Loan Programs

FHA Loan

A mortgage issued by federally qualified lenders and insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). FHA loans are designed for low to moderate income borrowers who are unable to make a large down payment. FHA loans allow the borrower to borrow up to 96.5% of the value of the home. The 3.5% down payment requirement can come from a gift or a grant, which makes FHA loans popular with first-time buyers.

What Is An FHA Streamline Refinance?

If you already have an FHA mortgage then you might qualify for a FHA Streamline Refinance. An FHA Streamline Refinance is a great way for a borrower with an existing FHA backed mortgage to reduce their interest rate, reduce their payment or possibly both.

Here are some really cool facts about an FHA Streamline Refinance:

  • No Appraisal is Required – because your loan is already guaranteed by your existing FHA loan, the FHA will allow you to use your home’s original purchase price as your home’s current value.
  • You can still refinance even if you are underwater – even if you owe more than your home is worth, you might still be able to get an FHA Streamline Refinance loan.
  • There is no FHA prepayment penalty to worry about.
  • FHA Streamline refinance rates are the same as “regular” FHA loan rates.
  • Employment verification is not required with an FHA Streamline Refinance – in other words, no paystubs, no W-2s or tax returns are required for approval.
  • Income verification is not required with an FHA Streamline Refinance
  • Credit score verification is not required with an FHA Streamline Refinance – instead of checking your credit, your payment history is used to determine fi you qualify or not. You must have no late payments in the last 90 days and only one or less late payment within the last 12 months.

The Refinance Must Have A "Purpose"

Streamline Refinance applicants must demonstrate that there's a Net Tangible Benefit in the refinance or in other words a legitimate reason for refinancing. For Example:

  • Refinancing from an Adjustable Rate Mortgage to a Fixed Rate Loan.
  • or Reducing your principal + interest + mortgage insurance 5 percent or more.

Your Loan Balance May Not Increase To Cover The New Loan Costs

The FHA prohibits increasing a Streamline Refinance's loan balance to cover associated loan charges. The new loan balance may increase but only by the cost of the Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium. All other costs -- origination charges, title charges, escrow -- must either be paid by the borrower as cash at closing, or credited by the loan officer in full.

These materials are not from HUD or FHA and were not approved by HUD or a government agency.


FHA 203k Renovation Loans

Turn a Fixer Upper into Your Dream Home

When shopping for a home, you may come across properties that aren’t quite what you’re looking for but have the potential to be your dream home with some repairs or renovations. With a renovation loan, you can roll the cost of financing or refinancing a home and repairs into one loan – saving you time and money.


Limited 203(k) Rehabilitation Mortgage

In addition to funding your new home, an FHA Limited 203(k) can provide up to $35,000 (including a contingency reserve) in additional funds to help make a few non-structural repairs or renovations such as updating a kitchen or bathroom, adding new flooring, purchasing new appliances, or repairing the roof.


Standard 203(k) Rehabilitation Mortgage

If your potential dream home needs more than $35,000 in renovations or the repairs are structural, the Standard FHA 203(k) might be the right solution. This program removes the restrictions of the limited option to allow for major home remodeling. A Standard FHA 203(k) can provide additional funds* to help with eligible repairs including moving or removing walls, minor pool repairs, and landscaping.
*Final disbursement of funds is subject to final inspection.

USDA Loans

In 1991 the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) started offering rural development loans to encourage homebuyers to live in rural and suburban areas. The USDA did this to promote growth and boost the local economies of these areas by making land and property more affordable.

A USDA Loan is a mortgage loan that is insured by the US Department of Agriculture and available for qualified individuals who are purchasing or refinancing their home loan in an area that is not considered a major metropolitan area by USDA.

For borrowers that meet USDA loan requirements, they offer many benefits paired with relatively lenient approval requirements. Government backed and insured they offer:

  • NO money down
  • Low interest rates
  • 30 year fixed rates
  • Government guaranteed
  • You have the ability to roll in your closing costs into the loan
  • Flexible credit guidelines

So if you want to live in a suburban or rural area – generally with a population of 20,000 or less then a USDA loan may be your answer to owning your new home.

USDA Loans for First Time Home-buyers

Great for First-time Home Buyers

100% Financing (including Closing Costs)

No Down Payment Requirements

No Pre-payment Penalties

Low Rates

Existing Homes, Foreclosures, New Construction

Benefits of USDA Loans

  • 100% Financing - you can buy a home with no money down. You can even finance your closing costs.
  • You can refinance your home up to 100% of the value of your home.
  • Low Fixed Rate Mortgage Options.
  • They are usually easier to get because the Government insures the loan so that there is much less risk to the lender.
  • They can be used for Existing Homes, Foreclosures or New Construction.
  • Simple Loan Process.
  • No Loan Limit. No Acreage Limit.
  • There is No Prepayment Penalty.
  • You can use the loan to repair or add on to your home.
  • Flexible Credit Requirements.


Who is eligible for a USDA Loan?

Generally these loans are available to anyone who meets minimum credit guidelines and local area income requirements and is purchasing a home or refinancing their home in an area that is not considered a major metropolitan area by USDA.

Some common misconceptions of USDA Loans:

  • They are just for farmers - This just isn't the case. It's not "just for farmers," millions of people already qualify.
  • FHA or Conventional Loans are better - In fact, USDA Loans often offer better terms than an FHA or conventional loans.
  • They aren't flexible - Actually, they can be used to buy a new home or refinance to a lower rate.
  • Only certain people can qualify - Anyone who meets the income and credit guidelines can qualify.
  • They are only for rural areas - Actually, they are available in many areas that most people would not consider rural. For example, small communities just outside of metropolitan areas.
  • They are harder to get than FHA or Conventional Loans - This just isn't true.  In many cases they are actually easier to get because the loans are guaranteed by the government.


A mortgage loan program established by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to help veterans and their families obtain home financing. The Department of Veterans Affairs does not directly originate VA loans; instead, they establish the rules for those who may qualify, dictate the terms of the mortgages offered and insure VA loans against default. VA loans offer up to 100% financing on the value of a home. To apply for a VA loan, borrowers must present a certificate of eligibility, which establishes their record of military service, to the lender.

Conventional Fixed Rate Loans

Mortgages that are not government-backed are known as conventional home loans.

They include:

  • Conforming loans
  • Non-conforming loans
  • Jumbo loans
  • Portfolio loans

Conforming loans conform to guidelines established by government-sponsored enterprises (GSE) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They buy mortgages from lenders and sell them to investors to make mortgages more available.

Non-conforming loans are loans that do not conform to the GSE guidelines.

Jumbo loans are loans that are larger than the loan limits set by the GSEs.

Portfolio loans are loans that are held by mortgage lenders on their own books. These types of loans may have features that other loans do not because lenders can set their own guidelines.

Conventional Fixed Rate loan have interest rates that don’t change for the life of the loan.

Benefits of a Fixed Rate loan include:

  • The interest rate does not change for the life of the loan which provides protection from rising interest rates.
  • Usually there is less documentation required than for FHA or VA loans decreasing the overall processing time.
  • Typically the interest rate and APR are lower than other types of fixed-rate loans.
  • These loans are available for refinancing.
  • Different fixed rate period options are available, such as 15, 20 or 30 years.

Adjustable Rate Loans

With an adjustable rate loan, the interest rate changes periodically, usually in relation to an index and payments may go up or down accordingly.

Benefits of an Adjustable Rate loan include:

  • Lenders generally charge lower initial interest rates, initially, making payments lower.
  • The loan could be less expensive over a long period than a fixed-rate mortgage if interest rates remain steady or move lower.

Considerations of an Adjustable Rate loan include:

  • There is the risk that an increase in interest rates would create higher monthly payments.
  • The length of time the loan is held should be considered. If the loan will not be held for a long time, rising interest rates may not pose a major problem.

Refinance Mortgage Loans

Homeowners looking to decrease their interest rate, change their loan term, or take cash out may consider refinancing. A refinance calls for the homeowner to obtain another mortgage loan. Those funds are then used to pay off the original mortgage loan and the homeowner is then bound by the terms of the new mortgage. Depending on your situation a refinance loan could be a great option.

Along with decreasing your interest rate, refinance loans can also help you switch from an ARM to a FRM, and in some cases reduce your loan term.

Jumbo Loans

Jumbo Loans are loans that exceed the conforming loan limits set by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO), and is not eligible to be purchased, securitized, or guarenteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. A Jumbo Loan is for mortgages more than $453,100. It also offers 30 and 15 year fixed rate mortgage and competitive ARM products with full document, alternate documentation and limited documentation.

What are the Jumbo Loans Down Payment Requirements?

For Purchase transactions Jumbo Loans require the home-buyer to put down at least 20% of the purchase price of the home. Cash out and No cash out refinance are allowable.

What types of property are eligible?

Most Jumbo loan programs allow you to purchase single family detached, Condo's, PUD's and single-family second homes can be financed with no prepayment penalty.


If you are a first time home buyer and are limited with the amount of money you have to work with there are programs available with zero down (VA and USDA), or as little as 1% to 3% down (FHA and Conventional). The interest rates and closing costs vary on these programs. Once your personal situation is assessed the right program can be determined. Mortgage insurance is required when you have less than a 20% equity in your home. This fee is added to your payment and varies depending on the loan amount, the loan to value and your credit score. The fee can be eliminated in some instances by increasing the interest rate.