Nurse Next Door program and other home loans for nurses (2024)

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  • Nurses buying a home should look at programs specifically for nurses as well as those available to all buyers.
  • Nurses and other healthcare pros can get grants and other assistance through the Nurse Next Door program.
  • Check out programs offered by lenders as well, such as medical professional mortgages or first-time homebuyer loans.

Nurses who are looking for first-time homebuyer assistance have plenty of options available to them — including programs that are exclusive to individuals in the nursing profession as well as programs that are available to everyone. Plus, some companies stand out as the best mortgage lenders for first-time homebuyers.

If you work as a nurse and are ready to become a homeowner, here's how you can find mortgages and grants to help you achieve that goal.

Are there special home loans for nurses?

Yes, there are a few different homebuyer programs available on a national level that help nurses and other healthcare professionals afford homeownership. This includes the Nurse Next Door program and Homes for Heroes.

However, you might find that you can get better assistance by utilizing programs that are available to all first-time homebuyers and aren't limited by profession. Not that these programs specifically for nurses can't be helpful, but there are many more first-time homebuyer loans available to the general population. So be sure to explore all your options to make sure you're getting the help you need.

Your city or county housing authority may also have loans, grants, or other types of assistance for healthcare workers or first-time and low-income buyers. You can check the housing authority's website to see what's available.

How does the Nurse Next Door program work?

The Nurse Next Door program offers grants and down payment assistance to nurses and other healthcare professionals.

"Many times, the grants and other assistance we provide is the difference maker in purchasing a new home for their family," says Stephen Parks, the national director of the Next Door programs, which includes Nurse Next Door and Teacher Next Door.

Parks says that those who utilize the program can get a grant up to $8,000 and up to $10,681 in down payment assistance.

Nurse Next Door program requirements

All healthcare employees are eligible for Nurse Next Door, so you don't need to be an RN to benefit from the program. You don't even need to be a first-time homebuyer.

You will, however, be limited in the professionals you can work with as you go through the homebuying process. Nurse Next Door participants will need to work with a Nurse Next Door-affiliated real estate agent and one of its preferred mortgage lenders.

If you're considering this program, you may want to apply and shop around with other mortgage lenders as well, to compare rates and other offers of down payment assistance. This will help ensure you get the best overall deal.

Nurse Next Door program income limits

There are no income limits to use the Nurse Next Door program, though local down payment assistance offered through the program may have its own limits.

Do nurses qualify for the Good Neighbor Next Door program?

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development offers a program called Good Neighbor Next Door. GNND allows public servants to buy HUD-owned foreclosed homes in certain areas at a 50% discount.

Currently, nurses do not qualify for GNND. The program is only available to law enforcement officers, teachers, firefighters, and EMTs.

Homes for Heroes program for nurses

Homes for Heroes is a program that helps people in certain public service professions get discounts throughout the homebuying process. Nurses are eligible for Homes for Heroes, as are doctors and other healthcare professionals.

When you buy a house through this program, you'll work with Homes for Heroes-affiliated professionals to get discounts on various services. Homes for Heroes says buyers save an average of $3,000 through the program, which comes in the form of a check after closing.

Low down payment home loans for nurses

The most popular types of mortgages all come with low or no down payment options for borrowers who qualify. If you're a nurse with little savings or a lower income, you might benefit from getting one of these mortgages.

"Finding an affordable mortgage is simpler than one might think, as there are many great options and strategies that can help consumers achieve their homeownership goals," says Eileen Tu, executive vice president of product development for Rocket Mortgage. "Future buyers can start laying the groundwork for their homeownership journey by raising their credit score and researching all loan options, including FHA loans."

FHA loan

"These loans are particularly attractive for first-time homebuyers since they only require a 3.5% down payment and have more flexible homebuyer credit guidelines," Tu says.

Borrowers only need to put 3.5% down to get an FHA loan. These mortgages, which are backed by HUD, are geared toward first-time and low-income borrowers, and come with less stringent credit requirements.

To qualify for an FHA loan, you'll generally need at least a 580 credit score. However, if you make a 10% down payment, you could potentially qualify with a score as low as 500.

FHA loans also come with some of the lowest mortgage interest rates available, making them very affordable for borrowers.

Conventional loan

Conventional loans aren't backed by a government agency, so they typically require borrowers to have better credit scores and low debt-to-income ratios. But they also often allow even lower down payments.

Borrowers may qualify for a conventional loan with as little as 3% for a down payment. You'll need at least a 620 credit score to qualify.

VA loan

VA loans are backed by the US Department of Veterans Affairs, and they're only available to military servicemembers and veterans who meet minimum service requirements. If you qualify for one of these mortgages, you could buy a home with 0% down and a low mortgage rate.

The VA doesn't set a minimum credit score for the loans it guarantees, but many lenders require at least a 620 score. But some do allow lower scores.

USDA loan

If you're buying a home in a rural or suburban area, you might qualify for a USDA loan. These mortgages also allow borrowers to purchase a home with no down payment.

You'll need a decent credit score to qualify for a USDA loan — typically, at least 640. Like other government-backed mortgages, USDA loans generally offer lower rates compared to conventional mortgages.

Lender programs for nurses

As you shop around for a mortgage lender, ask about any programs they have for healthcare professionals. While it's more common for lenders to offer mortgages specifically for doctors, rather than nurses, you may find lenders that also have programs for a wider range of healthcare professionals.

Flagstar Bank, for example, offers "professional loans" for nurses, nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, and other professions that require specialized training. These loans allow no down payment on amounts up to $1 million with a 740 credit score. You also won't pay private mortgage insurance.

Guild Mortgage also offers a Medical Professional program that is available to nurses.

Additionally, some of the best mortgage lendersoffer special programs to help first-time or low-income borrowers get into a home, regardless of their profession.

Tu suggests Rocket Mortgage's ONE+ program for borrowers looking for homebuying assistance. With ONE+, you'll only need 1% for a down payment, and the lender will provide a 2% grant to cover the rest. United Wholesale Mortgage, a wholesale lender that you can only work with through a mortgage broker, has a similar program.

Many of the most popular mortgage lenders offer programs that combine affordable mortgages with down payment or closing cost assistance. Smaller local lenders may also offer assistance. When you apply for a mortgage, ask what's available to you.

Home loans for nurses FAQs

Do nurses get a discount on a mortgage?

Nurses may be able to get a discount on their mortgage depending on what programs are available to them. Nurse Next Door and Homes for Heroes both offer discounts to healthcare professionals, including nurses.

Can nurses get lower interest rates?

Some programs specifically for nurses — as well as first-time and low-income homebuyer programs more generally — may advertise lower interest rates. But the only way to be sure you're getting a low rate is to get approved with multiple lenders and compare the rates you're offered.

How do you calculate nursing income for a mortgage?

A mortgage lender will look at all the income the nurse has earned in the last two years and use that to determine how much they earn per month on average.

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Nurse Next Door program and other home loans for nurses (2024)
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