Physician mortgage loans are a mortgage product designed to help physicians and high-earning professionals purchase or refinance their homes in Illinois.
The unique terms of the mortgage allow medical professionals, who are more likely to receive loan forgiveness and less likely to default on their loans, to access financing options outside of the conventional mortgage loan process.
Qualifying applicants can access financing with little or no money down. Physician loans also waive primary mortgage insurance (PMI), which is typically mandated when you put less than 20% down.
More than 46,000 physicians currently practice medicine in Illinois, making it one of the most popular states for doctors to call home.
While Chicago has a huge draw for residency programs, physicians are needed in all parts of the state, especially in rural areas.
No matter your circumstance, whether you’re in residency or years into your practice, you’ll find these lenders ready to get you started with the physician home loan process so you can put down roots in the community and establish a permanent residence.
9 Best Illinois Physician Home Loan Lenders
Here are the top physician mortgage loan lenders in IL:
- BMO Bank
- Citizens Bank
- Fifth Third Bank
- First National Bank of Omaha
- Flagstar Bank
- Huntington Bank
- Regions Bank
- US Bank
Discover The Best Lenders in Illinois Answer just a few questions about your career, where you're buying, and how much you want to borrow. Our service will then show you the exact programs you're eligible for from vetted physician loan specialists who will guide you through every step of the process – obligation-free!
Discover The Best Lenders in Illinois
Answer just a few questions about your career, where you're buying, and how much you want to borrow. Our service will then show you the exact programs you're eligible for from vetted physician loan specialists who will guide you through every step of the process – obligation-free!
1. BMO Bank
- BBB Grade: A+
- JD Power Score: 805
BMO Bank (formerly BMO Harris Bank) offers financing for licensed doctors, fellows, and residents with the following degrees:
- Doctors of Medicine (MD)
- Doctors of Dental Surgery (DDS)
- Doctors of Dental Medicine (DMD)
- Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DO)
All standard fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage products up to 30 years are available.
BMO offers three financing options in Illinois:
- 100% financing up to $1 million
- 95% financing for $1 – $1.5 million
- 90% financing for $1.5 – $2 million
Doctors who have not yet started work can still qualify without income history as long as they can show an employment contract or residency agreement. However, employment must start within 90 days of closing.
BMO checking account holders qualify for up to a $500 closing cost discount when they enroll in AutoPay. PMI is not required, which can keep mortgage payments lower than conventional loans in some cases.
Loans may be used to purchase or refinance owner-occupied single-family homes, condominiums, townhouses, and duplexes. Second homes and investment properties are excluded from the program.
2. Citizens Bank
- BBB Grade: A+
- JD Power Score: 818
Citizens Bank calls its physician loan program, the Citizens Doctor Loan. The Citizens Doctor loans offer a range of financing options for interns, residents, fellows, and licensed doctors.
Licensed Interns, residents, and fellows can borrow up to $600,000 and unlicensed healthcare professionals can borrow up to $400,000. Fully licensed physicians can borrow up to $850,000 with a 5% down payment or up to $1 million with an 11% down payment.
The Citizens Doctor Loan can be used to purchase or refinance an owner-occupied condo or townhouse, but not a detached single-family home. The program requires a 700 credit score or higher.
3. Fifth Third Bank
- BBB Grade: A+
- JD Power Score: 792
Fifth Third Bank offers a specialized loan program for new physicians and a separate program for attending and practicing physicians. Unlike other physician loan programs, Fifth Third Bank does not exclude physicians who have been practicing for more than 10 years.
The following degrees are included:
Both the Established Doctor and Dentist Loan Program and the New Doctor Loan Program are available in fixed and adjustable-rate options.
New Physicians can use employment contracts to qualify, but the standard 90-day rule will apply. Any doctor or dentist working for at least one year after training is considered an established physician.
Non-permanent residents with H1-B work visas are also eligible, which isn’t always the case with physician loan programs.
Loans may only be used to purchase owner-occupied residences, but the program does not specify exclusions on attached or detached homes. Investment properties, lot purchases, second homes, and construction are ineligible.
Borrowers are required to have a minimum credit score of 720. The lender will provide 100% financing on loans up to $750,000, 95% on loans up to $1 million, and 85% on loans up to $1.5 million.
4. First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO)
- BBB Grade: A+
- JD Power Score: 847
First National Bank of Omaha (FBNO) encourages its borrowers to contact a loan officer for information on its programs, but it has some standard language for its Physician’s Mortgage Loan.
Like similar programs, it does not require PMI. The Physician Loan program also has a more extensive list of qualifying degrees compared to the average physician program. Medical doctors, advanced degree nurses, accountants, dentists, and lawyers are all included.
The program will provide up to 100% financing for loans up to $850,000, 95% financing for loans up to $1 million, and 90% financing for loans up to $1.5 million. It can be used for the purchase of a new home or to refinance an existing property.
5. Flagstar Bank
- BBB Grade: A+
- JD Power Score: 781
Flagstar Bank offers a suite of professional mortgage loans designed to meet the needs of medical professionals. Borrowers must be within 10 years of starting their profession to be included in the program. The following professions qualify:
- Medical Resident (Educational License)
- Medical Doctor (MD)
- Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS)
- Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD)
- Doctor of Optometry (OD)
- Doctor of Ophthalmology (MD)
- Doctor of Pharmacy
- Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM)
- Doctor of Osteopathy (DO)
- Physician Assistant
- Registered Nurse
- Nurse Anesthetist
- Nurse Practitioner
- Clinical Nurse Specialist
- ATP Pilot
- Certified Public Accountant
The lender will extend up to 100% financing on loans up to $1 million or 95% financing on loans up to $1.5 million. All of Flagstar Bank’s professional loan products are adjustable-rate mortgages, which means the interest rate and thus the mortgage payment will fluctuate over the loan term.
Borrowers will need a minimum credit score of 720 to qualify for 100% financing, but interested-party contributions are allowed.
6. Huntington Bank
- BBB Grade: A+
- JD Power Score: 821
Huntington Bank has a three-step mortgage approval process. First, graduating medical students, residents, or practicing physicians should match with a mortgage officer. The mortgage officer will find out the needs of the borrower and walk them through the home-buying process.
Next, borrowers will get pre-approved for a maximum loan amount. Doctors, dentists, and veterinarians can get 100% financing on loans up to $1 million, 95% financing on loans up to $1.25 million, and 90% financing on loans up to $2 million.
Cash-out refinancing options are limited to $250,000. Private mortgage insurance is not required.
Loans must be used to purchase or refinance a primary residence.
- BBB Grade: A+
- JD Power Score: 798
KeyBank’s Medical Professional Mortgage Program is open to residents, medical doctors (including researchers), and dentists. Deferred student loan debt is excluded from DTI calculations.
This lender will provide up to $3.5 million in financing for the purchase or refinancing of a primary or secondary home. Borrowers can secure 100% financing on loans up to $1 million, 95% financing on loans up to $1.5 million, and 85% financing on loans up to $2 million.
KeyBank checking or savings account holders qualify for 0.25% savings on closing costs up to $1,000.
Fixed and variable interest rate products are available.
8. Regions Bank
- BBB Grade: B+
- JD Power Score: 835
Regions Bank provides specialized financing to the following professions through its Doctor Mortgage Program:
- Medical doctors (MD)
- Doctors of Dental Medicine (DMD/DDS)
- Doctors of Osteopathy (DO)
- Nurse anesthetists
- Nurse Practitioners
- Physician Assistants
While a wide range of professions are included in the program, only medical doctors and doctors of osteopathy qualify for 100% financing options up to $750,000. All other qualified degrees will have to put a 3% minimum down payment. None of these financing options require PMI.
95% financing is available on loans up to $1 million. Unlike many other physician loan programs, Regions Bank will provide construction-to-permanent financing.
Borrowers will be required to open a checking account to secure the loan. Student loan debt may also be excluded from DTI calculations.
Residents can close on their homes before they move by conveniently tracking loan progress through the Loan Application Status Portal.
9. US Bank
- BBB Grade: B+
- JD Power Score: 807
US Bank’s physician loan program can be used to purchase or refinance a primary residence. Medical doctors (including residents and fellows) and doctors of osteopathy are eligible for the program.
US Bank’s Specialized mortgage officers will aid in every step of the process, even providing a thorough multi-step checklist of all the loan requirements.
Borrowers can secure loans up to $1 million with down payments as small as 5%. With a 10% down payment, the lender will provide up to $1.5 million in financing. Down payments of 15% will qualify borrowers for up to $2 million.
The lender requires borrowers to have a minimum credit score of at least 710. For borrowers with student loan debt, underwriting will use monthly income-driven repayment amounts or 2% of the total amount of deferred student loans.
Borrowers with an active platinum checking account will receive a 0.25% lender credit up to $1,000.
How Physician Mortgage Loans Work in Illinois
Physician mortgage loan programs allow early career professionals within 10 years of graduating medical school to put down roots in their communities by purchasing homes or refinancing their existing property.
Physician mortgage loans are a great alternative to conventional loans for medical doctors and other high earners who won’t meet the qualifications for a standard loan.
With that said, physician mortgage loans are a good option for early career professionals who don’t have the income history or down payment for a conventional loan program, but they’re not the best option for doctors with low credit scores.
Daniel Brown, a loan originator with Envoy Mortgage, says;
Like most things in the mortgage industry, physician loan products are risk-based so the higher your credit score the better.
As such, medical professionals with stronger credit histories will have access to better interest rates and more favorable loan terms.
If you’re considering a physician loan program to purchase or refinance your primary residence, contact a local lender today to discuss your options.
A knowledgeable lender will take the time to walk you through different programs, explain the disclosures, and find the terms that work best for your needs at this stage in your career.
Pros & Cons
We’ve prepared a few notable pros and cons to help you choose the best physician mortgage loan program for your needs.
- PMI not required: Physician mortgage loans don’t require private mortgage insurance (PMI) which can keep your mortgage payments lower than conventional loans.
- Low down payment options: Physician loan programs offer several low down payment options from 0–15 depending on your loan amount.
- Can use employment contract: Doctor loan programs often accept residencies and employment contracts as proof of earning potential so you can purchase a home before starting work.
- Relaxed debt-to-income ratio requirements: Lenders understand that doctors will typically have significant student loan debt early on in their careers. As such, many physician loan programs will consider debt-to-income ratio differently than conventional mortgage programs.
- Jumbo loan: Physician loans aren’t subject to the same limits as conventional loans so it can be easy to borrow more than you can afford if you’re not careful.
- Higher interest rates: Physician mortgage loans may have higher interest rates or variable interest rates to compensate for the lower down payment options.
- Primary residence: Some loan programs will only provide financing for properties you intend to use as your primary residence.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the requirements for getting a mortgage in Illinois?
The requirements for getting a mortgage in Illinois will vary depending on your lender and loan amount. Conventional mortgages will require good credit scores, employment history, favorable debt-to-income ratios, and a down payment.
Physician loans will have more lenient requirements, which can allow medical professionals to pursue homeownership early in their careers.
What is the difference between a VA loan, an FHA loan, and a physician loan?
VA loans, FHA loans, and physician loans are specially designed mortgage programs that make homeownership available to demographics that otherwise may not qualify.
VA loans are designed for veterans of the armed forces. VA loans don’t have a minimum credit score requirement and often don’t require a down payment.
Physician loans are designed for medical professionals who want to purchase homes early in their careers and may not qualify for conventional loans due to minimal employment history and high student loan debt.
FHA loans are designed for first-time homebuyers. These types of loans will typically require a 3-5% down payment, but mortgage lenders will accept credit scores as low as 580.
We recommend talking to your loan officer about all your mortgage options so you can ensure you’re making the best choice for your needs.
Do doctors get better mortgage rates?
No, doctors do not get better mortgage rates simply because they’re medical doctors. However, medical doctors and other high-earning professionals can qualify for specialized loan programs with terms designed with their needs in mind.
Is it easier for doctors to get a mortgage in Illinois?
Yes, it is easier for doctors to get a mortgage in Illinois if they use a physician mortgage loan program. Physician loan programs are available to medical professionals because mortgage lenders understand that they’ll be high earners throughout their careers and are likely to bring more business to the bank.
Physician loans will require a decent credit score and an employment contract, but these programs are more lenient with debt-to-income ratio, student loan debt, and down payment requirements.
Who is a Physician Loan in Illinois Best For?
Physician loans are a type of mortgage loan program that makes it possible for doctors to purchase or refinance a home with little to no down payment.
These doctor mortgage loan programs open up financing options for early career professionals who couldn’t save for down payments or establish employment history while in medical school.
Below you’ll find a few examples of some medical professionals physician loans are best for, but we always recommend talking to a loan officer to find the mortgage program that fits your needs.
1. Medical residents relocating to Illinois for training
Medical residents who have to relocate for their programs are great candidates for physician loans because they can use their residency or employment contract as proof of earning potential.
With a physician loan, doctors can purchase a permanent residence and get comfortable before starting their jobs in most cases. The terms will vary but it’s typical for physician loan programs to accept employment contracts from doctors who will start work within 90 days of closing.
2. Veterinarians or dentists who own a private practice
Veterinarians (DVM) and dentists (DDS and DMD) often own and operate private practices. These businesses can come with significant overhead expenses, making it difficult to save for a down payment.
Physician loan programs will often extend financing options with a minimal down payment to self-employed medical professionals who can show two years of tax returns or bank statements.
3. Existing homeowners interested in refinancing
Physician loans can provide rate/term or cash-out refinancing options for medical professionals who already own a home in Illinois.
Refinancing with a physician loan can allow doctors to lower their monthly payments because PMI is not required.
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