Physician mortgage loans, or doctor loans, are mortgage loans specifically geared to medical professionals. They help doctors, dentists, and veterinarians overcome obstacles they often face when securing financing.
Many healthcare professionals have substantial student loan balances and their past work history may not reflect their earning potential if they just recently completed their residency. This makes it difficult or impossible to qualify for a traditional mortgage.
Physician loan lenders understand the unique situation doctors are in, as well as the fact most see rapidly rising salaries. Physician loans generally require a low down payment or none at all, don't consider student loans when evaluating loan eligibility, and accept a contract for future employment in lieu of proof of earnings a new doctor may not have.
We've reviewed a list of 31 loan providers to find the seven best physician mortgage loans based on ease of qualifying, low down payments, and credit score requirements.
The 7 Best Physician Mortgage Loans of 2021
Best Overall: TD Bank
TD Bank provides the ability to secure 100% financing on loans up to $750,000 with no private mortgage insurance (PMI). That's more than many lenders. A choice of a fixed or adjustable rate loan and the ability to close on your home before starting employment are other key benefits setting TD Bank apart.
Borrow up to $750,000 with no down payment or up to $1.25 million with 5% down
Borrow for not just single family residences, but also condominiums and co-ops
Self-employed borrowers are eligible with a minimum of two years of work history
You can qualify only if you are less than 10 years out of residency
No online application is available
Loans are not available in all states
As one of the 10 largest banks and with more than 150 years of experience, TD Bank provides a wide variety of banking products and financial services, including physician mortgage loans.
TD Bank is our best overall provider of physician mortgage loans because it's available to a wide variety of medical professionals, doesn't require traditional proof of income, makes larger loans than most other physician mortgage loan lenders, and is open to self-employed borrowers.
TD Bank refers to its loan as a Medical Professional Mortgage and it's available to licensed medical or dental residents, fellows who have completed a minimum of two years of their residency, as well as to dentists, oral surgeons, and practicing physicians including MDs, DOs, and DPMs. Only self-employed borrowers are required to provide two years of work history to get approved; other borrowers will appreciate the lack of documentation required.
This bank also stands apart from other lenders because not only do you not need a down payment but you can also roll closing costs, appraisal fees, and title insurance into your loan balance, so it's truly possible to purchase a home with no money down at all. You can also borrow for either a primary or secondary home to refinance, while some other lenders restrict you to borrowing only for a primary home.
Unfortunately, TD Bank operates in just 16 states.
Best for Ease of Approval: First National Bank
First National Bank stresses its flexible underwriting, which makes it easy for borrowers to get approved. You even have the option to borrow for a second home, a vacation home, or new construction, while many lenders restrict you to borrowing only for a primary home.
Streamlined loan application process and dedicated point of contact allows for timely loan approval
Borrow up to $750,000 with no down payment or up to $1.5 million with a 10% down payment
Borrow for a primary residence, a vacation home, a or second home
No online application
Not available in all states
High minimum credit score requirement
First National Bank wins for easy approval because the lender focuses on making approval as simple and fast as possible. First National allows you to begin the application process by simply adding the loan to your "cart" online and inputting your personal information. You'll then be paired with a private banker who will be your point of contact throughout the application process and help you work toward loan approval.
First National is based in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and has been offering financial services since its founding in 1864. It offers a full array of services, including asset management, private banking, small business banking, and mortgage loans, including physician mortgage loans available in 14 states.
Its loans are available not just for primary residences, as many physician loans are, but also for vacation or second homes as well as new construction. You'll have a choice of a fixed or adjustable rate loan and can borrow up to 100% of the value of your home with no private mortgage insurance. However, First National generally requires a minimum credit score of 700 to be approved for its physician mortgage loan.
Best for Good Credit: Flagstar Bank
Flagstar Bank's Professional Loan allows you to borrow up to $850,000 with no down payment and no PMI, but you'll need a minimum credit score of 710 in order to qualify. Residents, fellows, and practicing physicians are all eligible and loans are available in all 50 states.
Borrow up to $850,000 with no down payment or up to $1.5 million with flexible down payment options
Loans are available in all 50 states
Close up to 60 days prior to the start of employment with a signed contract
No online loan application available
All loans are adjustable rate mortgages; there are no fixed rate options
High minimum credit score requirements
Flagstar Bank is our top choice for those with good credit because its Professional Loan offers ample perks, though it is open only to those with credit scores of 710 or higher. First National has a larger loan limit than most other lenders, provides loans in all 50 states, and facilitates a fast closing, but you can't qualify unless your credit score is good to excellent.
The lender started in 1997 and has grown to become the country's sixth-largest mortgage originator. The bank has 160 branches across five states but provides mortgage loans nationwide through a wholesale network of more than 2,400 third-party loan originators.
Flagstar refers to its physician loan as a Professional Loan. It's open to residents, medical doctors, dentists, doctors of optometry or ophthalmology, podiatrists, DOs, veterinarians, nurse practitioners and nurse anesthetists, and clinical nurse specialists. Eligible professionals can borrow up to $850,000 with no down payment or private mortgage insurance, or up to $1.5 million with a small down payment. This $850,000 limit is higher than most other physician loan providers.
While Flagstar doesn't offer fixed rate loans, the high borrowing limit makes it an attractive option for providers who plan to refinance as their career advances and before their rate begins adjusting.
Best for Fair Credit: Simmons Bank
Simmons Bank provides physician mortgage loans to borrowers with credit scores as low as 640. You can finance a percentage of your closing costs and borrow up to $750,000 with no down payment and no private mortgage insurance required.
Finance up to 2% of closing costs on loans up to $750,000
Option to close on your loan up to 60 days before employment begins with a signed employment contract
Choice of fixed or adjustable rate loan options or balloon loans for single family homes or condominiums
No online loan application process
Available only in select locations
Simmons Bank is our review's best choice for you if your credit is imperfect, as it offers loans with a minimum credit score of 640 while others require a credit score of 700 or higher. Despite its more relaxed credit score requirements, Simmons Bank still provides many of the same benefits and features as other, more selective lenders do.
Simmons Bank was founded in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, in 1903 and today operates in seven states and has more than 3,000 employees. It's been recognized as a Platinum Elite Lender and offers a wide variety of financial services, including checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, and mortgage loans.
Its loan is called a Professional Provider Mortgage, and even borrowers with poor credit will be able to take advantage of the ability to secure their choice of a fixed, adjustable, or balloon mortgage from Simmons. Financing is available for borrowers with fair credit interested in purchasing single-family homes and condos as well as for new construction properties. And with no down payment requirements and the ability to finance part of your closing costs, you won't need much money to get into your home.
The Professional Provider Mortgage is available only to physicians, oral surgeons, and dentists who have completed their schooling and who are in residency, fellowship, or practice. Loans are available only in select markets, and you will need to contact Simmons to speak with a mortgage professional and complete your application online.
Best for Low Down Payment: Lake Michigan Credit Union
Lake Michigan Credit Union allows loans up to $1 million with no down payment or private mortgage insurance. You can also opt to borrow up to $1.5 million with just a 5% down payment.
Borrow up to $1 million with 0% down and no PMI, or up to $1.5 million with a down payment as low as 5%
You don't need any cash reserves to close on your loan
Your student loans won't count at all in debt-to-income calculations as long as your payments are deferred
Online application available
Must be a credit union member to qualify for a loan
Available only in Michigan and Florida
Founded in 1933, Lake Michigan Credit Union (LMCU) is the best choice if you want to borrow a lot of money with a low down payment, as this lender enables you to take a loan of as much as $1 million with no down payment or private mortgage insurance. Many other lenders cap you at a much lower limit. LMCU also allows loans up to $1.5 million with just 5% down, which is far below what most other lenders require to borrow that much.
Its physician mortgage is called a Doctor Mortgage and is open only to credit union members. Medical, dental, and orthopedic professionals are all eligible to apply, and there is even an online application you can submit to get the process underway without having to visit a mortgage professional in person.
The Doctor Mortgage is especially affordable to obtain because there is no requirement you have a certain amount of cash reserves at closing. Those concerned about a down payment due to a lack of cash flow will especially appreciate this option. You'll also have a choice of fixed or adjustable rate mortgage loans and can borrow for a new home purchase, a refinance, or home construction.
Best for a Quick Closing: University Federal Credit Union
University Federal Credit Union processes loans in-house, which means you'll get approved and get to closing more quickly than with many other lenders. In most cases, you should be able to close on your loan within 30 days.
Quick loan approval and funding due to in-house processing
Nurse practitioners and pharmacists are among the medical professionals eligible to borrow, along with medical doctors, veterinarians, and most other healthcare professionals
Can close on your loan up to 90 days before employment begins with a signed employment contract
Lower loan limits with no down payment compared to many other lenders
Credit union membership is required to qualify
Not available in all states
While many lenders take months to close, University Federal Credit Union is focused on helping you to get into your home faster. In fact, you can close on their Medical Community Loan within just a month, which makes it our top pick for a quick closing.
University Federal Credit Union is open to members of select organizations, those who work with certain employers, and those who attended certain schools. Both doctors and nurses are eligible for their physician mortgage loan as long as they are credit union members. Loans are available for up to $453,000 with no down payment or private mortgage insurance and for higher amounts with a small down payment.
Because University Federal processes loans in-house, they can guarantee a fast closing and it can take as little as 30 days to secure your home loan. Lenders that don't take this streamlined approach can take much longer, which can affect your ability to make a competitive offer on a home. There is also an in-house loan exception committee for those who might not qualify based on traditional underwriting standards.
Best for High Borrowing Limit: KeyBank
You can borrow up to $3.5 million with just 5% down and no private mortgage insurance with a physician mortgage from KeyBank, making it best for a high borrowing limit. Loans are available for single-family homes, condos, and planned unit developments.
High borrowing limits, up to $3.5 million with just 5% down
Fixed or variable rate loan options
Loans available for primary or secondary homes
The maximum loan to value ratio is 95%, so a 5% down payment is always required
Cash reserves are required to close on a loan
Loans are not available in all states
KeyBank was founded in Albany, New York, and currently operates in 15 states, managing more than $170 billion in assets. The bank offers a wide array of financial services including bank accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, investing and insurance, and mortgage loans.
KeyBank's physician mortgage is called a Medical Professional Loan and it's available to purchase an owner-occupied residence. You'll need to meet with a local mortgage loan officer to apply and can choose between a fixed or variable rate loan.
This lender stands out because of its maximum loan limit of $3.5 million, which is well above what many mortgage lenders offer for physician loans. However, you do have to put a 5% down payment down and have cash reserves to close on the loan (with the amount depending how much you borrow). That means it's a good choice if you have some cash on hand but need to borrow up to 95% of the value of your home without paying private mortgage insurance.
What Is a Physician Mortgage Loan?
A physician mortgage loan is available only to qualifying medical professionals such as doctors, dentists, and veterinarians. Most physician loans:
- Charge a slightly higher interest rate than most conventional loans, but don't establish a separate interest rate tier for "jumbo" loans (those above Federal Housing Finance Agency limits)
- Require no down payment or have more flexible down payment requirements
- Don't require doctors to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI), which conventional loans generally require with a down payment below 20%
- Don't consider student loan payments in determining debt-to-income (DTI), or calculate DTI by assuming a small payment
- Are willing to accept contracts of employment in lieu of pay stubs or tax returns showing proof of past income
Who Should Get a Physician Mortgage Loan?
Qualifying medical professionals such as doctors, dentists, or veterinarians should consider a physician mortgage loan if:
- You can't qualify for a traditional loan due to a high student loan balance
- You have a low down payment or no down payment and want to avoid PMI
- You don't have traditional proof of income but have a contract for employment
Some physician mortgage lenders limit loans only to doctors who have completed their residency within a recent time period (such as 10 years or less).
Medical professionals with proof of income and the credentials to qualify for a traditional mortgage may be better off opting for a conventional loan instead to get a broader choice of lenders and potentially qualify for a loan at a lower interest rate.
What Does a Physician Mortgage Loan Cost?
The cost of a physician mortgage loan varies by lender. You'll generally owe customary mortgage closing costs, such as an appraisal fee and title insurance costs. Some lenders also charge application fees and/or loan origination fees. Shop around and compare total loan costs to try to get the best overall price.
Physician mortgage loans generally have a slightly higher interest rate than conventional loans. However, if you are able to avoid having to pay PMI by securing a physician loan, this could offset this added cost.
How We Chose the Best Physician Mortgage Loans
We reviewed more than 30 different physician loan providers to find lenders that made it easy to qualify for a loan, that provided generous funding, and that had minimal fees or added costs. First, we considered lenders available in a majority of states. We then considered whether they required down payments and how much was required. We evaluated factors including which medical professionals were eligible, maximum loan amounts, qualifying requirements, and types of loans available. The goal was to find affordable loans that the maximum number of medical professionals could qualify for.