To finance a mobile, manufactured, or modular home, it’s important to find a loan that meets the specific needs related to this type of home and the land on which it sits. But not every lender offers loans for mobile homes. That’s why it’s necessary to find specific lenders for mobile homes because they are experienced in helping buyers get the best terms for their financial circumstances. Although similar to financing for single-family homes or condos, manufactured home financing does have some differences. As such, it’s important to know what those differences are when shopping around for the best mobile home loans. For instance, some mobile home loans cover only specific types of manufactured homes or only apply to borrowers who own their land. Take time to shop around with multiple mobile home lenders to find the best mobile home loans for your circumstances.
- BEST OVERALL: Manufactured Nationwide
- RUNNER-UP: Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance
- BEST FOR LEASED LAND: 21st Mortgage Corporation
- ALSO CONSIDER: eLEND
What to Consider When Choosing One of the Best Mobile Home Loans
When looking for mobile home financing, there are several considerations to get the right mobile home loan. For example, it’s important to know the type of manufactured home to see if it qualifies for financing. It’s also important to know if the home’s land is owned or rented. In addition, knowing the personal credit requirements for manufactured home loans can provide insight into whether qualifying will be possible or not.
Mobile vs. Modular vs. Manufactured Homes
The best manufactured home lenders will need to know what type of prefabricated home (meaning built in a factory, as opposed to built on-site) is up for purchase to see if it qualifies for a loan. Mobile and manufactured homes are essentially the same because both are built in a factory and delivered to the home site. They could be built on a metal frame and may have tie-downs to anchor it in place instead of a permanent foundation. The key difference is when they were built. Mobile homes were built before June 15, 1976, and manufactured homes were built after June 15, 1976. The reason behind this is the updated regulations by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). However, many still use the terms “mobile homes” and “manufactured homes” interchangeably.
Unlike mobile and manufactured homes, the components of modular homes are built in a factory to meet all state, local, or regional building codes that are required for site-built homes. They are then put together on the home site, typically on a permanent foundation.
Owning vs. Renting Land
When shopping for a mobile home loan, it’s important to determine if the loan requirements state the home should be located on land owned or rented by the borrower. Many lenders require the borrower to own the land where the home will be located, so if the borrower is buying land for the home, this could make qualifying easier. However, some lenders offer loans for mobile homes in parks or homes located on rented or leased property. This should be worked out in advance to rule out any lenders who won’t approve a loan if the mobile home won’t be located on property owned by the borrower.
Another consideration when shopping for the best mobile home loans is the geographic location for the mobile home. Yes, this applies to manufactured homes in parks, but it also applies to mobile homes on land owned by the borrower. Specifically, some lenders require the property to be located in a designated rural area by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Therefore, it’s important to check the property’s USDA rural eligibility to see if it qualifies as a USDA-classified rural area before applying for a mobile home loan with this requirement.
Type of Loan
When applying for the best mobile home loans, mobile home lenders often have a variety of loans available for financing. Knowing the different types of loans goes a long way in making an informed choice on the right loan. These include traditional loans such as conventional loans as well as those backed by the Federal Housing Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, and the USDA. Some lenders also craft their own loan programs, so it’s important to research those as well. Make sure to get answers to any questions regarding the loan type before deciding to choose one loan over another.
Type of Mobile Home
While the best mobile home loans are designed to finance the purchase of mobile, manufactured, or modular homes, they don’t necessarily cover every type of mobile home. For instance, mobile and manufactured homes come in different widths: single-wide, double-wide, or triple-wide. Some lenders will cover only single- and double-wide homes but not triple-wide homes. Some lenders will cover modular homes, while other lenders will not. When first shopping for the best mobile home loans, checking these requirements can help rule out lenders early on.
Minimum Credit Score
As with most financing, applying for the best mobile home loans requires borrowers to meet certain financial requirements, including meeting a minimum credit score. Sometimes a minimum credit score is determined by the mobile home loan type, but the lender determines the minimum credit score requirements in some cases. Finding out the minimum credit score requirements from lenders early in the shopping process can provide much-needed time to take steps to boost a lower credit score if necessary. Some lenders may make exceptions to a minimum credit score requirement, but it’s not the norm. So be prepared to have a good credit history when applying for a mobile home loan.
Applying for the best mobile home loans takes time and, typically, a lot of paperwork. In addition to a loan application, most lenders also will request copies of recent paycheck stubs, bank records, tax returns, investment account records, and the borrower’s photo identification. The lender also may require an appraisal and inspection on the mobile home to ensure it’s in good condition and the property value is in line with the loan amount. Once the paperwork is in order and the borrower has met the lender’s loan requirements, the lender will send the loan application for underwriting and approval. This could take several weeks, so be prepared to wait.
Down Payment, Interest Rates, Loan Terms, and Lending Limits
All the best mobile home loans include loan terms that dictate how much borrowers need to pay for a down payment, what the interest rate and loan amount are, any limits on how much money can be borrowed, and how long the loan term is. These vary from loan to loan and even from lender to lender, so it’s essential to review them very carefully. For instance, loan terms may last anywhere from 15 to 30 years, while loan limits can range from $50,000 to more than $1 million. A borrower’s credit score also may determine the required down payment.
Our Top Picks
When choosing the best mobile home loans, we looked for mobile home lenders who offer a variety of mobile home loan types, loan terms, and lending limits. Here are the top picks.
Why It Made the Cut: Manufactured Nationwide covers all three kinds of mobile homes, offers three different loan terms, and has flexible lending limits.
When applying for a mobile home loan with Manufactured Nationwide, borrowers can find out right away if they are eligible for a mobile home loan. With the company’s maximum lending limit of $1.5 million, it can be easier to get the funds needed to buy the mobile home the borrower wants. In addition, given the minimum credit score required is 620 for most loans, borrowers with less-than-stellar credit may still qualify; in fact, those looking for a streamline refinance can do so without a credit score requirement. Loan terms include 15, 20, and 30 years, so it could be easier to get a loan with a more manageable monthly payment. One downside is that the website is dense with information and can be challenging to read. Still, Manufactured Nationwide’s 24/7 customer support is available to assist borrowers with any questions they may have.
- Minimum credit score: 620 for most loans, no score for streamline refinance
- Types of loans offered: FHA, VA, USDA, cash out, streamline, refinance, jumbo
- Types of mobile homes covered: Single-wide, double-wide, triple-wide, modular homes
- Loan terms: 15, 20, or 30 years
- Lending limits: $50,000 to $1.5 million
- Application delivers instant eligibility status
- Customers can qualify for streamline refinances with no credit score
- Wide range of loan terms: 15-, 20-, or 30-year
- High lending limit average of $1.5 million
- 24/7 customer support
- Website can be somewhat user-unfriendly
Why It Made the Cut: Vanderbilt’s unique programs, including biweekly payments and its Fresh Start program, set it apart from other lenders in the industry.
Unlike other lenders that typically require monthly loan payments, Vanderbilt offers biweekly payments to help customers plan their budgets. Biweekly payments also can mean borrowers pay off their loans faster. This lender offers a Fresh Start program specifically designed to help borrowers with lower credit get the funds they need. Vanderbilt also offers non-government loans, meaning the requirements and qualifications are typically less stringent than those for government-backed loans. As a result, the loan process is faster and more streamlined. However, Vanderbilt’s website doesn’t contain specifics regarding minimum credit scores, the type of mobile homes covered, and other loan requirements. But customer support is available via online messaging or phone, so borrowers should have no issues getting in touch with a knowledgeable representative to answer any questions they may have.
- Minimum credit score: Not specified
- Types of loans offered: Portfolio home, home upgrade, Fresh Start, land and home mortgage, direct lending
- Types of mobile homes covered: Not specified
- Loan terms: 15 or 30 years
- Lending limits: $10,000 to $600,000
- Customers can make biweekly payments
- Fresh Start program available for borrowers with less-than-perfect credit
- Non-government portfolio home loans offered
- Loan application requirements, including credit score minimum, are not readily available online
Why It Made the Cut: 21st Mortgage Corporation doesn’t require a minimum credit score to apply for any loan, and it’s one of the few lenders that allows borrowers to lease land instead of owning.
21st Mortgage Corporation is a great option for borrowers who may have trouble meeting other lenders’ mobile home loan requirements. While many other mobile home lenders require a homeowner to own the land the mobile home is placed on in order to get a loan, 21st offers loans for homes on leased land, which can make it easier for borrowers to get a mobile home loan. To make it even easier, this lender doesn’t have minimum credit score requirements in most states, but any borrower with a credit score below 570 is required to make a down payment of 35 percent. However, borrowers who may not readily have the cash on hand for a complete down payment may have the option of using a trade-in or land equity to fulfill the down payment requirement. There’s also a relatively long closing time of up to 8 weeks (which comes close to the end of the average 30- to 60-day closing window for mobile home loans) for borrowers who buy land at the same time as a mobile home. Still, as long as borrowers factor this into their plans, 21st Mortgage Corporation is a great choice for many.
- Minimum credit score: No minimum in most states
- Types of loans offered: Not specified
- Types of mobile homes covered: Not specified
- Loan terms:Varies by loan
- Lending limits: Starting at $14,000
- Loans available for homes on leased land
- No minimum credit score required to apply
- Down payments can be in the form of cash, trade-in, or land equity
- Credit scores under 570 require 35 percent down payment
- Relatively long closing time of up to 8 weeks when purchasing land in addition to a mobile home
Why It Made the Cut: eLEND offers relatively low interest rates that are below the national average for mobile home loans, as well as down payment assistance for qualified borrowers.
Offering a selection of FHA, USDA, VA, and conventional loans with either fixed or adjustable rates, eLEND actually offers interest rates below the national average, which can make the monthly payment more affordable. However, eLEND is only available for borrowers buying land in USDA-designated rural areas, so they’ll want to check their location on the USDA site before considering eLEND. In addition, the loan terms are limited to 30 years. But eLEND does offer down payment assistance for those who qualify, including community service professionals, medical workers, military members, and first-time home buyers, making this an excellent lender for borrowers who may need a boost.
- Minimum credit score: 620
- Types of loans offered: FHA, USDA, VA, conventional fixed, adjustable rate
- Types of mobile homes covered: Single-wide, double-wide
- Loan terms:30 years
- Lending limits: Up to $400,000
- Community service professionals, medical workers, military members, and first-time home buyers qualify for down payment assistance
- Relatively low interest rates available
- Only available in USDA-classified rural areas
- Only a 30-year loan term is available
For the best variety of loan options and terms, Manufactured Nationwide is our best overall pick. Although its offerings are a bit more limited, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance is our runner-up, thanks to the ability for borrowers to make biweekly payments.
How We Chose the Best Mobile Home Loans
To determine the best mobile home loans, we researched dozens of lenders specializing in loans for mobile homes. We focused on lenders who could serve most or all 50 states for the widest range of availability. We also looked for companies that didn’t have overly restrictive qualifications or only applied to a very small number of consumers. We also prioritized companies that offered a variety of loan products.
Before You Take Out One of the Best Mobile Home Loans
When shopping for the best mobile home loans, keep in mind that not every loan is the right choice for every borrower. It’s critical to find a mobile home loan within budget and without loan terms that could negatively impact the borrower, such as higher interest rates or a shorter loan term that results in a higher monthly payment. In addition, a borrower should look for the right mobile home loan lender that will look out for the borrower’s best interests. When shopping around for a mobile home loan, remember to compare all loan terms and requirements to ensure the loans are comparable.
Cost of Taking Out One of the Best Mobile Home Loans
With average prices ranging between $57,000 and $110,000 for new manufactured homes, purchasing a mobile home could make homeownership quite affordable for many buyers. However, it’s also important to add in the cost of the land if purchasing or the amount of a lease if leasing land. There are also the costs associated with a mobile home loan, including a down payment, closing costs, and any related fees such as those for an inspection. These all should be evaluated to make sure taking out a mobile home loan is the right choice.
The Advantages of Taking Out One of the Best Mobile Home Loans
Taking out a mobile home loan could be a great pathway to homeownership because of the affordability of purchasing a manufactured home. Maintenance costs on a mobile home also can be quite low, further adding to the affordability of this purchase. However, mobile homes, like cars, depreciate in value over time, making it harder to sell in the future. Modular homes, though, do appreciate in value, so that is something to consider when choosing which manufactured home to purchase.
- The minimum credit score requirements can be as low as 620 for many loans.
- Lending limits could be as high as $1.5 million.
- It’s possible to find loans for mobile homes on leased land.
Because they differ a bit from traditional home loans, mobile home loans can be a bit confusing for borrowers. Therefore, it’s important to carefully research mobile home loans before deciding which one to choose. These are some of the most common questions borrowers have regarding mobile home loans.
Q. What is a mobile home loan?
A mobile home loan is a loan a borrower can use to purchase a mobile, manufactured, or modular home. Some traditional lenders do not offer financing for mobile homes, so interested customers need to seek out a lender that specializes in these loans.
Q. What is required to get approved for a mobile home loan?
Like other loans, mobile home lenders often require borrowers to have a minimum credit score and to make a down payment. Specific requirements will vary by lender.
Q. Do I have to own land when buying a mobile home?
While most mobile home loan lenders require borrowers to own the land where the home will be, there are some lenders who will provide loans to borrowers who lease the land.
Q. What credit score do I need to buy a mobile home?
Credit score requirements vary by the loan and lender, but many mobile home loan lenders have a minimum credit score requirement of 620.
Q. Is it hard to get a loan for a manufactured home?
There are many options for getting a manufactured home loan, but borrowers may have to shop around to find one they can qualify to receive.
Q. How quickly can I get a mobile home loan?
Many mobile home loan applications are approved within 30 to 60 days.
Q. Do mobile home loans have a down payment requirement?
Yes, many mobile home loans do have a down payment requirement.