The most common type of mortgage loan is a conventional loan. Other types are backed by the Federal Housing Administration or are from a special program such as the Veterans Administration or the USDA.
Most mortgages are conventional, meaning they’re not part of any specific government program — though they’re still subject to federal mortgage laws. Conventional loans typically cost less than FHA loans, but it may be harder to qualify for a conventional loan.
The FHA regulates and insures FHA loans, and private lenders make the loans. FHA loans allow you to borrow with a lower down payment and generally with lower credit scores. But you may be limited on how much you can borrow through an FHA mortgage.
Special home loan programs are tailored for certain groups. For example, VA loans are for veterans, military service members or surviving spouses, while USDA loans are for lower- or middle-income borrowers in rural areas.