About Government Refinance and Home Purchase Programs

Information and Updates on Government Mortgage Programs


Fill in this short contact form to be contacted about government-backed home purchase programs. Learn more about available programs and qualification requirements below.


There are several federal government programs designed to help Americans purchase a home. Each of these programs has unique benefits and requirements.

General requirements:

1. Minimum credit requirements: You normally want a middle credit score of 620 or higher to qualify for a VA or FHA loan, although a score of 580 or higher can work if you have strong income and plenty of savings to handle down payment requirements. It is possible to qualify for a VA or FHA loan with credit scores below 580, but you generally need strong income and fairly large savings to be approved. For example, with FHA loans a 10% down payment is required if the credit is below 580.

At least a 620 middle credit score is generally required to qualify for a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac conventional loan.

A 660 middle credit score is best to have a good shot at being approved for a USDA loan.

Also, you normally need to be 2-3 years out of any home foreclosures or chapter 7 bankruptcies.

2. Income requirements: To qualify for a home purchase loan, you will need to show the ability to comfortably make your new payments. You normally need to show that your gross monthly income (meaning income before taxes and other deductions are taken out) is more than twice the combined minimum monthly payments on all of monthly debts, including the new mortgage payments.

As an example, if a family’s before-taxes income is $5000 per month, they would want the total payments on their debts (including the new mortgage, car payments, student loans, credit cards, and so on) to be no more than 50% of $5000, or $2500 per month. Contact us to speak with someone who can run calculations on your debt to income ratios.

Another useful rule of thumb: You usually can qualify for a loan that is no more than 4 times your gross annual family income (assuming other debts are not too high). So if the gross annual income is $60k, assume around $240k as the maximum potential loan amount.

Available Programs

Here are some basics on the most prominent government-backed home purchase programs:

There are also other local government programs all over the country that can help with a home purchases. Plus down payment assistance programs are available for the FHA and Fannie/Freddie programs. Contact us to learn more.

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