Types of Government Loans
In general, government loans are intended to help homebuyers with certain qualifications purchase a home with a lower down payment, lower interest rate, and/or lower credit rating than is normally required by a conventional loan.
FHA Loan (Federal Housing Administration)
FHA loans aren't actually a loan; rather, it is insurance on your mortgage so 'in case of' default, the FHA will cover the loss. Because of the power of this insurance, more borrowers can qualify for loans. FHA-backed loans afford borrowers:
- Lower down payments (as little as 3.5%, which can even be gifted to you)
- Low closing costs
- Easier credit qualifying
The cost of the insurance is incorporated into the monthly mortgage payments.
VA Loan (Department of Veteran Affairs)
There are certain qualifications you have to meet in order to qualify for a VA loan (typically at a minimum you must be a veteran or an active member of the US armed forces). But, if you do, you can enjoy lower closing costs and the possibility of no down payment. VA loans are similar to FHA loans in that the VA guarantees your loan (i.e. insures it).