With mortgage rates still low, now is a great time to buy! There are many different loan options out there today that make buying a home achievable, and it is important to understand your options throughout the home buying process. Continuing our discussion on government loans from last week (see our USDA Q&A with Inlanta Branch Manager Laura Leonhard), we want to take some time to discuss your options with FHA & VA loan programs.
FHA Mortgage Loans
The FHA, or Federal Housing Administration, offers a low down payment option that can help low income or first time homebuyers purchase a home. Since the Federal Housing Administration insures your mortgage, individual lenders may be more willing to give you loan terms that make it easier for you to qualify. To qualify, you must have proof of steady employment and clear CAIVRS, which is the government’s Credit Alert Interactive Verification Reporting system, to qualify. CAIVRS is a database of those who have defaulted on government loans, owe back taxes, or have other federal debt. If you are on this list, you will not be able to receive the loan unless you can get your report cleared.
Compared to other loan programs, FHA has lower credit score requirements. It does, however, require a minimum score of 580 to qualify for a low down payment. If you are concerned about your credit score, consult your loan officer to find out if you might still qualify. These loans can also have a lower down payment requirement than a conventional loan. Conventional guidelines call for two months of asset reserves at closing, meaning two months of mortgage payments, including taxes and property insurance. FHA has no reserve requirements which means less money spent at the closing table.
Not only can closing costs be paid for by the seller, but the down payment of an FHA loan can also be gifted to the homebuyer. This has become a trend for buyers who are getting married and prefer that their gifts go towards a down payment on a home rather than a wedding registry. If you are getting a gift for your down payment, make sure you document it by getting a gift letter from the person you receive the gift from and be able to document any large deposits to your bank account. This will be required when your application is looked at by an underwriter.
It is important to note that FHA loans can only be used towards the purchase of a primary residence, so if you are looking to purchase a second home or vacation home, you will need to look at other programs. In addition to FHA purchase loans, other FHA options include streamlined and cash-out refinancing, as well as FHA 203k rehabilitation loans, which allow you to combine renovations and the purchase of your home into one loan.
If you have served our country, you may qualify for a VA loan. These loans are available for active, non-active, and retired Army, Air Force, Marine, Navy, National Guard, and Coast Guard vets who meet the established service requirements. To qualify, the veteran must have served on active duty and have a discharge other than dishonorable after a minimum of 90 days of service during wartime or a minimum or 181 continuous days during peacetime. There is a two-year requirement if the veteran enlisted and began service after September 7, 1980 or was an officer and began service after October 16, 1981. There is six-year requirement for National Guards and reservists with certain criteria and there are specific rules concerning the eligibility of surviving spouses.
VA loans offer many great benefits to veterans that are worth looking into eligibility for. These benefits include:
- No Down Payment
- No monthly mortgage insurance (PMI)
- Gift Funds are acceptable for closing costs
- No Cash reserves requirement
- A variety of terms or loan types available
- Available for purchase and refinance
- Reduced costs for disabled veterans
- Seller can pay closing costs
- Seller pays for any required repairs
- No pre-payment penalty
Both of these programs can offer many great benefits to qualified borrowers. If you think one of these programs would be a good match for you, contact one of your local Inlanta Mortgage loan officers to get pre-approved today!
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Our mission is to be the home financing partner that you trust to serve your family, friends, and community. Through our family of dedicated mortgage professionals, our commitment is to deliver an exceptional experience. Our unwavering dedication to integrity, honesty, and ethics is the foundation of all of our relationships.
ABOUT INLANTA MORTGAGE
Headquartered in Brookfield, Wis., Inlanta Mortgage was established in 1993. The company has grown to 35 branches in 16 states and over 240 employees. Inlanta Mortgage offers Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac agency products, as well as jumbo and portfolio programs. The company is an agency approved lender for Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, FHA/VA, FHA 203K and USDA. Inlanta Mortgage also offers numerous state bond agency programs.
Inlanta Mortgage was recently named a Top Workplace for a third time in 2016. Inlanta has also received the Platinum Million Dollar USDA Lender Award and has been recognized as a Top Mortgage Employer by National Mortgage Professional and a Top 100 Mortgage Banking Company and 100 Best Mortgage Companies to Work For by Mortgage Executive Magazine.
Inlanta Mortgage continues to expand its branch network and encourages ethical lending professionals to learn more about our support platform and discover how an Inlanta branch partnership with Inlanta Mortgage is essential to long-term success.
Locate an Inlanta Mortgage loan officer at www.inlanta.com/locations. For current employment opportunities, visit www.inlanta.com/join-our-team/employment-opportunities. Learn more about Inlanta Mortgage branch partnership opportunities at www.inlantapartners.com, call 262-439-4260, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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