Are there home loans for carers?
You bet! There are some special home loans for nurses.
Additionally, there are a ton of local and national programs that can help you financially with down payment and closing costs – especially if this is your first time home buying.
However, just because you're a nurse doesn't mean that a specialized "nursing home loan" is best. You may find that a standard mortgage program makes it easier for you to buy a home. So do your research and choose carefully.
Find The Best Home Loan Program For You (August 30, 2021)
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The 6 Best Home Loans For Nurses
We recommend six nurse mortgage programs to explore. Two are specialized nurse home loans and four are "standard" loan programs that almost anyone can apply for.
You may find that one of these mainstream programs will be your best option, although special perks are available for nurses.
To give a quick overview, the 6 best mortgage loans for nurses are:
Nurse Next Door ProgramHomes for HeroesConventional MortgagesFHA MortgagesVA MortgagesUSDA Mortgages
Let's take a closer look at each program.
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Specialized home loans for nurses
Here are the two most popular home loans for nurses who work nationwide.
Nurse next door
The Nurse Next Door program is not a “real” mortgage loan program. It neither lends money nor does it give loans. Rather, it is a homebuyer assistance program that will help you find the right real estate, mortgage, and assistance program for your needs (if necessary).
You can receive grants of up to $ 6,000 (where available) and a down payment of up to $ 10,681 through Nurse Next Door. You can also get reduced closing costs by eliminating a home valuation and other fees.
Before taking advantage of this program, however, check that you are unable to obtain more generous grants or loans from your state or local down payment support program.
Houses for heroes: healthcare professionals
Homes for Heroes is another nationwide homeowner assistance program that aims to make home buying more affordable for firefighters, law enforcement, teachers, military and – yes – medical professionals.
The website says, “On average, heroes save $ 2,400 by buying or selling a home using Homes for Heroes. When a hero works with our real estate specialist, they save an average of $ 1,700. When a hero works with our mortgage, title, and inspection specialists, that hero saves an average of $ 500 in lender fees, $ 150 on title service, and $ 50 on a home inspection. "
Note that you will need to use professionals recommended by Homes for Heroes to benefit from it. Also, check out other local programs before buying to make sure this is the best option for you.
Standard loans for nurses
If you're looking for help buying a home – or just an affordable loan option – you don't need to use a mortgage program that is tailored for nurses.
In fact, some of the cheapest types of home loans are widely available in the market. These include:
Conventional Compliant Loans – Conventional mortgages are not supported by the government. But most of them stick to the rules of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two government-sponsored companies. You will need a deposit of at least 3% of the purchase price and a credit score of 620 or betterFHA loans – If your credit score is between 580 and 620, you can opt for a Federal Housing Administration mortgage (an FHA loan). You need a down payment of 3.5%. But go with a compliant loan if you can. Because with them you can escape Mortgage insurance costs easier and cheaperVA loan – These loans are supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs and are only available to those who have served or are still serving in the military. If you are eligible, this is most likely your best bet. Lenders set their own creditworthiness thresholds, usually between 580 and 660. However, they do not require a down payment. And you benefit from an extremely low interest rate, no private mortgage insurance and low acquisition costsUSDA loan – US Department of Agriculture (USDA) sponsored mortgages. These also do not require a deposit. But you will likely need a score of 640 or better. You will also need to meet household income limits and buy a house in a specific rural area. Some suburbs are included. Use the USDA cards to find out if the place you are about to buy is eligible
These types of loans can usually be used with Down Payment Assistance (DPA) programs, which can help cover your down payment and potentially your closing costs as well.
All states and many cities and counties have DPA programs for first-time buyers. With these you usually have to choose from a list of approved lenders. And some of them offer special privileges to nurses and other key employees.
Sometimes mortgage lenders brand their offers as specifically for nurses. And these can bring real benefits. But it is likely that their loan products are based on one or more of the four programs above.
Find The Best Home Loan Program For You (August 30, 2021)
Loan options from private lenders
Some private mortgage lenders offer reduced closing costs or other perks for nurses.
For example, Homes for Champions (RealFi Home Funding Corp.) says its Nurses and Doctors offering can save you "up to 2.00% to 3.00%" by eliminating many of the fees that are typically due upon completion. However, this company is a licensed direct lender in only 13 states plus Washington DC: CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, MD, NC, NJ, NY, PA, SC, TX, and VA.
Other companies or organizations also offer assistance to home buyers who are nurses.
One such program is the Everyday Hero Housing Housing Assistance Fund. It appears that it will refund you the seller concessions negotiated by specialist real estate agents. You wouldn't be alone in believing it was a scam, it has an A + rating from the Better Business Bureau. So it can be worth stopping by. Just keep in mind that seller concessions are hard to come by in seller markets, which at the time of this writing are the most.
The goal of Nurse Home Loan Programs is to "train and connect our nurses with the best home loan solutions across the country".
It may be worth speaking to one of the company's specialists if your applications are turned down. Because that sometimes happens with lenders who don't understand the special working conditions of nurses, such as overtime and pay differentials – or who struggle to cope with the challenges of high student debts and the seemingly chaotic workforce of travel nurses. (More on these and similar challenges below.)
Home loan for caregivers
We have already mentioned grants and loans that can help you add to your savings for a down payment and closing costs. Lenders are generally cool with these. And in some places you can get tens of thousands of dollars in aid.
There are thousands of these deposit assistance programs (DPAs) across the country. Every state has at least one. And many cities and counties have their own.
To find one that covers the area you want to buy in, read this article or visit your state's page on the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) website.
Note that each data protection agency has its own eligibility requirements and limits on the amount of money it grants or lends you. So you need to do a little research to find out what you are eligible for and if you qualify.
But the rewards for doing so can be extremely valuable. And some data protection agencies give nurses preferential treatment.
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How to overcome the challenges of buying a home as a nurse
Qualifying as a nurse on a mortgage can be challenging at times.
Lenders need to check your income, but not all of them understand how nursing works. And you may need to explain to them why the way your job is structured makes nurses special.
Care income for mortgages
Of course, your base salary should be counted towards your qualifying income when you apply for a mortgage. However, things can get more complicated when it comes to overtime, shift differences and “bonuses”.
With these, lenders will likely look back on the last couple of years to see your average gross wage. If you recently had a schedule change or took more hours to complete it may not count towards your income immediately.
For example, if you've just started earning the higher hourly rate on night shifts, lenders likely won't take this into account when deciding how much to borrow. It might help if you can get your employer to write to the lender that this is a long term arrangement.
You can also include an explanatory letter with your application telling the lender why you think more of your income should be considered. And that works sometimes. But not always.
Travel nurses sometimes need to find lenders who understand their job.
They know that you can jump from contract to contract and agency to agency and never skip a beat unless you decide to take a vacation. However, to a lender, your employment record looks patchy and could indicate that you cannot keep a job.
Again, you can explain how your employment works to the lenders. And if one isn't listening, move on to others who do.
As higher nursing skills gain in value, many nurses take on high student debts. And that can affect your home purchase budget because of your debt-to-income ratio (DTI).
Lenders worry that borrowers can easily afford their mortgage payments and other home ownership costs when they have too many other debts. And student loans can add to that debt burden.
There are ways to lower your DTI, including paying off large monthly debts with small balances. For example, if your car loan payments are high but you have almost paid them off, get rid of them before applying for your mortgage.
Nurse.org has an excellent article that goes into more detail on how to apply for a mortgage as a nurse. And it covers most of what we've said and more. You can find out more here.
How to choose the right home loan program
Of course, there isn't one single best home purchase loan for nurses. It depends on your personal circumstances.
If you serve or have previously served in the military (as a nurse or not), a VA loan is most likely the best option for you.
If you've never served before but have good credit and a decent down payment, a conventional loan is often the next best thing. However, if your credit score is in the 580-619 range, you may need to apply for an FHA loan.
After all, USDA loans can be a perfect fit for someone with small savings and buying in a rural area, provided their household income isn't too high.
From this brief summary alone, you probably already have an idea of which type of loan is best for you. See the bullet points above for links to full descriptions.
What are the mortgage rates today?
Mortgage rates are still near record lows. That means home buyers can save on their monthly payments and reduce their overall costs over the life of the loan.
Caregivers can find great deals by taking advantage of health-focused mortgage and assistance programs.
But don't stop at finding the right loan program. You should also look for the best mortgage lender.
You will likely be offered different mortgage rates and closing costs by each lender you apply to. So get quotes from several and choose the one that's best for you.
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