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SAVVY MORTGAGE PROGRAMS

Federal Building
Government Programs
FHA Loans FHA program allows borrowers to purchase a home for as little as 3.5% down payment or re-finance up to 115% of the home value. FHA does not require a minimum credit score. To qualify, the property must be your primary residence. If you own a condo, your condo must be in the FHA Approved Condo List to qualify. If your condo is not on the list, your lender can peitition with FHA for an approval.
VA Loans This is a government guaranteed loan program for active duty military personnel or veterans. This program offers 100% financing for those who qualify. This program is highlighted by some unallowable fees that cannot be paid by the VA borrowers, they must be paid either by the lender or by the seller. To check if your condo is qualified, please click on VA Approved Condo List.
USDA Loans This program is designated for qualified rural areas. This program allows you to borrow up to 115% of the home value. There are some income restrictions to qualify. Click USDA Address Check to check if an address is located in the approved rural zone and thus qualified for this program.
Reverse Mortgage This is the only program that lender pays you every month instead of the other way around. Borrowers must be 62 years old or older, and have substantial equity in the homes. The loan cannot be called due as long as the borrower is living in the property.
Conventional Mortgages
15, 20, and 30 Year Fixed These are the most popular fixed interest rate programs where the payments are fixed and amortized to the terms of the loans. The drawback of these programs is that borrowers are paying mostly interests in the first few years.
3/1, 5/1, 7/1, 10/1 Year ARM The first few years of this type of loans are designated as a fixed period with fixed rates followed by an adjustable period for the remaining of the 30 year term. During the adjustable period, the interest rates will be adjusted annually subject to some annual and life time caps.
Interest Only ARMs Borrower makes interest only payments during the fixed period for the above ARMs. After the fixed period, the payments will amortized for the remaining terms adjusted annually. These programs are for savvy borrowers only as the payment amounts will surge at the end of the fixed period.
High Balance Loans Any loan amount between $793,000 and confroming limits ($625,500 for Hawaii and Alaska, and $417,000 for all other states) falls into a category call High Balance loans. These are still agency loans - which means Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will purhcase them from the lenders. These loans are priced higher than the conventional conforming loans, but lower than lenders' portfolio loans.
Jumbo Loans Any loan amount higher than $793,000 is called jumbo loans. Jumbo loans are funded by private investors like individuals, insurance companies or banks.
Portfolio Loans These are the loans that the banks will keep as oppose to selling them on the secondary market. These loans generally carry higher interest rates. The banks lend them with their own discretion on a case by case basis. The loans are best suit for the one off type of properties or for borrowers who otherwise cannot qualify in the conventional market.
Construction Loans

Banks lend this type of loans to borrowers to construct or renovate a property. The term is generally one year and the loan is converted to a permanent conventional loan at the end of the project.

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Second Mortgages
HELOC This is a Home Equity Line of Credit junior to the first mortgage. Home owners are pre-approved for a specific amount of equity line and they can draw as they wish. The type of loans typically are 20 year loans - the first 10 years is a withdrawal period (making interest-only payments) and a repayment period to follow for the remaining 10 years.
Fixed Rate Second This is a junior loan with fixed loan amount and fixed interest rate to be paid back in 20 years.
Special Government Programs
VA IRRRL Stremline Interest Rate Reduction Re-finance Program: No appraisal, no income or asset information, or credit underwriting package is required by VA to refinance your VA loan to a lower interest rate. However, some lenders may require appraisal or credit report regardless. A certificate of eligibility is not required. An IRRRL may be done with "no money out of pocket" by including all closing costs in the new loan amount or enabling the lender to pay the costs by accepting a higher rate.
HARP - Home Affordable Refnanace program HARP is designed to help you get a new, more affordable, more stable mortgage. HARP refinance loans require a loan application and underwriting process, and refinance fees will apply.
  • The mortgage must be owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.
  • The mortgage must have been sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or before May 31, 2009.
  • The current loan-to-value (LTV) ratio must be greater than 80%.
  • The mortgage must be current, with a good history in the past 12 months.
DU Re-Fi Plus If your loan is currently owned by Fannie Mae (Fannie Mae Loan Loop Up to check), you may be able to qualify to re-finance up to 95% of the property value without mortgage insurance. You must have a minimum of 700 credit score and the property is your primary residence.
Homepath By Fannie Mae Homepath is a special financing program by Fannie Mae for people buying repossessed properties owned by Fannie. No appraisal and mortgage insurance are required. You can pay as low as 3% for down payment. However, if you own more than 4 properties, you will need to put down at least 25%. Check if your mortgage loan is owned by Freddie Mac to qualify for this program Freddie Mac Loan Look Up.
MCC Mortgage Credit Certificate This program is for the first time home buyers in that the federal government will refund 50% of the mortgage interests you paid up to $2000 a year in the form of tax credit. There are limited numbers of certificates to be issued per area on a first come first serve basis. Please contact your local city and county government for the availability of these certificates.
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Equal opportunity employer. Equal housing opportunity. Member of National Association of Realtors, California Association of Realtors, Honolulu Association of Realtors, So. Cal. MLS, MR MLS, Hawaii Central MLS and Hawaii Association of Mortgage Brokers. Licensed in the States of California and Hawaii California Department of Real Estate License 01439466. Hawaii Real Estate Broker license RB-19276, California Mortgage Endorsement 323171. National Mortgage licensing and Registry System (NMLS) 323171. Photo credit to kropic1 / Shutterstock.com
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