Common Types of Mortgages

FHA

A Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan is a mortgage that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and issued by an FHA-approved lender. FHA loans are designed for low-to-moderate-income borrowers; they require a lower minimum down payment and lower credit scores than many conventional loans. In 2020, you can borrow up to 96.5% of the value of a home with an FHA loan. This means you’ll need to make a down payment of 3.5%. You’ll need a credit score of at least 580 to qualify. If your credit score falls between 500 and 579, you can still get an FHA loan as long as you can make a 10% down payment.1 With FHA loans, your down payment can come from savings, a financial gift from a family member, or a grant for down-payment assistance. Because of their many benefits, FHA loans are popular with first-time homebuyers.

Conventional

A conventional mortgage or conventional loan is any type of home buyer’s loan that is not offered or secured by a government entity. Instead, conventional mortgages are available through private lenders, such as banks, credit unions, and mortgage companies. However, some conventional mortgages can be guaranteed by two government-sponsored enterprises; the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac).

VA

A VA loan is a mortgage loan available through a program established by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (previously the Veterans Administration). The VA sets the qualifying standards, dictates the terms of the mortgages offered, and guarantees a portion of the loan, but doesn’t actually offer the financing. VA home loans are provided by private lenders, such as banks and mortgage companies, instead.

USDA

USDA loan is a mortgage that offers considerable benefits for those wishing to purchase a home in an eligible rural area. USDA home loans are issued through private lenders and are guaranteed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Purpose of the USDA Loan

The USDA loan’s purpose is to provide affordable homeownership opportunities to low-to-moderate income households to stimulate economic growth in rural and suburban communities throughout the United States.

These rural development loans are available in approximately 97% of the nation’s landmass, which includes over 100 million people*.