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Learn More About Loan Programs

Learn More about Loan Programs

Read time 2 minutes

There are many different types of loan products available. Your loan officer can help you determine the best option for you but if you’re looking to brush up on these programs yourself, we’ve got you covered.

Conventional Loan Programs

Almost all lenders and brokers offer conventional loan programs. These can range from fixed loans (30-year, 15-year, 10-year, etc.) to adjustable rate mortgages (5/1 ARM, 3/1 ARM, etc.). When you select a conventional loan program, the loans are "bought" by an investor on the secondary market such as Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Because investors buy these loans from lending institutions, the investors determine the qualifying factors such as credit rating, debt-to-income ratios and interest rates.

Conventional loans with mortgage insurance: Conventional first mortgage loans for more than 80% of the property value (less than 20% down payment) require private mortgage insurance. Mortgage insurance can be obtained on loan amounts up to 97% of the home’s sale price or appraised value.

Please note: Although conventional loan products are "sold" to secondary market investors, the borrowers do not send payments to the investor (known as servicing). Instead, the loans are serviced by the original lender or other lenders who agree to service the loan.

Government Loan Programs (FHA and VA)

FHA loans: FHA loans may be a good option for first-time borrowers. One advantage is that they allow for a 3.5% down payment, which can come from a variety of sources, including gifted funds. They may have more flexible credit and qualification standards than many conventional loans.

VA loans: Available only to qualified military veterans, Veterans Affairs (VA) loans allow for 100% financing.

State Bond Programs: State Bond programs are subsidized by federal funds allotted to each state. They typically feature a below-market interest rate and down-payment assistance programs.

Portfolio Loan Programs

Portfolio loan programs are offered by specific banks and are not sold on the secondary market or insured by the government. Qualifying guidelines are determined by the originating lender and can be more flexible on income, past employment and credit history than other products. These loans usually have a higher interest rate than other loan products and are serviced only by the originating lender.

Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs)

An adjustable rate mortgage or ARM is a loan program that offers a fixed rate for a determined time period. Introductory rates are often much lower than 30-year fixed rates. When that introductory period of time is up, the interest rate varies with the market conditions.

Special Loan Programs

In addition to the wide variety of standard loan programs, HomeStreet Bank's Affinity Lending Center has special loan programs that may make it easier for customers to qualify for a mortgage.


Find an Affinity Loan Officer

IMPORTANT: Hometown Program and Inside Edge mortgage benefits cannot be accessed from a HomeStreet branch or home loan center. These benefits can only be accessed through one of our specialized Affinity Loan Officers.

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