Helpful Resources About Types of Loans and Mortgage Programs

Types of Loans

Thirty-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage

The traditional 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has a constant interest rate and monthly payments that never change. This may be a good choice if you plan to stay in your home for seven years or longer. If you plan to move within seven years, then adjustable-rate loans are usually cheaper.

As a rule of thumb, it may be harder to qualify for fixed-rate loans than for adjustable rate loans. When interest rates are low, fixed-rate loans are generally not that much more expensive than adjustable-rate mortgages and may be a better deal in the long run, because you can lock in the rate for the life of your loan.

Fifteen-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage

This loan is fully amortized over a 15-year period and features constant monthly payments. It offers all the advantages of the 30-year loan, plus a lower interest rate—and you'll own your home twice as fast.

The disadvantage is that, with a 15-year loan, you commit to a higher monthly payment. Many borrowers opt for a 30-year fixed-rate loan and voluntarily make larger payments that will pay off their loan in 15 years. This approach is often safer than committing to a higher monthly payment since the difference in interest rates isn't that great.

Hybrid ARM (3/1 ARM, 5/1 ARM, 7/1 ARM)

These increasingly popular ARMS—also called 3/1, 5/1 or 7/1—can offer the best of both worlds: lower interest rates (like ARMs) and a fixed payment for a longer period of time than most adjustable rate loans. For example, a "5/1 loan" has a fixed monthly payment and interest for the first five years and then turns into a traditional adjustable-rate loan, based on then-current rates for the remaining 25 years. It's a good choice for people who expect to move (or refinance) before or shortly after the adjustment occurs.

Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM)

When it comes to ARMs there's a basic rule to remember... the longer you ask the lender to charge you a specific rate, the more expensive the loan.

2/1 Buy Down Mortgage

The 2/1 Buy-Down Mortgage allows the borrower to qualify at below-market rates so they can borrow more. The initial starting interest rate increases by 1% at the end of the first year and adjusts again by another 1% at the end of the second year.

It then remains at a fixed interest rate for the remainder of the loan term. Borrowers often refinance at the end of the second year to obtain the best long-term rates. However, keeping the loan in place even for three full years or more will keep their average interest rate in line with the original market conditions.

Annual ARM

This loan has a rate that is recalculated once a year.

Monthly ARM

With this loan, the interest rate is recalculated every month. Compared to other options, the rate is usually lower on this ARM because the lender is only committing to a rate for a month at a time, so there is a significant reduction in vulnerability.

Loan Programs

FHA: (Federal Housing Administration)

FHA insured loan is a Federal Housing Administration mortgage insurance backed mortgage loan which is provided by an FHA-approved lender. FHA insured loans are a type of federal assistance and have historically allowed lower-income Americans to borrow money for the purchase of a home that they would not otherwise be able to afford. To obtain mortgage insurance from the Federal Housing Administration, an upfront mortgage insurance premium (UFMIP) equal to 1.75 percent of the base loan amount at closing is required and is normally financed into the total loan amount by the lender and paid to FHA on the borrower's behalf. There is also a monthly mortgage insurance premium (MIP) which varies based on the amortization term and loan-to-value ratio.

  • Low Down Payments
  • Easy Credit Qualifications

Conventional Loan

Usually, a conventional loan is a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. That means it has a fixed interest rate for the 30-year term of the loan. Conventional loans also typically require at least a 20 percent down payment. For example, if a house costs $200,000, the lender will provide a loan for 80 percent of that amount. So, $160,00 is financed through the lender and the borrower must pay $40,000 cash.

Conventional loans can have better interest rates than non-conventional loans and can be a great option for those with a 20 percent down payment. However, even if the borrower does not have a 20 percent down payment, it is still possible to get a mortgage. By putting less down and accepting a possibly higher interest rate, the borrower can still get financing through a non-conventional loan.

  • Insured by Federal Govt-Fannie Mae-or-Fredie Mac
  • Conforming-or-Nonconforming

VA Loan

A mortgage loan in the United States guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The loan may be issued by qualified lenders.

The VA loan was designed to offer long-term financing to eligible American veterans or their surviving spouses (provided they do not remarry). The basic intention of the VA direct home loan program is to supply home financing to eligible veterans in areas where private financing is not generally available and to help veterans purchase properties with no down payment.

Eligible areas are designated by the VA as housing credit shortage areas and are generally rural areas and small cities and towns not near metropolitan or commuting areas of large cities.

Reverse Mortgages

*For Home Buyers 62+

The Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM)* is FHA’s reverse mortgage program, which enables senior home buyers, age 62+, to withdraw some of the equity in their home. This program was designed to allow seniors to purchase a new principal residence and obtain a reverse mortgage within a single transaction. Additionally, the HECM program enables senior homeowners to relocate to other areas to be closer to family members or downsize to homes that meet their physical needs, such as one level homes, ramps, etc.

HECM Advantages include:

  • Receiving monthly payment instead of making them
  • Retain title to home
  • Never owe more than value of the home

HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit)

Instead of paying for mortgage insurance when your “Loan-to-Value” (LTV) is greater than 80%, we can offer either:

  • A fixed rate, fixed term concurrent 2nd mortgage
  • A “Home Equity Line of Credit” (Heloc)

Both can be done up to 95% LTV – meaning still only putting a 5% Down payment without mortgage insurance! Both loan programs - the interest you pay on these loans is tax deductible when used in buying a home!

Note that per the IRS: You can't deduct your mortgage insurance premiums if your adjusted gross income (line 11 on IRS Form 1040), is more than $109,000 ($54,500 if married filing separately).

Benefits of a Heloc:

  • Interest only payments required for the 1st 10 years (then amortized payments for the rest of the 20 years of the term)
  • You are able to draw down the balance and then charge it back up to the limit during the 1st 10 years.

203k Rehab

With the 203k Rehabilitation Program, homebuyers now have a single, long term, cost-effective way to both purchase and rehabilitate their new home, saving both time and money. Qualified existing homeowners can refinance their existing mortgage AND the costs of the rehabilitation in a single mortgage!

The extent of the rehabilitation may range from a minor alteration (must exceed $5,000 in cost) to total reconstruction.* A home that has been demolished as part of the rehabilitation is eligible provided the existing foundation system remains in place. FHA 203k is a great solution for home sellers with less than desirable or in need of repair property, or homebuyers who find that home that almost has it all...

What can be done with a 203k Rehabilitation Program:

  • Structural alterations and reconstruction
  • Modernization & improvement to the home’s function
  • Elimination of health and safety hazards
  • Changes that improve appearance
  • Reconditioning or replacing plumbing
  • Installing a well and/or septic system
  • Adding or replacing roofing, gutters and downspouts
  • Enhancing accessibility for a disabled person
  • Making energy conservation improvements

Foreign National Loans

Foreign National Loans are mortgages offered to a non-resident of the United States. Financing real estate is generally done by US mortgage companies and banks to United States citizens. Lenders also offer loans to noncitizens. They may be resident aliens, temporary residents or other classifications of either temporary or permanent status.


USDA home loan from the USDA loan program, also known as the USDA Rural Development Guaranteed Housing Loan Program, is a mortgage loan offered to rural property owners by the United States Department of Agriculture.

Refinance Loan

May refer to the replacement of an existing debt obligation with a debt obligation under different terms. The terms and conditions of refinancing may vary widely by country, province, or state, based on several economic factors such as inherent risk, projected risk, political stability of a nation, currency stability, banking regulations, borrower's creditworthiness, and credit rating of a nation. In many industrialized nations, a common form of refinancing is for a place of primary residency mortgage.

If the replacement of debt occurs under financial distress, refinancing might be referred to as debt restructuring.

Loan (debt) might be refinanced for various reasons:

  1. To take advantage of a better interest rate (a reduced monthly payment or a reduced term)
  2. To consolidate other debt(s) into one loan (a potentially longer/shorter term contingent on interest rate differential and fees)
  3. To reduce the monthly repayment amount (often for a longer-term, contingent on interest rate differential and fees)
  4. To reduce or alter risk (e.g. switching from a variable-rate to a fixed-rate loan)
  5. To free up cash (often for a longer-term, contingent on interest rate differential and fees)


This information is not intended to imply that any of our loan products will be offered by or in conjunction with HUD, FHA, VA, the U.S. government or any federal, state, or local governmental body. Information in these guidelines is for credit policy guidance only and is not a complete representation of Universal Mortgage & Finance, Inc. Lending Policies. This is not a commitment to lend or extend credit. Information and/or date is subject to change without notice. Not all loans or products are available in all states. These are not complete program guidelines. *Programs are subject to well-qualified borrowers and certain restrictions may apply.

Fannie Mae's RefiNow

Effective August 16, 2021

This new addition is highly beneficial to those who have a median household income less than 80%. These individuals include those who may have issues refinancing due to reduced income (mainly due to COVID-19).


  • Higher DTI's allowed
  • Up to 90% LTV
  • New loan rate must reduce current rate by .5%
  • Reduced monthly mortgage payment
  • Lower closing costs
  • You won't be penalized for COVID-19 forbearance
  • Eligible for $500 credit for obtaining a full appraisal

“Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have adopted a new refinance option for loans to borrowers with incomes at or below 80% of area median income and you may be eligible to take advantage of this program. If your mortgage is owned or guaranteed by either Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, you may be eligible to refinance your mortgage under this refinance option.”

“You can determine whether your mortgage is owned by either Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae by checking the following websites: /p>