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When deciding on the best mortgage option for buying a home, you may feel stuck in a three-way battle: conventional vs. FHA vs. GO. There is no clear winner of these home loan options as each comes with its own set of features, advantages and disadvantages. It all depends on your personal needs.
Conventional loans are common mortgage products available through national banks, credit unions and online lenders. They are generally suitable for borrowers with good or very good credit. FHA loans are supported by the government through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and generally have more flexible terms and conditions than conventional loans. VA loans are also federally guaranteed through the US Department of State (VA) and are available to military personnel, veterans, and their surviving spouses.
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The main difference between conventional loans and FHA loans is that conventional loans have higher credit score requirements than FHA loans. FHA loans are generally more suitable for borrowers with lower credit scores.
Another difference: if you provide a conventional loan of less than 20%, you can cancel your private mortgage insurance (PMI) once you go over the 20% threshold. With FHA loans, those annoying mortgage insurance costs remain until you pay off the mortgage or refinance a conventional loan.
Military service members, veterans and their spouses can qualify for a VA loan, which comes with a very important benefit: you don’t have to donate money for a down payment. While you’ll need to obtain a certificate of eligibility from a VA that shows you’ve met your service needs, meeting other requirements is often easier than with a conventional loan. Some lenders also accept low credit scores for VA loans.
You don’t have to pay for mortgage insurance on a VA loan, even if you don’t have a down payment, but there are financing costs, which vary depending on how much you invest and how much money you have. VA loan advances.
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No restrictions unless borrowers are in arrears or have more than one VA loan ($647,200 in most areas; $970,800 in high-cost areas)
FHA loans and VA loans have one important thing in common: the government guarantees both. However, if you meet the eligibility requirements for a VA loan, you will find better terms, greater purchasing power, and lower costs with a VA loan than with an FHA loan. Since VA loans do not charge a lifetime mortgage insurance fee, you can enjoy smaller bills by going this route. However, when it comes to buying a home, it’s a good idea to compare all of your options.
Consider your finances, needs, preferences and what you might qualify for. Tips when weighing the pros and cons between FHA vs VA loans. If you qualify, conventional mortgages generally present fewer hurdles than FHA or VA mortgages, which can take longer to process.
Keep in mind that conventional loans are best suited for borrowers with higher credit scores, while FHA and VA loans may be suitable for those with lower scores.
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Like FHA loans, conventional loans require mortgage insurance payments, but only if you make a down payment of less than 20%. Also, payments can be removed when you reach a certain capital level. With an FHA loan, you cannot take out the MIP unless you refinance or pay the mortgage. With a VA loan, there is no mortgage insurance requirement, but you will have to pay a financing fee based on the loan amount.
It is also important to note that refinancing an FHA or VA loan can be easier than refinancing a conventional mortgage. Both the FHA and VA offer refinancing, which allows you to skip certain steps in the process, such as submitting financial documents or waiting for an appraisal.
Now that you’ve completed the FHA vs. VA, dig deep to find the type of financing that best fits your lifestyle:
David McMillin is a contributing author and covers topics such as credit cards, mortgages, banking, taxes, and travel. David’s goal is to help readers find ways to save more and reduce stress. We are an independent ad-supported comparison service. Our goal is to help you make smarter financial decisions by providing