Government loan programs
An FHA loan is insured by the Federal Housing Administration, a federal agency within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The FHA does not loan money to borrowers, rather, it provides lenders protection through mortgage insurance (MIP) in case the borrower defaults on his or her loan obligations. Available to all buyers, FHA loan programs are designed to help creditworthy low-income and moderate-income families who do not meet requirements for conventional loans.
FHA loan programs are particularly beneficial to those buyers with less available cash. The rates on FHA loans are generally market rates, while down payment requirements are lower than for conventional loans.
Some of the other benefits of FHA financing:
- Only a 3 1/2 percent down payment is required.
- Closing costs can be paid by the seller.
- More flexible underwriting criteria than conventional loans
- Loans are assumable to qualified buyers.
VA guaranteed loans are made by lenders and guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) to eligible veterans for the purchase of a home. The guaranty means the lender is protected against loss if you fail to repay the loan. In most cases, no down payment is required on a VA guaranteed loan and the borrower usually receives an interest rate than is competitive with other loans.
Other benefits of a VA loan include:
- Competitive interest rates.
- Closing costs are sometimes lower – than other financing types and can be paid by seller.
- No private mortgage insurance requirement.
- Right to prepay loan without penalties
- The Mortgage can be taken over (or assumed) by the buyer when a home is sold.
- Counseling and assistance available to veteran borrowers having financial difficulty or facing default on their loan.
Although mortgage insurance is not required, the VA charges a funding fee to issue a guarantee to a lender against borrower default on a mortgage. The fee may be paid in cash by the buyer or seller, or it may be financed in the loan amount.
Veterans can apply for a VA loan with any mortgage lender that participates in the VA home loan program. A Certificate of Eligibility from the VA must be presented to the lender to qualify for the loan. If you do not have your Certificate of Eligibilty, we can assist you with obtaining one through the VA website.