Veterans Affairs Loans

This program for veterans and active duty service members was created in 1944 as a way to help those returning from service to buy a home. This is probably the most competitive mortgage plan out there. One reason for this is that you can make a purchase with no money down. It is almost impossible to find a lender that will allow anyone to do 100% financing. Another good thing about these loans is they require less requirements and underwriting than conventional loans. VA loans also do not require any PMI (private mortgage insurance), which is not the norm. Typically you must put at least 20% down to qualify for no PMI. There are a lot of benefits to this option. One being the competitive rates that they can offer, no prepayment penalties, allowance for higher debt-to-income ratio, and no additional underwriting.


Loans are bought and sold everyday. If you have an FHA, Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae owned loan then you might be able to qualify for a streamline refinance. You will have to qualify under the lenders current conventional streamline mortgage refinance guidelines. In most cases the property will have to be appraised. In this process the lenders can change, however it must stay owned by the some entity. For example, a loan owned by Freddie Mac will only be streamlined to a Freddie Mac owned loan.

Jumbo Mortgage Loans

These loans are the few that do not follow the guidelines of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. These loans are called jumbo loans because they are above the pre-set loan amount, and are therefore out of the limits that the two corporations purchase mortgages. Jumbo loans have different underwriting processes. The LTV (loan to value) is usually allowed to be lower than a conforming loan but require you to have a high asset liquidity. The rates are often higher on these loans just because of the higher amount. The breaking point into a jumbo loan is $417k.

The Federal Housing Administration or FHA is a division of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). It is the largest insurer of mortgages in the world and is offered to individuals, non-profits and government agencies. FHA does not make loans but instead insures loans by private lenders. To be eligible for an FHA loan, a loan officer will analyze the debt-to-income ratio based on monthly income and expenses, and see how much the borrower can afford to take out.

Also see Fixed and Adjustable Rate Loans

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