Best Personal Loans for Mobile Homes

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Contributor, Benzinga
July 21, 2022

A Quick Look at the Best Personal Loan for Mobile Homes:

  • Best Overall: Manufactured Nationwide
  • Best for No Down Payments: eLEND
  • Best for Excellent Credit: ManufacturedHome.Loan
  • Best for Fair Credit: 21st Mortgage Corporation
  • Best for Consolidating Debt: Upstart
  • Best for Seller’s Financing: Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance
  • Best for Mobile Home Improvement: LightStream

Mobile or manufactured homes are taking the U.S. by storm. According to statistics from the manufactured housing industry, roughly 22 million people in the United States live in a manufactured or mobile home. That’s a little less than 7% of the entire U.S. population and more than the population of Florida — the third-largest U.S. state. 

The benefits of this housing arrangement are many — they offer flexibility in location, require little upkeep and maintenance compared to traditional or single-family homes, and most vitally, they’re affordable. According to the latest report by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the median sales price for a new single-family home is $449,000. This is approximately 4 times the average sales price of a manufactured or mobile home which goes for $128,000

However, financing mobile homes can be challenging. The reason is that mobile homes can be moved from one location to another since most owners don’t own the land where it sits. And as such, unlike traditional houses, which are considered real estate property, mobile homes are considered personal property, like cars and R.V. 

Therefore traditional real estate lenders are unlikely to provide loans for mobile homes. 

So if you’re in the market for a mobile home loan, you’re better off going for personal loans to cover the cost instead of a traditional mortgage that will be unsuccessful. Typically, personal loans come with a high-interest rates and shorter repayment terms. Different personal loans are available, regardless of whether you owned or leased the land where your mobile home is parked. 

Usually, the best loan types offer competitive rates and flexibility that match your specific situation. To help you make a great choice, Benzinga analyzed some of the best personal loans for mobile homes based on specific attributes. Let’s dive in.

Best Overall: Manufactured Nationwide

With over 100 years of lending experience, Manufactured Nationwide is undisputedly the oldest manufactured or mobile home lending company. It is also geographically versatile, covering all 50 states of the United States. The implication is that whether you want to buy a new home, refinance, renovate or buy an existing one, the company is always present to help you actualize your dream home through efficient lending services. 

Specifically, the company thrives on single, double, triple-wide, modular, manufactured or mobile home loans. A combination of competitive government-backed loan programs (such as VA, FHA and USDA) and an efficient in-house bank underwriting team helps the company deliver competitive, low, fixed-rate mortgages on these crucial housing market segments. The company provides up to 100% financing for VA and USDA loans at zero out-of-pocket cost and no down payment. In contrast, 96.5% financing is provided for FHA construction and purchases and a 3.5% down payment. 

Furthermore, the company offers construction loans, including one-time-close (OTC) construction loans for stick-built properties and VA and USDA construction loans. Financing starts from 96.5% and can go up to 100%. Despite its nationwide coverage, the company still provides personalized services, ensuring that once you’re connected with any team member, they stick with you until the deal is closed. This fast-track the loan processing, enabling you to close a deal on your new house within 30 to 60 days. 

Loan offerings range from $100,000 for renovations to $1.5 million for purchases and construction. Most people would think that an excellent credit score is mandatory for a lending company of such status. However, you need a FICO score of 620 to qualify. The company’s website is very informative and resourceful. However, requisite information on the rates and terms of service is missing. Nevertheless, you can leverage its online quote tools to determine what is available. 

Manufactured Nationwide is the only lender whose expertise and services are solely dedicated to financing mobile home loans and associated credits. Manufactured Nationwide doesn’t provide loans for homes in a mobile home park or rented land. However, its low rate, little-to-zero down payment, efficient underwriting team, efficient customer service personnel and nationwide availability make it the best personal loan company for your mobile home.

Best for No Down Payments: eLEND

Many would-be mobile homeowners lack the requisite down payment for a home. This situation is relatively common among newbies or first-time homeowners. Repeat buyers are also not left out, especially those whose home hasn’t appreciated significantly in recent years. If you fall in this category, then eLend could be your best option for financing your dream home. 

Headquartered in New Jersey, eLend is a subsidiary of American Financial Resources, Inc., a company dedicated to providing low-cost financing options to first-time home buyers and existing homeowners. eLend offers government-backed loans (FHA, VA and USDA) with 0% to 3.5% down payment and conventional loans (mortgages not backed by the federal government). Conventional loans can be fixed-rate or adjustable-rate loans. If you’re a community service worker (police officer, firefighter, EMT), a military member or medical personnel, you can leverage the down payment assistant program (DPA) to reduce down payment expenses further. DPA also lets you finance the down payment using gifted funds. 

Aside from low or zero-down mortgages, other loan programs offered by eLend include non-qualified mortgages, disaster loans and renovation and construction loans. A plethora of options means you can still qualify for low-money-down loans even if you’re not eligible for 100% financing. 

eLEND’s loan can go up to $400,000 with an extensive loan repayment period of up to 30 years. A minimum credit score of 620 is required, but a 660 score or higher unlocks robust loan offerings. For the best rates, you must show evidence of land ownership for mobile home loans. Nevertheless, the company can assist you if you want to use rented land. To fast-track mortgage processing, the company leverages innovative technology and educational resources. According to the review across the board, the customer service team is also efficient.

Best for Excellent Credit: ManufacturedHome.Loan

With over 20 years of experience providing various modular, manufactured or mobile home loan options, MHL is another force to reckon with in the mortgage business. The company is also located in New Jersey. It is a key partner of eLender — an alliance geared towards providing 100% home financing at low, competitive rates and favorable terms. This feature can help potential mobile homeowners refinance or purchase newly constructed or used mobile homes. 

As a nationwide licensed mortgage broker, the company provides government-backed loans (VA, USDA and FHA) at 0% to 3.5% down payment. Furthermore, MHL also offers conventional loans, OTC construction loans and DPA. Unlike its competitors, MHL provides financing for mobile homes on leased land and vacation homes — most mobile lenders only finance primary residency. Typically, MHL requires a high credit score of over 700 (excellent FICO score). Nevertheless, you can still qualify for government-backed loans with a low score of between 600 to 650. Available loan value depends on the specific program while the loan size, down payment and interest rate depend on your credit score. The loan term varies from 15 to 30 years.

Presently, construction loans are halted. But for variants like modular prefab and wood-based design assets, a different loan category applies. Generally, loan pre-qualification is fast, with underwriting taking weeks at most. For government-backed programs, the process is a bit lengthy.

ManufacturedHome.Loan is an excellent medium for those with excellent credit looking forward to constructing their modular or manufactured homes. Its competitive rates, robust mortgage offers and extensive loan programs make it the best option for first-time buyers with excellent credit history. Essentially, you get the best value for your good credit history.

Best for Fair Credit: 21st Mortgage Corporation

Suppose you want to buy a mobile home but have a bad credit history — a FICO score as low as 575. In that case, 21st Mortgage Corporation is your best and probably the only option. The company was established in 1995 in Knoxville, Tennessee, with four staff members kickstarting operations. Over the past 26 years, the company has witnessed immense growth, with over 800 employees. The company operates in 46 states plus Washington DC. It doesn’t operate in Hawaii, Massachusetts, Alaska and Rhode Island. 

As a top-ranking mobile home lender, the company owns and services over 180,000 mortgages valued at over $9 billion. 21st Mortgage Corporation offers mobile home loans to borrowers with poor minimum credit scores and charges no prepayment penalties. Its innovative fixed-rate loan extends to mobile homes on parks and leased lands for non-permanent and permanent foundations. 

The available loan options cover you, whether you’re going for newly constructed or pre-owned homes. The minimum loan amount starts from $14,000 when you purchase through a retailer and $22,000 for person-to-person lending. Housing loan applications usually take four to six weeks before closure while land loans might take up to eight weeks. The entire process, from application to approval, is online, making the process faster.

However, unlike its competitors, the interest rate is high — between 5% and 10.99%. And so is the down payment requirement, which ranges from 0% to 35%, depending on your credit score. Credit scores under 570 require a mandatory 35% down payment, and you can pay through trade-in, land and equity. To qualify for a loan without a cosigner or additional documentation, your debt-to-income ratio must be below 43%. The high-interest rate aside, the company’s low credit requirements make it the best choice for folks with poor credit history looking to secure a mobile home loan. However, there are mixed reviews among customers across the board regarding its customer service efficiency.

Best for Consolidating Debt: Upstart

Suppose you owe low-to-moderate debt on your mobile home, which you must clear immediately to avoid defaulting. In that case, you can try Upstart. It is a great option to consolidate low-to-moderate debt. The loan amount ranges between $1,000 to $50,000. If your debt exceeds $50,000, you can use other lending platforms.  

Founded in 2012, Upstart leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to automate the borrowing process. Upstart adopts a different approach to pricing credit, unlike other lenders. Rather than focusing mainly on your credit score and history, the underwriting algorithm also considers your academic record, career, employment and income. 

With Upstart, you only need a minimum FICO credit score of 580 (bad to fair) to qualify. The APR ranges from 5.22% to 35.99% for three-to-five year loan term. Upstart charges no prepayment penalty. However, the origination fee is high — 0% to 8%.

Upstart accepts borrowers new to credit and offers direct payment to creditors with consolidation loans. Borrowers can choose and change their payment date(s). This feature makes for flexibility and minimizes the chances of payment defaults. Upstart’s fast funding services, low credit score requirements and repayment flexibility make it an excellent option for borrowers with low credit and great earning potential looking to consolidate debt. The platform also offers wedding loans, medical loans, moving loans and other types of loans.

Best for Seller’s Financing: Vanderbilt Mortgage And Finance

Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance is an affiliate of Clayton Homes — a Berkshire Hathaway company. The company was established in 1974 and is headquartered in Maryville, Tennessee. Being affiliated with Clayton Homes is a pointer to its relevance in the mobile home finance space. 

As a licensed national mortgage provider, the company offers conventional loans (fixed-rate and adjustable rate) and government-backed loans (USDA, VA, FHA loans) just like its peers. The company’s core selling point is its over 45 years of experience providing varying loan options for existing, modular and newly constructed mobile homes. This distinction earns them pioneer status, and rightly so, having serviced over 200,000 loans since inception. Aside from mobile home loans, it also offers loans and loan servicing for traditional homes and financing for energy-efficient home improvements (eScore loans). Other loan programs the company provides include biweekly advantages mortgages, portfolio mortgages and direct lending.

There’s no obvious loan requirement listed on the company’s website. However, to qualify for all FHA loans, you need a minimum FICO score of 580 and a 3.5% down payment. In contrast, you should target a FICO score of 620 and a 3% down payment for conventional loans. Loan repayment terms are mostly 15 or 30 years, and interest rates range from 5% to 10%.

The company’s institutional credibility, long-standing manufacturer’s financing history, affordable loan programs and easy application process make it a top choice for seller’s financing. However, its reputation is marred by poor customer service and limited information regarding fees and requirements.

Best for Mobile Home Improvement: LightStream

LightStream is an online personal loan provider offering low-interest, fixed-rate loans for home improvement. However, its loan offerings are not limited to home improvement. The company provides loans for practically any purpose. These loans are offered at zero fee charges and range from $5,000 to $100,000. 

While LightStream’s rates are generally low, they may vary depending on the loan amount, purpose, applicant’s credit profile, income and repayment term quoted. Often, the longer the repayment term, the higher the rate. To qualify for this loan, you need a minimum FICO credit score of 660. However, excellent credit qualifies you for the lowest rates and discount promotions. LightStream doesn’t charge origination, late payment or prepayment fees. 

Ideally, LightStream offers optimal flexibility when it comes to repayment. The repayment period ranges from 2 to 7 years, depending on the borrower’s preference. This feature allows borrowers to choose between paying at low overall interest rates for a shorter term or paying higher interest with lower monthly installations for a longer duration. If you have an excellent credit score, you may get extended loan terms of up to 20 years with no down payment or home equity requirement. You must agree to automatic monthly payments during application to get the best rate. Otherwise, your interest rate will increase by 0.5% across the board.

Other perks include the Rate Beat Program, in which the company matches or beats a competitor’s APR offer by 0.1% points. Additionally, through the Loan Experience Guarantee, you’re awarded $100 if you notify the company of dissatisfaction with your loan experience within 30 days of origination. LightStreams’ consumer-friendly offerings and perks, combined with its loan flexibility, can fast-track your mobile home remodeling or renovation, making it a great option to cover your mobile home improvement projects.

5 Personal Loan Requirements and Criteria

All personal loans require that you fulfill specific requirements or criteria to qualify. Although this requirement may vary depending on the particular lending company or platform, some of the primary requirements are:

1. Credit Score

A high credit score helps you get an excellent loan offer. Although some lending companies accept bad-to-poor credit ratings, an excellent rating makes you stand out and significantly minimizes the chances of rejection. The reason is that it strengthens the lender’s trust in your ability to repay the loan. It is also indicative of good financial responsibility since it means you’re paying your bills when due while avoiding debt through excessive and unnecessary spending.

2. Income

Lenders also consider the size and frequency of your income. A steady and robust income means you’re well equipped to meet your financial obligations, including loan repayment. Evidence of steady income can earn you a sizable loan offer at a favorable rate. Intermittent and low income may attract disqualification or a high-interest rate loan since it signifies the potential for loan default. You can’t pay what you don’t have.

3. Financial History

Your payment history has a direct link to your credit estimate. It’s a primary decider of your FICO score. Late, outstanding,and mixed debt payments have severe implications on your credit report that may linger for several years. Payment behavior like that can be a stumbling block to getting a loan when needed or, at best, will mean a bad loan dea. Therefore, strive to have an excellent financial history via timely payment of debt and bills..

4. Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI)

Most lenders are not obsessed with how fast you repay your loan but rather your ability to repay. If your income can’t sort your existing debts, that’s a major red flag. The debt-to-income ratio gives lenders an insight into how much your income covers your debt. To calculate it, sum up your minimum monthly debt payments and divide by your gross monthly income. Lenders prefer a ratio lower than 36%, with 43% being the highest you can have and still qualify for a loan.

5. Collateral

The term collateral cover pricey assets, collectibles, unique investment projects and cash accounts you offer to the lender as security for their loan offering. Not all loan companies ask for collateral. However, for those that do, these valuables are seized or confiscated if you default.

Things to Consider Before Getting a Personal Mobile Home Loan

To make an informed decision, you must consider certain things before applying for or getting a personal loan for a mobile home. Let’s review a few things that need considering.

Check Your Budget

Like all financial endeavors, good budgeting prepares you for unplanned costs. Good budgeting will allow you to manage your funds and plan for your mobile home construction or acquisition while leaving room for unforeseen circumstances. Check that your loan budget is something you’re able to repay in the shortest possible time.

Property Valuation

Mobile homes, unlike traditional houses, don’t appreciate. A selloff after a few years might cause you a big loss. This is something you should anticipate. Make sure you really need and want this loan.

Research Applicable Interest Rates to the Loan

The interest rate for mobile home loans is unlike traditional mortgage rates. Personal loans have relatively short repayment terms or plans and, as such, have higher interest rates. Conduct constructive research to get an interest rate that aligns with your financial situation or income.

Confirm the Authenticity of Chosen Agencies

Only borrow from specialized lenders, retailers and standard mortgage lenders. To avoid falling prey to scammers, verify partner companies.

Frequently Asked Questions


For how long can someone get a mobile home loan?


Generally, there’s a term of 15 to 30 years. However, government-backed loans like the FHA can last for three decades.


What is required to get a mobile home loan approval?


Excellent credit scores, a low debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, financial history, income and employment are some of the vital requirements for a mobile home loan. In some cases, down payments are required.


What credit score do I need to buy a mobile home?


The credit score required varies depending on the lender. But on average, minimum credit scores in the 600s will suffice. All conventional loans need at least 620, while government-backed loans require a lower score of 580.


How quickly can I get a mobile home loan?


Typically mobile home loans are approved within 30 to 60 days of application submission, should you qualify. It can be significantly lower depending on the company.


Do I have to own land before buying a mobile home?


Not all lenders would demand the ownership of land from borrowers. Specific to some programs, you may need to own land either as a landlord or a lease.

Definition of Terms

Single-wide homes: These are houses that are prefabricated (built offsite) and transported to their location as a single unit. Usually, single-wide homes are 90 feet long or less and 18 feet wide or less.

Double-wide homes: These are houses that are prefabricated (built offsite) and transported to their location as a double unit. Usually, single-wide homes are 90 feet long and at least 20 feet wide. 

Manufactured homes: These are houses that are constructed or built offsite and then transported to their permanent location. It can be single or double-wide. Manufactured and mobile homes are used interchangeably because of their inherent similarities. The key difference is that most manufactured homes are immovable once parked, unlike mobile homes.

Modular homes: These are houses that are prefabricated and transported in one or multiple sections to the permanent site where they’re finished in place. Unlike mobile or manufactured homes, modular homes can be financed through traditional mortgages, similar to stick-built homes.