Every prospective home buyer needs to research the types of mortgages to find the best loan for their needs. Applying for a home loan can be complicated, and deciding which type of mortgage could be best for you ahead of time will help you focus on the correct type of home.

When you buy a house, there are numerous loans to choose from. Your rate, terms, and the lender will differ depending on your mortgage. Selecting the appropriate mortgage for your needs may lower your down payment and reduce overall interest payments throughout the loan term. Understanding the different types of home loans available and how they can help you achieve your goals is essential. There are many home loans, each with distinct features. This article will explore some of the most common ones.

Requirements To Get a Mortgage

Many types of mortgages are available to homebuyers but the best mortgage for you will depend on several factors. Some of these include:

  • Estimated Down Payment: The size of your down payment can determine the interest rate lenders will offer you.
  • Monthly Mortgage Payment: A mortgage lender will review your income and assets to determine your entire loan obligation. Consider the principal amount, interest, and taxes in addition to mortgage insurance, housing costs, and any homeowner’s fees when determining your monthly mortgage payment budget.
  • Credit Score: The interest rate you get on your loan is based mainly on your credit score.

Read More: What Type Of Mortgage Program Is Best For You?

Types of Home Loans

Types of Home A Complete Guide To Different Home Loan Programs

Conforming and non-conforming loans are the two categories of mortgages. Conformity versus non-conformity is decided by whether or not your lender keeps the loan, collects payments and interest on it, or sells it to one of two real estate investment firms — Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

Conforming Loans

A conforming loan refers to a conventional mortgage that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can buy. For one of these organizations to purchase the mortgage from your lender, it must adhere to essential criteria established by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). The following are some of the requirements for this kind of loan:

  • Below The Maximum Dollar Limit: In most parts of the United States, the maximum amount allowed is $647,200 in 2022. In Alaska, Hawaii, and certain high-cost areas, the limit is $970,800. Higher limitations apply if you acquire a multifamily unit. Your lender can’t sell your loan to Fannie or Freddie unless you qualify for a super conforming loan.
  • Not A Federally Backed Loan: The loan can’t already have received government backing, such as the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or the Department of Veterans Affairs. Several government organizations provide mortgage insurance. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may not purchase your mortgage if you have a federal-backed loan.
  • Meets Lender-Specific Criteria: Your loan must adhere to the lending party’s criteria to qualify for a conforming mortgage. For instance, you must maintain a credit score of no lower than 620. Besides that, when applying for a conforming loan, other property guidelines and income limits may come into play. A home loan expert can guide you through this process and help determine if you qualify based on your financial standing.

Conforming loans have strict criteria, but the requirements for borrowing are more consistent. Conforming loans are less risky because the lender can sell them to Fannie or Freddie. As a result, you might get a lower interest rate if you take out a conforming loan.

Non-Conforming Loans

Non-conforming loans have more relaxed guidelines than conforming loans. With a non-conforming loan, you may be able to borrow with a lower credit score, get approval for a larger loan, or avoid the need for a down payment.

A non-conforming loan does not follow the traditional criteria for loans. If you have a blemish on your credit report, such as a bankruptcy, you might be able to get a non-conforming loan. The government or jumbo mortgages will back most non-conforming loans.

Understanding Different Types of Mortgages

Understanding Different Types of Mortgages

There are various pros and cons regarding the different types of home loans. Whether you’re a first-time home buyer, downsizing, or refinancing, think about the kind of applicant you are before selecting a mortgage type.

When comparing various loan alternatives, you should also consider how much you’ll need to borrow. If you’re unsure, use a mortgage calculator to determine that amount.

Conventional Mortgages

The most common type of mortgage is the conventional mortgage, which has stricter regulations on your credit score and debt-to-income (DTI) ratio.

You can acquire a house with as little as 3% down in the case of a standard mortgage. To qualify for a conventional loan, you’ll need a credit score of at least 620. If you have a down payment of at least 20%, you may opt-out of purchasing private mortgage insurance (PMI).

However, you’ll have to pay PMI if the down payment is less than 20%. Mortgage insurance premiums are usually cheaper for conventional loans than other financings (such as FHA).

This is the right choice for most borrowers if you’re looking for a conventional loan with lower interest rates and larger down payments. If you can’t provide at least 3% down but are eligible, consider applying for a USDA or VA loan.

Pros of Conventional Mortgages

  • The cost of borrowing after fees and interest is often lower than with an unorthodox loan.
  • For qualifying loans, your down payment could be as low as 3%.

Cons of Conventional Mortgages

  • Pay PMI if your down payment is under 20%.
  • Stricter qualifications demand a credit score of at least 620 and a low DTI.

Home Buyers Who Might Benefit

  • Borrowers with a solid income and good credit put down at least 3% of the purchase price.

Fixed-Rate Mortgages

Fixed-rate mortgages have the same interest rate and principal payment for the life of the loan. The amount you pay each month may fluctuate based on property tax and insurance rates, but generally, fixed-rate loans provide a relatively stable monthly cost.

Choose a fixed-rate mortgage if you think you’ll live in your house for a long time. With this type of mortgage, your monthly interest rate stays the same. You can plan your expenses with more ease with a set monthly payment amount.

If interest rates in your region are high, you may want to avoid fixed-rate mortgages. You’ll be stuck with your interest rate for the duration of your mortgage unless you refinance. If rates are high and you close in, you might pay thousands of dollars in overpaid interest. Contact a local real estate agent or a home loan expert to learn more about current market interest rates.

Pros of Fixed-Rate Mortgages

  • Monthly payments are the same for the duration of your loan, making it simpler to budget.

Cons of Fixed-Rate Mortgages

  • You may pay more interest over time if the rates are high.

Home Buyers Who Might Benefit

  • Buyers purchasing or refinancing a primary residence that will serve as their forever home.

Adjustable-Rate Mortgages

A variable-rate mortgage or adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), is the opposite of a fixed-rate loan. ARMs are 30-year loans with interest rates that fluctuate based on market conditions.

An ARM always has an introductory fixed-interest period. For example, a 5/1 ARM loan has five years of a fixed interest rate. This makes your monthly payments more manageable during the beginning phase of owning your home.

Your interest rate varies according to market interest rates after your introductory period. Your lender will utilize a particular index to calculate how rates change. If the index’s market rates rise, your rate will go up. If they fall, your rate will decrease.

ARMs have rate caps that determine how high or low your interest rate can fluctuate in a set period and over the lifetime of your loan. Rate caps defend you from quickly inflating interest rates. For example, interest rates might continuously go up yearly, but when your loan reaches its rate cap, your rate will stop increasing. These rate caps also work vice versa and restrict the amount by which your interest rate can decrease.

Adjustable-rate loans can be a good choice if you plan to buy a starter home before moving to your forever home. If you don’t plan on living in your current home for the entire loan term, you can take advantage of lower interest rates and save money.

If you plan to contribute more money toward your mortgage early, ARMs can help you save on interest payments. Paying additional installments on your loan sooner might save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

Pros of Adjustable-Rate Mortgages

  • You may obtain lower interest rates for the first introductory period if you bid based on this feature.

Cons of Adjustable-Rate Mortgages

  • If the rates rise, your monthly payments could skyrocket.

Home Buyers Who Might Benefit

  • People looking to buy their first home with the understanding that they likely won’t stay there until the mortgage is paid off.

Government-Backed Loans

Government-backed loans are those that government agencies insure. Three main types of government-backed loans are FHA, VA, and USDA. These loans are less risky for lenders because if you default on your mortgage, the agency responsible for insuring the loan will pay out. If you can’t get a conventional loan, you may still be able to qualify for a government-backed loan.

Depending on your qualifications, you may be able to save money on interest or down payments when you take out a government-backed loan.

FHA Loans

FHA loans are attainable for individuals with a credit score as low as 580 who only have to pay 3.5% down, thanks to being insured by the Federal Housing Administration. An FHA loan may enable you to buy a home with a credit score as low as 500 once you pay at least 10% down on the property.

USDA Loans

The United States Department of Agriculture insures the USDA loans. USDA loans have fewer mortgage insurance requirements than FHA loans, enabling borrowers to acquire a house with no down payment. To qualify for a USDA loan, you must satisfy certain income standards and buy a property in a suburban or rural area.

VA Loans

The Department of Veterans Affairs insures VA home loans. A VA loan allows you to buy a house with $0 down and lower interest rates than other forms of borrowing. You must fulfill military or National Guard service standards to qualify for a VA loan.

Pros of Government-Backed Loans

  • Reduced interest rates and down payments could save you money on your closing costs.
  • There are fewer stringent qualification requirements than with traditional loans.

Cons of Government-Backed Loans

  • To be eligible, you must fulfill certain conditions.
  • Borrowers must pay upfront costs (also known as funding fees) on many government-backed loans, resulting in increased borrowing expenses.

Home Buyers Who Might Benefit

  • People who do not qualify for standard loans or have limited cash savings.

Jumbo Loans

A jumbo loan is worth more than the amount you could get with a conforming loan in your area. To purchase a high-value property, you generally require a jumbo loan. Jumbo loan interest rates are usually comparable to conventional lending rates, but they’re more challenging to acquire than other forms of financing. You’ll need a better credit score and a lower debt-to-income ratio to qualify for a jumbo loan.

Pros of Jumbo Loans

  • The interest rates on jumbo loans are comparable to the interest rates of conforming loans.
  • You may borrow more money for a more costly house.

Cons Of Jumbo Loans

  • Frequently, you need a credit score of 700+, many assets, and a low DTI ratio to qualify for this.
  • You’ll need a significant down payment, usually between 10% and 20% of the purchase price.

Home Buyers Who Might Benefit

  • Those who need a loan larger than $647,200 for a high-end home, and have a good credit score and low DTI.

Read More: Is Now A Good Time To Refinance Your Mortgage?

The Bottom Line

Your specific preferences and circumstances determine the most acceptable mortgage loan. To figure out how much you’ll need to borrow from your mortgage lender, calculate your anticipated purchase and refinancing expenses ahead of time.

When purchasing a new house, consumers should consider several factors, including the rate of interest, risk-free investment options, and the ability to pay off the mortgage in a shorter period. When buying a home for the first time, there’s a lot to think about. Your credit score, income, debt, and property location all influence which mortgages you qualify for. To obtain a tailored answer that best suits your circumstances, start filling out an application for a mortgage.

Do you have any questions about different home loan programs? Leave a comment below or contact us for a free consultation.