Home Loans

Home Loans - What You Need to Know

Home Loan Page is a website dedicated to helping consumers better understand mortgage loans, including home loan payments and types of home loans available. In addition, this resource also offers information regarding lender policies.

Conventional lenders are free to enforce their own guidelines, which may be more stringent than Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac requirements. A minimum credit score of 620 may be necessary for most conventional loans.


Conventional home loans do not fall under government guarantee or insurance, which means qualification requirements tend to be more stringent, including requiring higher credit scores and lower debt-to-income ratios (DTI). They also typically require larger down payments than government-backed loans such as FHA or VA loans.

Conventional loans can be provided by private mortgage lenders such as banks, credit unions, online lenders and mortgage brokers, giving borrowers more options when searching for the perfect loan deal. Conventionals loans can be further broken down into two categories: conforming and non-conforming. Conforming conventional loans adhere to guidelines set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac while non-conforming conventional loans do not meet those standards.

Some conventional loans are tailored specifically for those who may struggle to meet the down payment and other requirements of traditional mortgages, including down payments of at least 3% down. They can also offer financing with no money down requirement from some lenders (Fannie Mae Home Possible/HomeReady mortgages for instance).

Conventional mortgages also provide the flexibility of choosing from various loan terms, such as 15 or 20 year fixed-rate mortgages instead of the more standard 30-year term, giving borrowers more financial control when purchasing more affordable homes or staying put for longer depending on their personal financial goals and needs.

Borrowers who opt for conventional mortgages typically pay private mortgage insurance (PMI), similar to what is seen with government-backed loans, in their monthly payments as a standard practice. Because conventional loans don’t need to adhere to as stringent standards as government-insured loans do, PMI rates often tend to be much cheaper. While this option can be great for some borrowers, it is wise to speak to your lender first about whether PMI may apply – typically this policy requires 20% down payments or less as required by lenders before any property hunting begins or mortgage shopping begins!


FHA home loans are guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration, who provide lenders with mortgage insurance to reduce risk and allow them to offer financing to borrowers who might otherwise not qualify for conventional mortgages. There are various programs designed specifically for FHA borrowers ranging from primary residence, renovation, reverse and even reverse mortgages.

To qualify for an FHA loan, borrowers must provide evidence of income and employment along with two years’ financial history. A credit report will then be obtained by the mortgage lender to assess creditworthiness – those with credit scores 580 or above may make a down payment as low as 3.5% while those with lower scores could need up to 10% or even more upfront.

The FHA requires that its borrowers maintain a minimum debt-to-income ratio of 31 percent in order to determine whether or not they can afford their mortgage payments and other expenses. Their goal is to improve the housing market through responsible homeownership, sound mortgage finance practices and quality living environments throughout America – something they have long done through improving housing availability and affordability for low and moderate-income Americans.

Finding FHA home loans near you isn’t hard: simply do an internet search for “FHA home loans near me.” Once found, be sure to review their reputation as well as customer satisfaction ratings before selecting your lender and shopping around for rates and terms that meet your needs.

One of the key advantages of an FHA mortgage loan is its flexible guidelines and lower down payment requirement compared to traditional loans. However, it’s essential to remember all costs associated with an FHA mortgage such as upfront and ongoing mortgage insurance premiums; these costs could add up over the life of your loan and add thousands in costs over time.

As well as mortgage insurance, other costs of closing will include an appraisal, title insurance and transfer fees. Your lender will also need a variety of documents in order to process your application – this may include personal and financial data like tax returns, paystubs and bank statements as well as written explanations for any past or current financial issues you might be experiencing. Your loan package will then be submitted for FHA approval.


VA home loans provide Servicemembers, Veterans, and eligible surviving spouses the chance to become homeowners without making a down payment or meeting stringent credit requirements – with zero down payments required and flexible mortgage terms that suit any budget. They boast lower interest rates than conventional mortgages as well as no monthly mortgage insurance premiums (PMI) premiums, making VA home loans an appealing choice for first-time homebuyers.

Servicemembers, Veterans and surviving spouses eligible for VA loans must submit a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) in order to demonstrate their eligibility. A COE requires proof of identity as well as service records; Rocket Mortgage offers assistance with processing and submitting the COE form.

Before applying for a VA home loan, it’s crucial to find a real estate agent familiar with helping veterans and military families. A knowledgeable agent will be able to guide you through the process while answering your queries; in addition, they may recommend lenders who understand this type of financing solution as well as who are suitable lenders to meet your individual needs.

An examination will be done by a mortgage lender to ascertain if you qualify for a VA loan and order an appraisal to ensure the property meets minimum standards for cleanliness, safety and structural soundness. When both steps have been approved, finalization can occur and you can move into your new home!

The VA home loan program was initially established to give servicemembers and surviving spouses more flexible mortgage terms, however it has since expanded to cover reservists and National Guard members meeting certain service criteria who must pay an increased funding fee – for more information visit the VA’s Funding Fees Page.

Depending on your personal situation, loan processing can take six to eight weeks. During this time it is essential that you keep in contact with your loan officer and submit all required documentation promptly. It would also be prudent to have sufficient cash reserves equivalent to two months worth of mortgage payments just in case any unexpected expenses arise during this process.


USDA home loans are designed to increase homeownership rates in rural areas by offering lower fixed interest rates and no down payment requirements, and don’t require monthly mortgage insurance premiums like FHA loans do, thus decreasing out-of-pocket expenses significantly.

USDA loans are offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program and available to borrowers who meet certain income and property restrictions. Usually, your home must be located in a rural area and serve as your primary residence, while Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loans or Section 502 Direct Loans may be an option as well as Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loans with Single Family Guaranteed Loans being more likely options available depending on where your household income exceeds 115% of local median median – which you can easily find by using USDA’s loan eligibility map! To qualify for one, use their Loan Eligibility Map which will show what counties’ limits exist for eligibility maps when searching the USDA loan eligibility map!

This loan program allows borrowers to purchase any type of single-family home imaginable – detached, attached, modular manufactured homes or condos – but must serve as their primary residence, not vacation rentals or rental properties. Furthermore, USDA loans cannot be used for income-producing activities such as farming and raising livestock.

Though USDA loans require stringent income requirements and credit score requirements, lenders typically look for at least an FICO credit score of 620 when selecting applicants. Therefore, USDA mortgages offer ideal opportunities for those with less-than-ideal credit who can show they are taking steps to improve it.

Though USDA loans may be more flexible than other government-backed loans, having an experienced guide you through the process is still key to your success. At Maple Tree Funding, our expertise can assist in understanding all types of mortgage options so that you make the right choice for yourself – call us now and find out more about how Maple Tree Funding can support you on your path to homeownership!