Of all the options that you have for financing or refinancing a home, you will more than likely be taking out a conventional, FHA, or VA loan. While the Veteran’s Administration loan is the only one of the three that offers a true zero down payment option, each of the three options has its pluses and minuses.
VA loans: The challenge of VA loans is qualification. Only buyers with military backgrounds are eligible.
Conventional loans: These loans follow the underwriting guidelines of Fannie Mae and/or Freddie Mac. A down payment of just 3% is available with conventional loans, but the credit score requirements are much higher than those of either of the other two programs. This disqualifies many buyers.
FHA loans: These loans have a minimum down payment of 3.5%. FHA is the option many buyers take when they want a low down payment but their credit is less than stellar. These loans are fairly easy to qualify for; however, they can prove costly over time.
This cost lies in the mortgage insurance. Unless you are putting down at least 10% (which is contrary to the idea of a low down payment), the mortgage insurance will remain in place until the loan is paid off through a refinance, the sale of the property, or the end of the term of the loan. This extra fee can add up over the life of the mortgage.
Which loan type is best for your situation? Get in touch with your questions so we can discuss low and no down payment mortgage options that may be available for you.