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Mortgage Program Basics

Did you know that there are a variety of mortgage programs that fit your individual buying needs and that RMCU offers them all? We put together a few quick explanations of each so that whether you're shopping for your first, or fifth house, you know what is available to you. 




A conventional mortgage refers to a loan that is not insured or guaranteed by the federal government. Conventional loans can be either fixed or an adjustable rate. Fixed-rate mortgages have a set interest rate for the entire length of the mortgage term which can be between 10 and 30 years with as little as 3% down. An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) has a term of 30 years with a low rate for a fixed period followed by periodic adjustments according to a specific benchmark.


A VA loan is a mortgage loan that is guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA loan was designed to offer long-term financing to eligible American veterans or their surviving spouses (provided they do not remarry). No down payment is required and the veteran is only responsible for the closing costs.


Backed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as part of its USDA Rural Development Guaranteed Housing Loan program. USDA loans are available to home buyers with below-average rates and offer 100% financing with reduced mortgage insurance premiums. The property must be located in a “rural” area as defined by the USDA and all borrowers are subject to income and asset caps. No down payment is required and the borrower is only responsible for the closing costs.


With Federal Housing Administration or FHA Loans buyers can potentially put as little as 3.5% of the purchase price for a down payment. FHA loans also tend to have slightly easier credit qualifications for applicants compared to Conventional and different guidelines altogether.


A jumbo loan is one way to buy a high-priced home. If you have a healthy debt-to-income ratio, a strong credit score, adequate asset reserves, and a larger down payment, a jumbo loan can allow you to buy a home at a price higher than the conventional/conforming limits.


The Montana Board of Housing can provide several different types of assistance for first-time homebuyers. They offer a little to no down payment first mortgage program below market rate and other tax assistance programs. Certain income limits are required for eligibility along with home-buyer education classes to qualify for these programs.


Land and lot loans are used to finance the purchase of a lot/land not exceeding 40 contiguous acres. These loans offer competitive rates and require a minimum investment of 20% down.


Home Equity Lines Of Credit (HELOCs) offer homeowners the chance to borrow against your primary residence for home improvements and other major purchases and the terms and amount you can borrow are approved by your lender. A Home Equity Loan is a one-time lump sum that is paid off over a set amount of time with a monthly fixed payment.

Do you have questions about our mortgage programs? Get in touch with our team!


Non RMCU links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by Rocky Mountain Credit Union of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual. RMCU bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality, or content of the external sites.

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