Loan Programs

Types of Loan Programs

Basically loans fall into one of four categories:

1.  Government

2.  Conventional Residential

3.  Portfolio

4.  Private Equity Loan Programs

Government – FHA loans

An FHA loan is insured by the Federal Housing Administration, a federal agency within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The FHA does not loan money to borrowers, rather, it provides lenders protection through mortgage insurance (MIP) in case the borrower defaults on his or her loan obligations. Available to all buyers, FHA loan programs are designed to help creditworthy low-income and moderate-income families who do not meet requirements for conventional loans.

FHA loan programs are particularly beneficial to those buyers with less available cash. The rates on FHA loans are competitive and down payment requirements are lower than conventional loans.

Some of the other benefits of FHA financing:

  • Only a 3.5 percent down payment is required.
  • Closing costs can be covered through loan credits
  • Flexible underwriting criteria
  • FHA limits the amount lenders can charge for some closing cost fees (e.g. the origination fee can be no more than 1% of mortgage).
  • Loans are assumable to qualified buyers.

FHA Streamline

One of the best features about a FHA loan is the ability to qualify for a Streamline Refinance in order to help the homeowner lower monthly mortgage payments and interest rates.  Some of the requirements to qualify include no mortgage lates in the past 12 months, owning the property for at least 6 months and you must have a minimum credit score of 640.

VA Loans

VA guaranteed loans are made by lenders and guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) to eligible veterans for the purchase of a home. The guaranty means the lender is protected against loss if you fail to repay the loan. In most cases, no down payment is required on a VA guaranteed loan and the borrower usually receives a lower interest rate than is ordinarily available with other loans.

Other benefits of a VA loan include:

  • Negotiable interest rates.
  • Closing costs are comparable and sometimes lower – than other financing types.
  • No private mortgage insurance requirement.
  • Right to prepay loan without penalties
  • The Mortgage can be taken over (or assumed) by the buyer when a home is sold.
  • Counseling and assistance available to veteran borrowers having financial difficulty or facing default on their loan.

Although mortgage insurance is not required, the VA charges a funding fee to issue a guarantee to a lender against borrower default on a mortgage. The fee may be paid in cash by the buyer or seller, or it may be financed in the loan amount.

A VA loan can be used to buy a home, build a home and even improve a home with energy-saving features such as solar or heating/cooling systems, water heaters, insulation, weather-stripping/caulking, storm windows/doors or other energy efficient improvements approved by the lender and VA.

Veterans can apply for a VA loan with any mortgage lender that participates in the VA home loan program. A Certificate of Eligibility from the VA must be presented to the lender to qualify for the loan.

VA Streamline

A Veteran can qualify for a refinance also known as an Interest Rate Reduction Loan (IRRL) if they meet certain conditions.  Some of the conditions include no mortgage lates in the past 12 months, have 10% equity in the property and a minimum credit score of 640.  The good news is that income is not used in your qualification ratio.

Conventional Loans

Conventional loans are loans that are not underwritten by any government agency.  These loans adhere to the Fannie Mae or Federal National Mortgage Association (aka Freddie Mac) guidelines which sets the maximum loan amount and requirements for borrowers.


DU Refi Plus a new program offered by Fannie Mae can make refinancing faster and easier for many homeowners. Potentially, millions of Americans can benefit from the streamlined refinancing .Homeowners can obtain refinancing through DU Refi plus program even if they have lower credit scores and less income documentation. In some cases, the DU Refi will waive the requirement for an appraisal also.

Open Access  this program helps borrowers refinance even if you are not currently servicing their mortgage. This offering is designed to assist borrowers who are making timely mortgage payments, but have been unable to refinance due to declining property values.  A portion of this offering, mortgages with loan-to-value (LTV) ratios greater than 80 percent, represents our business implementation of the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP).

With no maximum LTV ratios, relief from standard mortgage insurance, simplified appraisal requirements, and the ability to submit through Loan Prospector®, you are able to refinance into a mortgages that better positions you for long-term homeownership success

Portfolio Loans

Portfolio loans are mortgage loans that are held by investment banks or savings and loan institutions rather than being sold on the secondary market.  The institution usually uses their own money and therefore can set their own set of lending guidelines that may or may not conform to Fannie/Freddie standard guidelines.  Another advantage of a portfolio loan is that the institution is usually more concerned with an individual’s savings history than being able to fully document income.

Private Equity Loan Programs

Private equity loan programs are usually funded by Hard Money Lenders.  Hard money lenders serve a purpose for borrowers who suddenly find themselves with an exceptional opportunity but their current financial situation doesn’t allow them to qualify for other types of financing discussed above.