What you need to know:
- Doctors, dentists and graduate professionals in Iowa have access to a special high-income program called a physician mortgage.
- A physician home loan in Iowa does not charge private mortgage insurance (PMI). Plus, it allows up to 100% financing for a home loan.
- Get favorable benefits on income history and debt-to-income ratio for student loans during underwriting.
Iowa’s rolling plains and vast real estate make it a popular state for property owners hoping to get more house for the money. The state offers its 3.15 million residents a lower cost of living and more acreage for agriculture and nature.
Des Moines, Iowa’s capital, offers more space compared to other metropolitan cities. This makes Iowa a smart choice for doctors and dentists seeking reprieve from big city life. In fact, the state has more than 9,200 practicing physicians who are looking to grow their careers in a more affordable environment.
Whether you’re a new or established physician, you might worry about getting a good deal on your Iowa home mortgage. Thankfully, there is a specific program offered by banks called the physician mortgage loan. It comes with key features and better benefits than other conventional mortgage programs.
2021 data from the Iowa Association of Realtors shows the median price for a single-family home in Iowa was $195,000. But Zillow estimates that home values have gone up nearly 12% in the last year with a trajectory of continued growth.
Over the past decade, Iowa has grown at a slower pace than the rest of the country, with a population increase of just 5%. However, Des Moines has seen a massive boom that represents 49% growth in the last 10 years. With more people moving to Iowa comes more demand for housing and increased housing costs. If you’re thinking of purchasing a home in Iowa as a medical professional, act now before the cost of a new home goes up even more.
As a dentist, doctor or veterinarian in Iowa, here’s exactly what you need to know about securing a physician mortgage loan.
How do Iowa physician mortgage loans work?
With a traditional mortgage loan, borrowers are typically required to bring a 20% down payment or carry private mortgage insurance (PMI), which can cost hundreds of dollars each month.
However, certain Iowa medical professionals, including dentists, can apply for a physician home loan and get access to more flexible loan options. These physician loan mortgages, sometimes called a doctor mortgage, offer low down payment options while still maintaining competitive interest rate loans.
In some cases, you can get into a home with a zero-dollar down payment! Regardless of whether a down payment is needed, PMI isn’t required when taking out a physician mortgage. Combined, this could mean a big savings opportunity from what you need to bring to closing to a lower monthly housing payment.
As an added bonus, physician loan programs in Iowa offer generous underwriting and credit factors for high income professionals with student loan debt. Your situation is assessed with a physician’s career trajectory in mind, meaning your student loan debt will be treated more favorably than with a traditional mortgage.
Physician mortgage loans also come with high loan limits, and many limits are in the millions in order to get you into the home of your dreams.
To qualify for these types of loans, Iowa physician mortgage lenders typically require a credit score between 700 and 710, although some only require a score of 680. Borrowers with a credit score of 750 or higher typically receive the best and lowest interest rates possible.
5 best Iowa physician mortgage lenders
The following Iowa physician mortgage lenders are member FDIC institutions and are trusted lenders in the medical professional mortgage space. Each has its own eligibility requirements and financing structures. We’ve listed the contact information for each lender as well as the basics of their program.
1. BMO Harris
With BMO Harris, you can get an affordable home loan with no PMI requirement and flexible debt-to-income underwriting options. Doctors and dentists only have to pay 5% down for up to $1.5 million or 10% down for up to $2 million.
As a licensed medical doctor with MD, DDS, DMD or DO designation, you could qualify even if you have student loan debt, are starting residency soon and have an employment contract with a start date within 90 days of closing.
2. Huntington Bank (previously TCF Bank)
At the end of 2020, Huntington Bank announced it was acquiring TCF Bank. This is excellent news for midwest states like Iowa, where TCF has been operating since 1923. To qualify for Huntington Bank’s doctor loan program, you must be a dentist, physician or veterinarian with an MD, DO, DDS, DMD or DVM degree.
However, new grads can also apply for 0% down financing. Just bring a letter from your employer and a signed contract showing your expected salary. As with standard physician mortgage loans, Huntington Bank does not charge PMI, and your medical school debt will not count against your loan approval.
Get more information about Huntington Bank’s doctor mortgages in Iowa by reaching out to Bill Kekatos at 847-477-6247 or [email protected].
3. U.S. Bank
Iowa MDs and DOs (including residents and fellows) should check out the U.S. Bank doctor mortgage loan program. Get up to 95% financing for up to $548,250 (up to $822,375 in select counties) or up to 75% financing for loans up to $2.5 million, with down payment options and loan limits in between.
Lawyers, veterinarians, and other high-income professionals could access a similar version of this program with a 10% down payment.
U.S. Bank likes to see six months of cash reserves in savings and a credit score of at least 710 or higher. Yes, U.S. Bank has slightly higher down payment requirements than other loan officers on this list, but their customer service is outstanding for those in the medical field.
Get more information about U.S. Bank’s doctor mortgages in Iowa by reaching out to Jonathan Brozek at 916-601-8782 or [email protected].
4. Citizens Bank
Citizens Bank features a variety of financial products for its customers, including the Citizens Bank Doctor Loan Program. This loan program is designed for professionals with MD, DO, DDS and DMD designations.
Citizens Bank’s mortgage financing options include no PMI, up to 95% financing for loans up to $850,000 and the choice of a fixed-rate or adjustable-rate mortgage. If you’re looking for a loan up to $1.5 million, the down payment requirement is 15%.
This physician mortgage program also allows for home purchases and limited cash‑out refinances of primary residences.
Citizens Bank offers generous terms for student loan debt to be excluded from the DTI ratio, or your IBR payment can be used. However, a minimum credit score of 700 is required for doctor loans.
If you want even more choices for doctor mortgage loans in Iowa, check out our full list of lenders by state.
5. Flagstar Bank
Flagstar Bank offers doctor mortgage loans for home purchases and refinancing in all 50 states for up to 100% financing with no PMI. Financing options include 0% down for up to $1 million or 5% down for up to $1.5 million.
Flagstar Bank allows anyone with the following degrees to apply: medical residents, MD, DDS, DMD, OD, Doctor of Pharmacy, DPM, DO, RN, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, ATP pilots, CPA, attorneys, and veterinarians.
To be eligible, one must be 10 years or less from starting one’s career. There is no 30 year fixed rate option. They serve H-1B visas and/or green card holders and offer adjusted-rate mortgages (ARMs).
Contact Tish Kumar. Email Tish or call her at 248-590-9946.
Is an Iowa doctor mortgage right for you?
If you’re a medical professional who is averse to debt and concerned about the risk of getting a physician mortgage loan in Iowa, we understand. If you have a lot of money in savings or a conservative budget, you may be better suited for a conventional home loan.
However, with rising housing prices and the soaring cost of education, a physician mortgage can help you qualify for higher loan limits than a conventional loan. Plus, with little-to-no down payment and no private mortgage insurance, a doctor mortgage could get you the best deal. Just keep your overall budget in mind and don’t overextend yourself financially. Make sure the monthly cost of your mortgage is still comfortably within your budget.
Keep in mind that mortgage interest can be a deductible expense on your taxes, depending on your income. Of course, you don’t want to buy a house simply for the tax deduction, but it’s an added bonus to consider when combined with your overall financial planning.
If graduating from medical school, opening a new practice, or moving closer to your family brings you to Iowa, we recommend applying for a physician mortgage. If you’re ready to take that next step, fill out the form below to get a quote.
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