WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FHA, VA and CONVENTIONAL MORTGAGE?
FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loans are available to all borrowers and are guaranteed by the government. The mortgage is issued by the bank, not the government, but the government insures the loan against default.
- Getting an FHA loan is the easiest of all loan programs
- Down payment is 3.5% of the purchase price.
- Has the lowest interest rates of all loans.
- Requires MI – mortgage insurance
- Closing fees can be rolled into the loan
- The seller or lender can pay your closing costs.
- Have the highest debt-to-income ratio – you can afford more
- Loans are limited in the $285,000 to $350,000 range
- These are best for borrowers with average or poor credit.
Veterans Administration (VA) loans are guaranteed by the government and are only offered to veterans and surviving spouses. Here are some highlights:
- $0 Down
- Must be a veteran, active military, or reserves
- Need a 550 Score to qualify
- Seller can pay for all your closing costs
- Great for borrowers with no cash reserves and average or lower credit score
These are the traditional loans offered to borrowers with the best credit scores. A 20% down payment is not required as many believe. Here are the highlights:
- Minimum credit score is 620
- Down Payment of 5% – for 1st time homebuyer is 3%
- The higher your credit score, the lower your rate.
- Sellers can only contribute 3% toward closing costs.
- You will need mortgage insurance if you place less than 20% down.