Buying a home requires a lot more than finding the perfect home. You also need to secure the perfect financing and sometimes that can be harder than finding the right house.

First-time homebuyers have many loan options available, including loan programs for low-income borrowers that require no down payment.

Check out your loan options below and find the one that works just right for you.

 

Conventional Loans

 

These are the ‘standard’ loans or the loans everyone thinks of when they talk about mortgage programs. What many people don’t realize is you don’t need a 20 percent down payment and you don’t even need perfect credit.

 

Here’s how to qualify for a conventional loan:

 

• A credit score of at least 660
• 3 percent down payment
• A total debt-to-income ratio of 43 percent or less
• Stable income and employment for 2 years

 

FHA Loans

 

FHA loans are the traditional ‘first-time homebuyer’ loan even though anyone can use the program. They have more flexible guidelines than conventional loans and are the perfect substitute if you don’t qualify.

 

Here’s how to qualify for an FHA loan:

 

• A credit score of at least 580
• 3.5 percent down payment
• A total debt-to-income ratio of 45 percent or less
• Stable income and employment for the last 2 years
• Proof you’ll live in the property as your primary residence

 

USDA Loans

 

USDA loans are loans for low-income borrowers living in a rural area. You must be eligible for the program, meaning your household income doesn’t exceed 80 percent of the average income for the area.

 

If you’re eligible, here’s how to qualify for a USDA loan:

 

• A credit score of at least 640
• No down payment requirement
• A total debt-to-income ratio of 41 percent or less
• Stable income and employment for the last 2 years
• Proof you’ll live in the property as your primary residence

 

VA Loans

 

VA loans are for veterans or current military members. As long as you served at least 181 days during peacetime (90 days during wartime) and have an honorable discharge, you may be eligible.

 

Here’s how to qualify for a VA loan:

 

• A credit score of at least 620 (this varies by lender)
• No down payment requirement
• Meet the VA loan disposable income requirements for your family size and area you live
• Stable income and employment for the last 2 years
• Proof you’ll live in the property as your primary residence

 

First-Time Homebuyers Have Many Loan Options

 

As you can see, first-time homebuyers have a variety of loan options. Whether you have 3 percent or 20 percent to put down and/or good or average credit, you’ll find a loan program that suits your needs.

Shop around for the perfect loan – the loan that will get you the home you want while keeping your interest costs to a minimum. Look at the big picture, not just the interest rate or even the monthly payment. Know the total cost of the loan when you compare your options to find the right loan for you.