How to Get a Home Loan in 2024: Compare Rates and Loan Offers

Learn more about your home loan options

Home Refinance Loans

Mortgage lenders are approving more loan applications! Determine your potential savings & find out if you qualify for a home refinance.

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Home Refinance Loans

Home Purchase Loans

New programs are available, minimum credit scores are coming down & more applicants are being approved!

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Home Purchase Loans

Home Equity Loans

Thousands of homeowners are taking advantage! Find out how you can exchange home equity for cash.

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Home Equity Loans

VA Loans

Pay no mortgage insurance! There is no loan limit & VA mortgages can be assumed by non-military home buyers. Find out if you qualify

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VA Loans

FHA Loans

Underwriting guidelines are flexible, the loans are assumable & there are no prepayment penalties! Get current FHA mortgage rates.

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FHA Loans

Reverse Mortgage

With monthly checks, a lump sum of cash or an emergency line of credit with a government-backed reverse mortgage!

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Reverse Mortgage

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LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.
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Find a home loan to meet almost any need

From first-time homebuyer programs to mortgage refinance loans, LendingTree lets you shop for home loans across multiple lenders to help you get your best rate.

Get a low-down-payment home loan
Refinance your mortgage
Cash out your home equity
Remodel or renovate your house
Borrow a home construction loan
Buy a rental property
Supplement your income with a reverse mortgage

How to pick the best home loan for your needs

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or someone who’s trying to refinance from a 30-year to a 15-year mortgage, it’s important to clarify for yourself what features you need in a loan. Here are some to consider:


    Do you want a standard fixed rate or do you want a lower monthly payment upfront with the potential for rate movements in the future? Adjustable-rate mortgages offer lower monthly payments in the short run, but your payments will likely change over time.


    Government mortgage programs offered through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offer great low-down-payment options for homebuyers. However, for those with good credit, conventional loans usually provide flexible requirements, including lower minimum down payments, higher loan limits and a higher allowable debt load.


    How much do you plan to borrow with your home loan? If your mortgage exceeds the conforming loan limit, you may need to take out a jumbo loan or high-balance mortgage. For 2024, that limit is $766,550 in most areas, but goes up to $1,149,825 in areas with the most expensive home prices in the country.

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What are the different types of home loans?


    These home loans aren’t backed by a government agency. As a result, lenders usually reserve them for homeowners with better credit scores than the minimums allowed for government-backed loan programs. They are offered in “conforming” and “nonconforming” variants.


    VA loan requirements allow military borrowers to put as little as 0% down. Unlike comparable FHA home loans, VA loans don’t require mortgage insurance.


    FHA loans allow homebuyers to put down as little as 3.5% on their home purchase. These loans feature lower qualification hurdles, especially for borrowers facing credit issues.


    Designed for rural homebuyers, USDA loans are only available for properties located in qualifying rural areas. USDA mortgages offer attractive interest rates and 0% down payment options.

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Home loans for tapping equity

If you’re looking for ways to access cash, the following mortgages allow you to trade some of your home equity for funds that can be spent on anything you need. Common uses for these loans include home repairs, college tuition or even a down payment on an investment property.


    Home equity loans let you borrow against your home in a single lump sum. Also known as “second mortgages,” these can be taken out alongside your primary home loan, provided you have enough equity in your home.


    Similar to home equity loans, HELOCs also let you borrow against the equity in your house. However, instead of a single lump sum, you’ll withdraw and pay back the funds on a rolling basis, similar to a credit card.


    Reverse mortgages are available to qualifying individuals age 62 and older. They’re a good way to supplement your income and don’t require repayment until the homeowner moves away, sells their home or dies.

Home loans for building a house and home renovations

There are plenty of options for borrowers looking to build their dream home as well as homebuyers who aren’t afraid of getting their hands dirty on a home renovation project. Explore your options for new construction and home renovation loans below.


    These specialized home loans provide the funds needed to fund the construction of your new home, as well as purchase the land on which it’s built. Lenders often require detailed blueprints and timelines for this loan type.


    While not technically home loans in the traditional sense, home improvement loans are designed for homeowners who need funds for home repairs. Some, like the FHA 203(k) loan, allow you to bundle a home purchase with added funds for home renovation purposes.

Nontraditional home loans

If a traditional single-family home isn’t for you, there are home loan options for a variety of non-traditional property types, including condos, co-ops and even mobile homes.


    Condo and co-op mortgages work similarly to regular mortgages but often come with extra requirements. For example, condo loan requirements often ask underwriters to review the condo development’s finances, governance and vacancy rates.


    Much like cars, mobile homes are often purchased with a loan offered directly by the dealer or manufacturer. Mobile home loans from traditional lenders — like banks or credit unions — will likely require you to purchase the land on which your new mobile or manufactured home will sit.

What to do before applying for a home loan

Once you know what kind of mortgage you want, your next step should be to get quotes from three to five lenders and compare mortgage rates and terms.

This includes information like available loan terms, lender fees, third-party charges and other closing costs, estimated APR and any special features like interest-only payments or prepayment penalties.

It’s important when shopping for a mortgage to get all of your home loan quotes on the same day. Mortgage rates change constantly, just like stocks. LendingTree allows you to easily compare quotes from competing mortgage lenders, which can save you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.

Home Affordability Calculator

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How to use our home affordability calculator

Our home affordability calculator allows you to estimate how much house you can comfortably afford based on your annual income, monthly debts and down payment amount.

To start calculating, enter your gross annual income and total monthly debts, then choose a down payment amount and loan term.

Our calculator defaults to a 28% debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, which we’ve labeled “conservative” in the “adjust your price range” slider. Most lenders set a maximum DTI limit between 41% and 45%. If you want more purchasing power, and you feel that your budget can handle it, you can slide the bar to the right to select higher DTI ratios between 29% and 50%. These “aggressive” DTI ratios may make sense for you, but only if you know you can afford the higher payments.

How do I know how much I can afford?

While lenders may preapprove you for a certain amount of money, that doesn’t mean it’s always a good idea to borrow the most you can.

It’s important to assess whether your anticipated monthly income can cover the mortgage payment in addition to other key elements in your budget, like:

  • The costs of regular home maintenance
  • Any monthly debt payments you may have
  • Ongoing expenses that aren’t reflected in your DTI, like child care payments, gym memberships and health care costs
  • Building or maintaining an emergency fund
  • Saving for retirement

Keep in mind that lenders will gauge your income based on your past annual tax returns rather than what you’re expected to earn over the next few years.

By using conservative assumptions for your annual income and debts, you’ll be better positioned to see whether a lender will actually qualify you for a certain loan amount, which makes it that much easier to find the right home loan for your needs.

Current home loan rates

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What credit score do you need to buy a house?

Conventional loan620
FHA loan500
VA loanNo minimum
USDA loan640

Regardless of whether you’re buying for the first time or refinancing an existing mortgage, the minimum credit score required for a home loan will depend on the type of mortgage you’re applying for and your lender.

How do I get a home with bad credit?

If you can’t qualify for a conventional loan, you may still be able to get a mortgage through government-backed mortgage programs — like the ones insured by the VA, FHA and USDA.

These programs receive explicit backing from the federal government, which reduces their risk to the lenders that provide them. As a result, prospective borrowers can qualify for home loans with credit scores as low as 500, in the case of an FHA loan.

If you’re a military veteran or service member who qualifies for a VA loan, you may not be required to meet any credit score standard, but will instead be evaluated based on your entire financial profile.

Keep in mind, though, that even if you’re approved for a home loan with bad credit, you’ll likely be penalized with a higher interest rate or more restrictive loan terms. It may be more cost effective to defer taking out a home loan until you’ve had a chance to improve your credit score.

How can I raise my credit score?

You can improve your credit score by reducing your outstanding debts, paying off credit cards and staying up-to-date on monthly payments. It’s also helpful to avoid making any new credit applications or taking out any new debt while you give your credit score a chance to bounce back.

Credit repair is a long-term commitment and can take months (or even years), depending on your financial profile. However, the benefits of a high credit score are immense.

For example, let’s say you need a $400,000 home loan. If your credit score is between 640 and 659, bumping it up into the 660 to 679 range could save you $41,584. Getting it into the 680 to 699 range could save you $62,006. And if you can manage to get your score into the 700 to 759 range, you could save $78,755.