Deciding to purchase a home is a big decision and for most potential buyers, it will be the biggest purchase of their life, which can make the process seem overwhelming. Plus with the number of mortgage programs available, it can be hard to know where to start.

Fortunately, that’s where our trained mortgage lenders come into play. Before you start house hunting, get pre-qualified online with Town & Country Credit Union! After completing the application, you'll meet with one of our local lenders to discuss what programs you qualify for, how much you can borrow, your potential interest rate and more! There are several types of loans that can provide borrowers with different benefits. While you don’t need to be an expert in home financing (remember that's our job), understanding all of your options is empowering for potential home owners. Here’s a breakdown of the most common home financing programs:

  • FHA Loan - An FHA loan is a mortgage issued by an FHA-approved lender and insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).This program provides a financing option for low-to-moderate income borrowers with lower credit scores and higher debt to income ratios. An FHA loan requires 3.5% down to finance a home and there are programs to help with this down payment.  FHA loans require mortgage insurance that is issued by FHA.
  • VA Home Loan - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers loans to qualified service members, veterans and their families.  VA guarantees a portion of the loan which allows borrowers to purchase a home with zero money down.  There may be a VA Funding Fee charged on these loans.
  • USDA/Rural Housing Home Loan - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides a loan program for rural borrowers which is insured by USDA but financed through a lender. It is offered to rural residents who have a steady, low or modest income. It also allows borrowers to finance up to 100% of the purchase price with no down payment required.
  • Conventional Home Loan - A conventional home loan is different from the loans above as it’s not insured by the federal government. Conventional loans generally have a fixed rate and are a common financing option for many buyers. For a first home, a conventional loan generally requires borrowers to put down at least 3% and for a second home, like a lake or vacation home, borrowers should expect to put down at least 10%. Lenders require buyers to purchase mortgage insurance if financing over 80% of the purchase price. This insurance is issued by third party private mortgage insurance companies and is designed to protect the lender should a borrower default on the loan.

Getting pre-qualified will allow you to learn what program or type of loan you qualify for and how much you can afford to finance. Additionally, being pre-qualified shows real estate professionals and sellers that you are a serious buyer. In addition to the programs mentioned above, Town & Country is proud to offer programs for first time home buyers along with incentives like down payment and closing cost assistance available for qualified buyers. Get pre-qualified today and be ready to put an offer on your dream home when you find it! We look forward to helping you make home happen!

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