Best Mortgage Lenders for First Time Home Buyers in Idaho

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Contributor, Benzinga
February 12, 2024

Jump straight to it: The best Minnesota mortgage lender for first time home buyers is Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions.

Thinking about buying your first home in Idaho? Navigating the home buying process and finding the right mortgage lender can feel overwhelming — but it doesn’t have to be. Use this Benzinga guide to help find the best lender in the Gem State.

Quick Look: The Best Mortgage Lenders for First Time Home Buyers in Idaho

7 Best Mortgage Lenders in Idaho for First Time Home Buyers

To help you start looking for a home loan, Benzinga has compiled the top mortgage lenders in Idaho into 7 categories so you can find the right fit for your financial future.

1. Best for Bank Statement Loans: Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions

Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions is a full-service mortgage lender offering traditional and portfolio mortgage loans for Idaho buyers. Among their many customized loan solutions is their Bank Statement product for self-employed borrowers. This loan does not require tax returns and includes a 1099 Income option for 1099 earners. 

  • Loan amounts up to $3 million
  • 12 or 24 months personal or business bank statements
  • Two years out of bankruptcy, short sale, foreclosure, or deed-in-lieu
  • Owner occupied, non-owner occupied, and second homes located in Idaho
  • 1099 option available
  • 40-year fixed interest only
  • Delayed financing available
  • Non-warrantable condos allowed

Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions offers a wide range of loan options allowing you to obtain any mortgage as long as qualification requirements are met. You can also refinance into any of these loans. The customer service team is easy to reach via email, phone or the online contact form, and you can begin your journey by searching for a local advisor right on the website.

Angel Oak is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia and is licensed in AL, AZ #0927070, licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act, CO, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA #32379, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MI, MN, MS, NV, NH, licensed by the N.J. Department of Banking and Insurance, NM, NC, OH, OK, OR, PA, Rhode Island Licensed Lender, SC, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA dba AOHL LLC, WI.

Pros

  • Condo loans available
  • Cash out options available
  • Rate-term refinance options available
  • Loans available up to $3.5 million
  • Bank statement loans are available

Cons

  • You cannot obtain loans for non-warrantable condos

2. Best for Online Loans: Rocket Mortgage®

Owned by parent company Quicken Loans®, Rocket Mortgage® makes it easy for first time homebuyers in Idaho to navigate the mortgage process. Credit score requirement is 620. They offer a simple online application that recommends the right mortgage options for your budget. They also have 24/7 customer service and offer conventional, FHA, USDA and VA loans.

Pros

  • Efficient online process with document and asset retrieval capabilities
  • Ability to edit your preapproval letter
  • Lower mortgage interest rates compared to other lenders
  • Option to work with loan officers by phone if desired

Cons

  • Customized interest rates require a credit check, which could negatively impact your score
  • Unable to take out home equity lines of credit

3. Best for Government-Backed Loans: Guild Mortgage

If you’re hoping to secure an FHA, USDA or VA loan, you might want to look into lending with Guild Mortgage. They offer a wide selection of government-backed home loans that can be bundled with Idaho state first time homebuyer’s assistance programs.  Credit score requirement is 620. They’ll also consider alternative credit when reviewing your mortgage application.

Pros

  • Competitive interest rates and flexible loan terms
  • Strong reputation for excellent customer service
  • Extensive network of branch locations

Cons

  • Not be the best option for borrowers with low credit score
  • Delays in the approval process

4. Best for Online Applications: guaranteed Rate

guaranteed Rate is well known for its easy application process and high customer satisfaction. The easy-to-navigate system walks you through every step of the mortgage process and offers customer assistance.

guaranteed Rate also has many small down payment loan options. It offers conventional, FHA, USDA and VA loans. Credit score requirement is 620.

Pros

  • Fast approval process, often the same day
  • Diverse loan options
  • Excellent customer reviews 

Cons

  • Higher-than-average origination fees

5. Best for Face-to-Face Service: Bank of America

Would you prefer talking to a professional during the home loan process? Bank of America is a top lender in Idaho that allows you to apply online or in-person to ensure your mortgage application process is an easy experience. Credit score requirement is 620 and alternative credit is considered. It also features down payment assistance programs and considers alternative credit. Bank of America offers conventional, FHA and VA loans.

Pros

  • Low down payment options
  • Good customer service
  • Closing cost assistance programs
  • Existing customers may get a discount on mortgage lender origination fees

Cons

  • Can’t get a renovation loan that rolls costs into a mortgage

6. Best for Quick Mortgage Approval: Caliber Home Loans

As one of the top home loan providers in the country, Caliber Home Loans is a leading lender in Idaho. Caliber is well known for its streamlined online application process that is designed to speed up the loan application process.

It partners with many state assistance programs and provides helpful financial resources for military personal. Caliber Home Loans offers conventional, FHA, VA and USDA loans. Credit score requirement is 620.

Pros

  • Diverse loan programs
  • Strong customer service
  • Fast loan processing

Cons

  • Strict underwriting standards
  • Limited information on fees and rates

7. Best for VA Loans: Veterans United

If you’ve logged some time in the military, Veterans United’s loans will likely be the best deal. Unlike other veteran-marketed loan programs, Veterans United only accepts active duty and veteran military members.

In addition to no-down-payment loans, you’ll also eliminate the private mortgage insurance you’ll have to pay with other mortgages.

Veterans United is also more forgiving of lower credit scores. Interest rates are lower than average.

Pros

  • Streamlined loan application process
  • Competitive interest rates and loan terms
  • Excellent customer service

Cons

  • Funding fees
  • Limited physical locations

Housing Market in Idaho: An Overview

The first step to finding a mortgage lender is understanding your local housing market. This will give you a better sense of what to expect when looking for financing.

Total households: 675,323 households

Median list price: $432,307

3 most expensive cities in Idaho to buy a house:

  • Ketchum median home value: $1,324,860
  • Sun Valley median home value: $1,272,849
  • Coolin median home value: $1,094,254

3 most affordable cities in Idaho to buy a house:

  • Twin Falls median home value:  $354,950
  • Pocatello median home value: $367,450 
  • Caldwell media home value: $370,000 

Knowing the average values of homes throughout the Gem State can help you set financial expectations while shopping for your new home. 

Preparing for a Mortgage

Getting ready for the mortgage process is an important step along your homebuyer journey. This guide takes you through everything you need to know about the mortgage application, explain how the process works, and highlight any important details you should prepare for.

First Time Home Buyer’s Mortgage Process in Idaho

When preparing to apply for a home loan, you’ll follow the same process whether you’re a new or existing homeowner. First, you’ll want to assess your financial status and make a few decisions before turning to a mortgage lender. You’ll need to:

  • Know how much of a down payment you can afford. Some lenders offer options as low as 3% and others even have 0 down payment options. Be aware that the less money you put down, the higher the interest rate on your home. Take a look at your finances to decide whether a big down payment is an option for you.
  • Know your credit score. Your credit score is used to determine the interest rate on your home loan and to approve you for financing. You’ll want to know where you stand before you begin the application process. Many lenders have credit score minimums, so understanding your score can help you select the right lender. 

Now you’re ready to gather all of the documentation you’ll need to start the application process.

What You’ll Need

It’s helpful to have all of the documentation handy before applying for a home loan. Here are the common items you should have on hand:

  • Social Security number
  • Last 2 years of taxes
  • Last 2 months of pay stubs
  • The total amount of money in your accounts (checking, savings, retirement and investments)

You may need additional paperwork, but these are the documents nearly all lenders require.

LenderMinimum Credit Score Required
(Conventional Mortgages)
Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions660
Rocket Mortgage®620
Guild Mortgage620
guaranteed Rate620
Bank of America620
Caliber Home Loans675
Veterans United600

Mortgage Options

Since you’re a first-time homebuyer, you’ll want to take a look at all of the mortgage options available on the market. Let’s break down the top 5 mortgage types for Idaho homebuyers.

Conventional Loan

This type of loan is financed through banks, credit unions or other financial institutions. Conventional loans tend to have higher interest rates because they’re not backed by the government. On the upside, these loans can be easier to qualify for, since they have lower eligibility requirements.

FHA Loan

This type of loan is financed through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) for first time homebuyers. FHA loans are backed by the government, have lower than market interest rates, with 3.5% down payment minimums and 580 credit score requirements. Most major lenders offer FHA loans.

USDA Loan

This type of loan is financed through the U.S. Department of Agriculture for houses purchased in rural areas. USDA loans are backed by the government, offer lower than market interest rates, have no down payment options and require a minimum of 640 credit score. Many major lenders offer USDA loans.

VA Loan

This type of loan is financed through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for former or current military personnel and their families. VA loans are backed by the government, have lower than market interest rates, have no down payment options and no credit score requirement (though lenders may have their own minimums). Many major lenders and VA-only lenders offer VA loans.

Jumbo Loan

This type of loan is for homes purchased over $484,350 (this limit may be higher depending on where you live) and can be a conventional or FHA loan. Jumbo loans have higher down payment and credit score requirements. Many lenders request 20% down payments for jumbo loans, but some lenders, like Quicken Loans®, only require 10%.

Now that you understand the different mortgage types, let’s look at some first time homebuyer grants and programs in Idaho you should know.

First Time Home Buyer Programs in Idaho

The Idaho Housing and Finance Association offers a handful of programs to help first time homebuyers in the Gem State buy their first home. Most of these programs can be used in conjunction with most mortgage types.

  • Idaho Housing Home Loan: This home loan program is designed to help low to mid-income, first time home buyers afford a home. This mortgage offers low interest rates, no down payment requirement options, no mortgage insurance options and down payment assistance and grants. You’ll need to meet income eligibility requirements to be approved for this mortgage.
  • Homebuyer Tax Credits: This state program offers Mortgage Credit Certificates (MCCs) on up to 35% of their mortgage interest, for a maximum deduction of $2,000 on your taxes each year.

Current Mortgage Rates in Idaho

The interest rate you pay on your mortgage is referred to as your mortgage rate. Scoring a lower mortgage rate on your home loan can save you tens of thousands of dollars over the course of your mortgage. 

Your mortgage rate is determined by your lender by analyzing your credit score, down payment, home location, mortgage type and mortgage term (or the length of your home loan).

There are 2 main loan terms available: fixed and adjustable. You’ll pay a set amount every month for the duration of your loan with a fixed mortgage. You won’t pay fixed amounts with adjustable mortgages, however. Instead, you’ll pay a fixed amount for an introductory period and then your payments and mortgage rate will fluctuate based on the real estate market.

Mortgage rates in Idaho vary greatly from city to city. Benzinga keeps up to date on local market trends in the Gem State so we can show you the most current rate information.

Let’s look at some of the more common loan terms and mortgage rates for Idaho.

Loan TypeRateAPR
30-year fixed 6.807% 6.889%
15-year fixed 5.938% 6.068%
7/1 ARM (adjustable rate) N/A N/A
5/1 ARM (adjustable rate) 6.886% 7.684%
Rates based on an average home price of $285,982 and a down payment of 20%.
See more mortgage rates on Zillow

Closing a Mortgage

The last step in the mortgage process is closing. During this stage you’ll sign all of the paperwork, review all information and verify the terms of your loan. This is also when you pay the down payment and closing costs.

On your closing day, you’ll usually walk through your home to confirm it’s in the same condition you agreed upon. Next, you’ll meet with your agent (and possibly the seller’s agent) to finalize all paperwork. After this is complete, you’ll receive your keys to your new home.

This closing process takes between 30–45 days and varies by lender. Online lenders, like Rocket Mortgage®, can typically speed up the process thanks to faster approval processes.

Here are some average closing days from top lenders in Idaho.

LenderAverage Days to Close Loan
Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions30 days
Rocket Mortgage®30 days
Guild Mortgage30 days
guaranteed Rate45 days
Bank of America30 days
Caliber Home Loans30 days
Veterans United45 days

Ready to Buy Your First Home in Idaho?

It’s easy to find financial assistance when buying your first home in Idaho. Take advantage of the many state first time home buyer programs and find a lender who offers the incentives that matter most to you.

Shop around for a low rate, but at the end of the day, choose a lender who meets all of your financial needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

How do I get pre-approved for a mortgage in Idaho?

A

To get pre-approved in Idaho, first, you need to fill out an application and submit it to the lender of your choice. For the application you need 2 previous years of tax returns including your W-2’s, your pay stub for past month, 2 months worth of bank statements and the lender will run your credit report. Once the application is submitted and processed it takes anywhere from 2-7 days to be approved or denied. Check out our top lenders and lock in your rate today! 

Q

How much mortgage interest will I pay in Idaho?

A

Interest that you will pay in Idaho is based on the interest rate that you received at the time of loan origination, how much you borrowed and the term of the loan. If you borrow $208,800 at 3.62% then over the course of a 30-year loan you will pay $133,793.14 in interest, assuming you make the monthly payment of $951.65. For a purchase mortgage rate get a quote here. If you are looking to refinance you can get started quickly here

Q

How much should I save for a mortgage down payment in Idaho?

A

Most lenders in Idaho will recommend that you save at least 20% of the cost of the home for a down payment. It is wise to save at least 20% because the more you put down, the lower your monthly payment will be and ultimately you will save on interest costs as well. In the event that you are unable to save 20% there are several home buyer programs and assistance, especially for first time buyers. Check out the lenders that specialize in making the home buying experience a breeze. 

Get Ready for Take Off

Rocket Mortgage® is an online mortgage experience developed by the firm formerly known as Quicken Loans®, America’s largest mortgage lender. Rocket Mortgage® makes it easy to get a mortgage — you just tell the company about yourself, your home, your finances and Rocket Mortgage® gives you real interest rates and numbers. You can use Rocket Mortgage® to get approved, ask questions about your mortgage, manage your payments and more.

You can work at your own pace and someone is always there to answer your questions — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Want a fast, convenient way to get a mortgage? Give Rocket Mortgage® a try.