Government Loans to Buy a House

Dreaming of owning your own home? Government loans could be the key to unlocking your homeownership goals. Designed to make buying a house more achievable, these loans offer benefits like lower down payments and more accessible qualification standards. Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or a veteran, exploring government-backed loan options can alleviate some of the pressure of purchasing a home.


What is a Government-Backed Mortgage?

A government-backed mortgage is like having a financial cosigner when buying a house. Private lenders provide the funds for your purchase, but the US government guarantees the loan, similar to how a cosigner guarantees repayment. This guarantee reduces the risk for lenders, often leading to more favorable terms for you, such as lower down payments and competitive interest rates. These mortgages are insured by government agencies like the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), or the Department of Agriculture (USDA), making them a reliable option for many homeowners.


What Kind of Home Loan Can I Get From the Government?

The United States government isn’t just in the business of federal student loans and small business loans. They also run loan programs to help you buy a home, and these government-backed loans are designed to make homeownership more accessible. For example, the FHA Loan is perfect for first-time buyers, while veterans might consider the VA Loan, which often requires no down payment. Or, rural home buyers might explore USDA Loans, taking advantage of their attractive terms.

FHA Loans – 3.5% Down
FHA Loans are government home loans that offer benefits like low down payments and flexible credit requirements, making them ideal for first-time homebuyers. With the backing of the Federal Housing Administration, these loans are more accessible, providing an attractive option for those looking to purchase a home with favorable terms.

VA Loans – 0% Down
Available to eligible veterans, active-duty service members, and their spouses, VA Loans are another type of government loan programs. These loans offer several advantages, including no down payment requirements, competitive interest rates, and limited closing costs. VA Loans are guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, making them a compelling option for those who have served our country and are looking to purchase a home.

USDA Loans – 0% Down
USDA Loans, also called Rural Development Loans, are backed by the US Department of Agriculture and are designed to help homebuyers in rural and suburban areas purchase their own home. These loans offer 100% financing, meaning no down payment is required, along with competitive interest rates. USDA Loans also have flexible credit requirements, making them a viable option for those seeking to buy a home in eligible rural areas.

Michigan’s Down Payment Assistance Program (MSHDA) – 1% Down
Michigan’s Down Payment Assistance Program (MSHDA) provides financial assistance to eligible homebuyers in Michigan. The program offers down payment assistance, reducing the upfront costs of buying a home. MSHDA aims to make homeownership more accessible by providing funds that can be used towards the down payment and closing costs.


Government Loans for Repairs & Renovations in Michigan

In Michigan, government loans are available to help homeowners pay for repairs and renovations, which can often be costly and feel out of reach financially. Whether it’s fixing a roof, upgrading heating systems, or making accessibility modifications, these loans aim to help Michigan homeowners maintain and enhance their properties.

FHA 203k
The FHA 203k Loan is a unique offering from the Federal Housing Administration designed for those looking to purchase a home that needs repairs or renovations. This loan allows buyers to finance both the purchase price of the home and the cost of repairs into a single mortgage. From updating plumbing to remodeling a kitchen, the FHA 203k Loan provides a convenient and accessible way to address these needs while buying a home.

Cash-Out Refinance
A cash-out refinance allows homeowners to tap into their home equity by refinancing their mortgage for more than they owe and receiving the difference in cash. With this option, you can take out up to 80% of your home’s appraised value, less the balance of your existing mortgage. These funds provide a convenient way to access cash for expenses such as home improvements, debt consolidation, or other financial needs.


Government Loans for Refinancing Your Mortgage

Exploring government loans to refinance your mortgage can be a smart financial move, offering opportunities to lower your interest rate, reduce your monthly payments, or even cash out equity for home improvements or paying off debt.

Loan Restructure: VA IRRRL or FHA Refinance
Loan restructures like the VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) or FHA Refinance are designed to modify your existing mortgage terms, typically to lower your interest rate, reduce your monthly payment, or adjust the duration of your loan. These options can provide financial relief and are backed by the government.

FHA, VA, and USDA Streamline Refinance
Refinance options through FHA, VA, and USDA Streamline simplify the refinancing process by eliminating the need for a new appraisal. These streamlined programs make it more straightforward for homeowners to refinance their mortgages, offering benefits like lower interest rates or reduced monthly payments without the hassle of a traditional refinance.

FHA & VA Cash-Out
With an FHA or VA cash-out refinance, homeowners can access the equity in their homes by refinancing their existing mortgage for more than they currently owe. Up to 80% of your home’s equity, minus its remaining mortgage principal, can be withdrawn. This option allows homeowners to convert some of their home equity into cash, which can be used for various purposes such as home improvements, debt consolidation, or other financial needs.


Apply for a Government Loan

If one of these government loans appeals to you, try applying to determine your eligibility, or connect with one of our Loan Officers at Treadstone to help you figure out the right fit for your financial needs and homeownership goals.


Government Home Loans FAQs

What credit score do you need for a government loan?
The credit score requirements for government home loans can vary depending on the type of loan and the lender. However, generally, for FHA Loans, a credit score of at least 580 is typically required to qualify for the low down payment option (3.5%). For VA Loans, there is no set minimum credit score requirement, but most Lenders look for a score of at least 620. USDA Loans may require a credit score of 640 or higher. Keep in mind that these are general guidelines, and lenders may have their own requirements, which could change.

How do I buy a house in Michigan with no money down?
If you’re looking to buy a house in Michigan with no down payment, consider using a USDA or VA Loan from a local Lender, or explore down payment assistance programs.

Is it hard to get an FHA loan?
Getting an FHA Loan is often more straightforward than qualifying for a conventional mortgage. With more flexible credit score requirements and a lower down payment option, it’s a popular choice for many homebuyers. However, borrowers still need to meet criteria regarding income, employment, and debt-to-income ratio. Working with a knowledgeable lender (like the ones we have here at Treadstone) can help simplify the process and improve your chances of approval.

Terms and qualifications are subject to underwriting approval and can change without notice. Not all borrowers may qualify. Credit score and down payment examples are for illustrative purposes.

Government-backed loan options can alleviate some of the pressure of purchasing a home