The Veterans Affairs/VA loan was designed to offer long-term financing to eligible American veterans or their surviving spouses (provided they do not remarry). The basic intention of the VA direct home loan program is to supply home financing to eligible veterans in areas where private financing is not generally available and to help veterans purchase properties with no down payment. Eligible areas are designated by the VA as housing credit shortage areas and are generally rural areas and small cities and towns not near metropolitan or commuting areas of large cities.
The VA loan allows veterans:
103.15% financing without private mortgage insurance
20% second mortgage and up to $6,000 for energy efficient improvements
A VA funding fee of 0 to 3.15% of the loan amount is paid to
the VA; this fee may also be financed. In a purchase, veterans may borrow up to 103.15% of the sales price or reasonable value of the home, whichever is less. Since there is no monthly PMI, more of the mortgage payment goes directly towards qualifying for the loan amount, allowing for larger loans with the same payment.
In a refinance, where a new VA loan is created, veterans may borrow up to 90% of reasonable value, where allowed by state laws. In a refinance where the loan is a VA loan refinancing to VA loan (IRRRL Refinance), the veteran may borrow up to 100.5% of the total loan amount. The additional .5% is the funding fee for an VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance.
An FHA insured loan is a Federal Housing Administration mortgage insurance backed mortgage loan which is provided by a FHA-approved lender and allows as little as 3.5% down payment.
FHA insured loans are a type of federal assistance and have historically allowed lower income Americans to borrow money for the purchase of a home that they would not otherwise be able to afford.
To obtain mortgage insurance from the Federal Housing Administration, a mortgage insurance premium (MIP) equal to 1 percent of the loan amount at closing is required, and is normally financed by the lender and paid to FHA on the borrower’s behalf. Depending on the loan-to-value ratio, there may be a monthly premium as well.