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FHA Loans and VA Loans

There are several benefits to obtaining an FHA or a VA loan. FHA loans generally involve lower down payment and credit score requirements. VA loans are available to certain service members and veterans and, for no-cash out refinancing, can be streamlined by waiving certain types of documentation, such as income, employment verification and home appraisals.

What is an FHA loan?

An FHA loan is a home loan backed by the US government’s Federal Housing Administration to make home buying more accessible to people with lower incomes and credit scores. Because these loans are insured by the government, private lenders and banks are more willing to offer these mortgage loans to people that qualify.

What is a VA loan?

A VA loan is a mortgage loan guaranteed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. VA loans are available for active duty service members, veterans who have been honorably discharged, and select surviving spouses. The program was created in 1944 to help returning service members purchase homes after WWII.

How our FHA and VA loans work.

The Mariner Finance mortgage broker team* will explain the process and typically request basic documents to get the process started. But the documentation required may vary depending on your specific situation and your specific loan. Most refinance loans close in 45 days or less†.

Basic documentation can include (but is not limited to) copies of your W2 forms and signed/dated Federal Tax Returns for the previous two years, last 2 consecutive paystubs, driver’s license, social security card, most recent mortgage statement, homeowners insurance declarations page and bank statements from the last two months.

Meet our mortgage loan officers*

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between FHA loans vs. conventional loans?

The FHA, or the Federal Housing Administration, insures loans within certain parameters and through certain lenders, while conventional mortgages are not backed by any federal agency. Conventional mortgages are available from just about any lender, such as a mortgage company or a bank. FHA loans are available only from FHA-approved lenders.

What is the difference between VA loans vs. conventional loans?

VA loans are only available for service members, veterans and select surviving spouses who meet certain eligibility requirements. Conventional loans are for anyone who can qualify, are not restricted by your military status, and are not backed by any government agency.

Is it hard to get an FHA home loan?

There is a process that must be followed for FHA loans, but FHA loans normally are more flexible when it comes to debt-to-income ratios. Also FHA loans require a lower down payment. Conventional home loans typically impose stricter debt-to-income ratios and require higher down payments. Higher or lower variations in mortgage interest rates may occur based on your credit history and income.

FHA and conventional loans also differ based on the qualifications of the borrower.

Qualifications for the FHA mortgages start with a credit score as low as 500. Borrowers with scores over 580 typically receive better terms and interest rates. Conventional mortgage lenders typically require a credit score of 620 or higher.

Which mortgage should I go with, FHA or conventional?

FHA mortgages typically have long repayment terms, but that can vary depending on your specific needs. Each monthly payment puts money toward the loan amount, interest, real estate taxes, and mortgage insurance. Mariner Finance’s mortgage loan officers will work with you to determine a payment that is right for you.

Conventional loans can have an adjustable rate. With an adjustable rate, your interest rate usually is lower at the beginning of the loan, and then will change – and can become higher –during the life of the loan. This means your payments might start out lower but might increase over the term of your loan.  Mariner Finance’s mortgage loan officers can give you more details on the available pricing options.

Is a VA loan better than a conventional loan?

VA loans can have some obvious perks like no down payment required, no mortgage insurance and typically lower interest rates. In some cases no credit score is required. However, VA loans will have a funding fee. This fee may be added to the loan amount, which means you won’t have to pay it a loan closing. However, rolling it into the loan amount will make your loan payments higher.

It’s important to note you can only purchase a primary home as a property type with a VA loan. With a conventional loan, you can purchase primary, second or investment homes.

Can I have an FHA and VA loan?

Yes, it is possible to obtain an FHA loan and a VA loan at the same time. However, having an FHA loan may make it more difficult to obtain a VA loan since most lenders do look at your debt-to-income ratio.

What is the purpose of FHA mortgage insurance?

FHA loans require the borrower to pay for mortgage insurance to protect lenders from losses incurred because of defaults on FHA loans. Mortgage insurance premiums are required when down payments are less than 20% of the home’s appraised value. If mortgage insurance is required, it will remain a part of the loan until the loan is paid off.

Are FHA loans only for first-time buyers?

FHA loans are not specifically only for first time home buyers. First-time buyers, however, can be attracted to FHA loans because of the smaller down payment feature.

Where do I find an FHA mortgage lender?

Fannie Mae is a leading source of financing for mortgage lenders. HUD is the government agency that administers FHA loans. Both of their websites have search tools to find mortgage lenders.

However, we do assist borrowers with FHA loans, and you can apply here at Mariner Finance.†

Where do I find a VA mortgage lender?

You can get a VA loan from many private lenders and Mariner Finance assists borrowers with VA loans. Click to apply online here at Mariner Finance.†

*Mariner Finance’s mortgage loan officers are licensed and regulated financial professionals who work to connect potential borrowers with mortgage lenders who best fit the borrower’s financial situation. Mariner Finance does not act as an originating lender for mortgage loans or the refinancing of mortgage loans. See our Licensing & Disclosures page for more information.

†Loan closing is subject to various factors including, but not limited to, applicable lender underwriting requirements, market conditions, state specific regulations, and completion of all information and documentation requirements.

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Why apply at Mariner Finance?

Our experienced and licensed loan officers make it their business to educate customers and create loan solutions that fit the individual. Their mission is to make the process simpler, not the other way around. Because the more informed you are, the better decisions you make—not just today, but years from now as your needs change.

We love Mariner Finance. They have always been there when we need them. We love the ladies in the office. Thank you Mariner!

Patricia H.

How has Mariner come through for you?

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Making personal loans sense.

Got questions? Get answers.

What is the minimum amount I can borrow? How long does an application take? Is there a prepayment penalty?

Ready to speak to a person—in person?

You have your own unique goals to meet, and it all starts with a 5 minute conversation with one of our team members. You can reach us directly at 877-310-2373.

What is a personal loan?

Great question. It’s a loan that may help you deal with an unexpected expense, see a new part of the world, or simply help you achieve your personal goals. We have those.


†We offer personal loans from $1,000 to $25,000, with loans terms from 12 to 60 months. Minimum and maximum amounts dependent on an applicant’s state of residence and the underwriting of the loan. Loans between $1,500 and $15,000 may be funded online. Loans greater than $15,000 or less than $1,500 are funded through our branch network. Specific interest rates and fees are determined as permitted under applicable state law and depend upon loan amount, term, and the applicant’s ability to meet our credit criteria, including, but not limited to, credit history, income, debt payment obligations, and other factors such as availability of collateral. Not all rates and loan amounts are available in all states. Additional fees may apply to some loan offers; some state required and/or permitted fees may be treated as prepaid finance charges. Any such charges shall be in addition to the loan amount requested and/or approved and shall be fully disclosed to the applicant on his/her loan agreement. Not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rates or larger loan amounts, which may require a first lien on a motor vehicle not more than ten years old titled in the applicant’s name with valid insurance. Our loan by phone and online closing process requires a compatible mobile or computer device on which you can access your email and electronic documents. Not all loan types are eligible for loan by phone or online loan closing.


To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, Federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account. As a result, under our customer identification program, we must ask for your name, street address, mailing address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you. We may also ask to see your driver's license or other identifying documents.


*The process uses a “soft” credit inquiry to determine whether a loan offer is available, which does not impact your credit score. If you continue with the application process online and accept a loan offer, or are referred to a branch and continue your application there, we will pull your credit report and credit score again using a “hard” credit inquiry. This “hard” credit inquiry may impact your credit score.



California Residents: Loans made or arranged pursuant to a California Financing Law license.

VA Residents – Mariner Finance of Virginia, LLC, Licensed by the Virginia State Corporation Commission, Consumer Finance Company License No. CFI-114.


Mariner Finance, LLC, NMLS No. 166564 (
8211 Town Center Drive, Nottingham, MD 21236. Telephone Number 877-310-2373.

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