Buying a home is a stressful part of anyone’s life. That stress only becomes worse when you already have a stressful job to begin with – for example, being a nurse tasked with saving patients’ lives in Florida.
Since the state of Florida doesn’t provide any specific resources to its nursing population (like the “Hero loans” of other states), we at Home Loans For All have taken it upon ourselves to provide this comprehensive guide to the best home loans for nurses in Florida in 2018.
In this article we’ll cover what we consider the best home loans for nurses in Florida, as well as other assistance offered at the state and federal levels of government and some common questions that we get asked about Florida nurse home loans.
We hope that buy the end of the article you will have everything you need to be able to confidently apply for a brand new mortgage of your own.
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Florida Assist Loan Program
The Florida Assist Loan Program is a program that can help you find home loans for nurses in Florida at an affordable price.
Florida Assist Loans are offered by the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (or FHFC) and offer up to $7,500 that can be spent on the down payment and other closing costs on any 30-year fixed-rate home loan originated by trained and approved lenders throughout the State of Florida.
This down payment assistance comes in the form of a deferred loan, so you don’t have to worry about paying it back until the rest of the mortgage has been paid off.
In addition, Florida Assist has zero percent interest, so you’ll only be paying back the (up to) $7,500 you spent on the initial down payment, and not a cent more.
The down payment is what prevents many prospective home buyers from committing to a mortgage, because even if you can afford monthly payments, it’s hard to save up the money to spend thousands of dollars all at once. The Florida Assist Loan is therefore very useful to anyone looking for home loans for nurses in Florida.
Home Loans For Nurses In Florida
The most basic option for a home loan for nurses in Florida is what’s known as the conventional mortgage. Conventional mortgages have very high down payments, requiring you to pay at least 20 percent of the total value of the home in a single payment up front.
They also have credit and income requirements that are aimed more towards an upper-middle-class lifestyle.
That’s all well and good for nurses that can afford it, but if you’re reading this article we assume that that’s not the case.
Here are three different programs that offer home loans for nurses in Florida with much more reasonable rates and smaller down payments.
FHA loans for FL nurses
FHA loans are the most popular home loan in the country, making up about 30 percent of all mortgages.
Why? Well, most home loans that you can get with bad credit in Florida make up for the risk of taking on such a buyer by requiring a huge down payment up front.
FHA loans, however, instead cover that risk with insurance from the federal government (specifically the Federal Housing Administration, from which this type of mortgage gets its name.)
What does that mean for you as a home buyer looking for nurse houses in Florida? Well, if you have a FICO credit score of at least 580, it means that you will only have to pay a down payment of 3.5 percent – less than a fifth of what a conventional mortgage requires.
And as long as you have a credit score of 500 or more, you will still most likely be accepted so long as you’re willing to make a larger down payment (no higher than 10 percent of the home’s total value) or can provide “alternative credit” like proof of regular utility bill payments.
When paired with lower income requirements and (in the case of most Florida lenders) lower interest rates, this is an affordable and accessible loan you shouldn’t ignore.
USDA loans for FL nurses
USDA loans, also known as “Rural Development” loans, are designed to be home loans for anyone who lives or is willing to move to a rural area of the country, which includes about 97 percent of the State of Florida.
These loans have the lowest interest rates around and come with the option for 100 percent financing, making them one of the few no down payment home loans in Florida for nurses.
However, they’re a little less accessible to bad credit home buyers than FHA loans, often requiring credit scores of 620 or more. But if you have good credit and you want to save a lot of money on a mortgage, a USDA loan might be the way to go.
VA loans for FL nurses
VA loans are the other major example of no down payment home loans in Florida for nurses. Like FHA loans, these loans are insured by a branch of the federal government and therefore combine low down payments with low interest rates and expanded eligibility requirements.
But unlike FHA loans, VA loans are insured by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, making them inaccessible to any Florida nurse who isn’t also a current or former service member.
However, if you’re eligible, these are without question the cheapest home loans for nurses in Florida. They require no down payment, no private mortgage insurance, and will often ignore minimum credit requirements (or have them set to something very low like only 500.)
Nurse Houses In Florida FAQ
What Assistance is Available for Nurses?
Unfortunately, the State of Florida doesn’t offer much home buyer assistance to nurses beyond the down payment assistance offered by the FHFC (see below).
Do I Have To Be a First Time Home Buyer To Qualify?
To qualify for the Florida Assist Loan program, either you or your spouse must be a first time home buyer or must have at least not owned a home within the last three years. However – despite the common misconception to the contrary – FHA, VA, and USDA loans are all available to first-time home buyers and returning home buyers.
Is There Any Down Payment Assistance for Nurses?
Yes. If you’re looking for home loans for nurses in Florida, the FHFC offers three down payment assistance programs in conjunction with their first mortgage loan. The first (and best, in our opinion) is the Florida Assist loan program we described above.
The second is the Hardest Hit Fund Downpayment Assistance Program, which offers more money but is only available in Brevard, Clay, Duval, Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, Orange, Osceola, Polk, St. Lucie and Volusia counties.
The third is the HFA Preferred Grant, which gives borrowers 3 percent of the cost of the home in down payment assistance. That’s not even enough to cover the down payment on an FHA loan, BUT it does come with the advantage that you don’t have to repay it.
We hope that this article has helped you learn more about home loans for nurses in Florida and how you might be able to secure such a loan for yourself.
Remember: it doesn’t matter what your credit looks like, how much money you make, or whether or not you can afford the 20 percent down payment required by a conventional mortgage.
Everyone deserves to find a loan they can afford and the home of their dreams.