Loan Options

Compare your loan Options

At Pioneer Mortgage we try to give you the best information so you can make an informed decision! Knowing which mortgage programs you qualify for and which mortgage product is best for your financial scenario can be tough to figure out. To help sort through all of the options we have provided an overview of the most commonly used loan programs.

The simplest way to get accurate answers to your mortgage questions is to speak with us at Pioneer Mortgage. We can provide you with a customized analysis and comparison of the programs you qualify for so that the best financial decision can be made for your individual situation. Contact us today so we can talk about your personal scenario.

Conventional

(Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac) Loans

These mortgages are designed for borrowers with good credit and at least 5% down payment (or 5% equity)Conventional loans do not require mortgage insurance (PMI) if you have 20% or more down payment (or 20% equity on a refinance). Conventional loans are the most flexible at structuring.

Benefits

  • Higher loan amounts (up to $424,100)
  • No up-front mortgage insurance premium (UFMIP).
  • Flexible guidelines on the home’s condition
  • PMI payments cancel when the LTV reaches 78%
  • No PMI with a down payment of 20%
  • Mortgage insurance can be less expensive than FHA with a higher credit score and down payment
  • 3% down payment for conventional 97% LTV loan (if income thresholds are met)
  • Down payment can be a gift

Disadvantages

  • 620 credit score requirement (higher than FHA)
  • Large down payment 5%-20% (Unless you qualify for a HomeReady / Home Possible loan which requires a 3% down payment)
  • Higher interest rates than FHA, VA and USDA
  • More difficult to qualify for than other loan programs

FHA

Federal Housing Administration Loans

These mortgages are government-insured loans that offer down payments of just 3.5%. FHA loans also have very good interest rates but unlike conventional loans, they do require the borrower to pay for mortgage insurance (MI) regardless of how much down payment you have. Some other features of FHA loans are you can get your down payment from a relative as a gift and the qualifying credit scores are lower than other programs and go as low as 580.

Benefits

  • Low down payment requirement of 3.5%
  • The down payment and closing costs can be given as a gift.
  • Flexible qualification guidelines
  • Easier to get approved for than conventional loans.
  • Lower credit scores accepted (580 credit score and higher)
  • Lower interest rates than conventional loans.

Disadvantages

  • up-front mortgage insurance premium (UFMIP).
  • Lower maximum loan limits (loan amounts differ from county to county)
  • Mortgage Insurance required for the life of the loan if a borrower puts down less than 10%
  • Mortgage insurance required even if putting 20% down
  • Mortgage insurance monthly cost can be higher

VA

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Loans

These mortgages are government-guaranteed and only available to veterans of the armed services, those currently on active duty or in the reserves, and widows or widowers of veterans. VA loans do not require any down payment. They also allow for lower credit scores that go as low as 580. However, VA loans do require a funding fee be collected and paid to the VA in exchange for their loan guarantee. The funding fee is almost always added to the loan amount so that the Veteran need not pay it at the closing. If you fit the requirements, this is the loan to choose.

Benefits

  • Low or no down payment
  • No mortgage insurance requirement
  • Lower interest rates than Conventional Mortgages
  • Flexible qualification guidelines

Disadvantages

  • A VA funding Fee is required unless the veteran is exempt.

USDA

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Loans

These mortgages are designed for low to moderate income homebuyers in rural locations who do not qualify for a conventional loan. USDA loans do not require any down payment. They do require mortgage insurance (MI) in all cases regardless of down payment. Although USDA loans do allow for lower credit scores they are more restrictive regarding the location of the property and maximum household income to qualify.

Benefits

  • Low or no down payment
  • Lower interest rates than Conventional Mortgages
  • Flexible qualification guidelines

Disadvantages

  • Only certain geographical areas are allowed
  • There is a cap on household income which is calculated based on the area the property is located and the amount of people living in the household.  All household income earned by all parties living in the home are used even if person is not on the loan
  • Monthly mortgage insurance is required
  • Upfront Guarantee Fee is required
  • Cannot own another property
  • All collections on your credit report have to be satisfied

Jumbo

or Non-Agency Loans

These are mortgages that exceed the conventional loan amount limit of $424,100. Jumbo loans can go to loan amounts as high as $2.5 million. They do have loftier credit and down payment requirements but their interest rates are about the same as conventional loans.

Benefits

  • Availability of loan amounts over conventional limits

Disadvantages

  • Must put 20% down