgage professional that has experience with the USDA loan.
Jumbo Loan Highlights
- 20% down payment or equity in home
- Minimum 680 to 720 credit score required
- Minimum loan amount $647,199
- Max loan amounts will vary by institution
Jumbo Loan Features
- Guidelines will vary by lender
- Flexible terms include adjustable and fixed-rate mortgages
- Aggressive interest rates
- Liquid reserves of 12 months or more common
Jumbo mortgage loans described here follow underwriting practices of major depository bank programs. Mainstream depository banks tend to offer the most aggressive interest rates but by far the most strict underwriting guidelines.
If traditional Jumbo mortgage underwriting guidelines are too strict or they just don't have the options you're looking for, a Portfolio loan is a good next option.
There are many private banks, credit unions, and other investors that offer more flexible Portfolio guidelines for borrowers with compensating factors, or if you are willing to pay a higher interest rate.
A Portfolio loan is not a specific loan program but represents a broader channel of loans that are underwritten by individual lenders to meet a specific lending need.
Portfolio loans are not sub-prime or hard money loans. These mortgages cover a wide range of credit grades and offer solutions for many out-of-the-box challenges that borrowers can encounter.
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