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The Ultimate Guide to Physician Mortgage Loans in 2022

Whether you are hunting for your first home or your dream home, home-buying is an exciting experience.

But finding the right mortgage loan you need to finance it? Not so much. And for doctors, it’s even more challenging given their unique financial background.

That’s where we come in.

Between our expertise and your due diligence, together we can make your mortgage lending experience as smooth as possible. In this guide, we are going to cover everything you need to know about physician mortgage loans (including the surefire way to get the best deal available).

Let’s dive in.


The resulting financial crisis crippled the economy for years. That caused the mortgage industry to become more strict. They had to enforce the old rules. They again started requiring a minimum down payment, a steady income, and debt under a specific threshold.

You just finished medical school or residency. You’ve borrowed more for school than what you’ve earned so far. You’re not making much money — yet.

Although you are starting a career that all but promises job security and a high salary, you may be denied when trying to buy your first home.

Why? Because strict rules govern the mortgage industry.

Before the economic decline, lenders relaxed their standards. This led to subprime mortgages. It also resulted in many homebuyers getting loans they couldn’t afford.

The resulting financial crisis crippled the economy for years. That caused the mortgage industry to become more strict. They had to enforce the old rules. They again started requiring a minimum down payment, a steady income, and debt under a specific threshold.

The trouble with traditional mortgages

Why new physicians often can’t qualify for traditional mortgages

Unfortunately, new physicians don’t often meet these standards. They often fall short for the following reasons.

Company
BBB Rating
A.M. Best Rating
Ameritas
A+
A-
Assurity
A+
A-
Fidelity Security
A+
A-
Guardian/Berkshire
A+
A++
Illinois Mutual
A+
A-
Mass Mutual
A+
A++
MetLife
A+
A+

New doctors have no past income

Lenders of traditional mortgages do not look at income potential. They require an income history.

That can be challenging for new physicians who just emerged from years in medical school. Your residency paid you very little. You’re starting your career later than most.

Conventional mortgage lenders typically insist on two years worth of income. This income must demonstrate you can pay the mortgage bill you’re about to borrow.

A doctor-in-training or new physician cannot meet this requirement. Therefore, they likely cannot obtain a conventional mortgage. They would have to wait until they’ve established themselves in their practice.

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New doctors have limited savings

The combination of going to school and having no job means you likely have no money saved. This means you have nothing to use for a downpayment on a new home.

Conventional lenders require something for a downpayment. They want you to invest some of your own money in the property they are financing. The more you put up, the less likely you are to default on a loan. If you do, you lose the money you put down.

Company
advantage-education-loan-logo_o4mclu_hcen4r Advantage

The Advantage Refinance Loan is a fixed-rate student loan refinancing option exclusively for Kentucky residents with at least $7,500 in private or federal student loans. The program has 10, 15, and 20-year loan term repayment options and loan amounts up to $500,000 (amounts higher than $200,000 require special approval).

Advantage Education Loans are owned, serviced, and collected by the Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation (KHESLC); originated and disbursed by its sister agency, the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA). Both agencies are state-based, not-for-profit, governmental entities.

Learn More: Advantage Education Loan Review

    Pros
  • Available to borrowers who haven’t completed their degrees
  • Offers forbearance options
  • No prepayment or origination fees
    Cons
  • No variable rate loans offered
  • Only available to Kentucky residents
States Available
  • Kentucky
brazos-student-loans-logo_auuiud_vctdud Brazos

Brazos is a student loan refinancing option for Texas residents who have at least $10,000 in private or federal student loans, and earn at least $60,000 in income ($30,000 with a cosigner). The program offers 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20-year loan repayment terms, and loan amounts up to $150,000 for undergraduate borrowers and up to $250,000 for graduate borrowers.

The Brazos Higher Education Service Corporation, Inc. (Brazos Higher Education) is a nonprofit corporation that manages several nonprofit companies (Brazos Managed Companies) all founded by student loan pioneer Murray Watson, Jr. Brazos Higher Education and the Brazos Managed companies have been dedicated to higher education for over 40 years.

Learn More: Brazos Student Loan Refinance Review

    Pros
  • Offers fixed and variable interest rates
  • No origination or prepayment fees
    Cons
  • No cosigner release available
  • Must have a relatively high minimum annual income
States Available
  • Texas
Citizens_Bank_awcx1x-thumb Citizens Bank

Student loan refinancing through Citizens Bank is available to all U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have at least $10,000 in private or federal student loans. Citizens Bank offers fixed and variable rate loans with 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20-year repayment terms. Maximum loan amounts include up to $300,000 for undergraduate (bachelors) borrowers $500,000 for graduate school borrowers, and $750,000 for professional school borrowers.

Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is among the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions. Headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, Citizens offers a broad range of retail and commercial banking products and services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, large corporations, and institutions.

Learn More: Citizens Bank Student Loan Refinance Review

    Pros
  • Offers variable and fixed interest rates
  • Available to borrowers who haven’t completed their degrees (if they have good credit and are no longer enrolled in school)
  • No prepayment or origination fees
    Cons
  • No disability discharge offered
States Available
  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Canal Zone
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Guam
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Puerto Rico
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virgin Islands
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming
College_Ave_nztzkp-thumb College Ave

Founded in 2014, College Ave offers flexible student loan refinancing options specifically for physicians, dentists, and other medical professionals. The Wilmington, Delaware-based company services its loans through Nationwide Bank, which allows it to offer competitive rates.

College Ave features various repayment options, including full principal and interest, interest-only, flat, and deferred payment plans. Full principal and interest payments allow you to make full payments while still in school. Interest-only payments allow you to pay monthly interest while still in school, then make full payments following your grace period. Flat payments allow you to pay $25 a month while in school, then make full payments once you graduate. Deferred payments allow you to wait until your post-graduation grace period is over to make any payments. But this means the interest you accrue while waiting is added to your total loan balance on top of the interest you must already pay throughout your term.

Learn More: College Ave Student loan Refinance Review

    Pros
  • Competitive rates, even with much larger companies.
  • Multiple repayment plans to cater your individual financial needs.
  • 0.25% interest rate reduction with auto-pay through Nationwide Bank.
  • No hidden fees for origination, application, processing or prepayment.
  • Up to 100% total coverage of your school-certified cost of attendance ($1,000 minimum).
  • Refinancing is available to all US residents that attended an eligible undergraduate or graduate school. Find out if your school qualifies before applying.
  • Students with little or no credit history can benefit by applying with a creditworthy co-signer.
  • In the event of death or disability, the terms of your credit agreement are nullified so College Ave cannot pursue your estate.
    Cons
  • Limited information available.
  • No cosigner release option.
  • 15 year max term to repay your loan - no 20 year term option.
  • After 15 days without payment, College Ave assesses a late fee equal to 5% of the unpaid amount or $25 - whichever is less.
  • No specific forbearance policy for struggling borrowers. College Ave determines payment-postponement periods on a case-by-case basis.
States Available
Education_Loan_Finance_bnyuxi-thumb ELFI

Based in Knoxville, Tennessee, Education Loan Finance (ELFI) is relatively new to the student loan refinancing space. Its parent company, SouthEast Bank, is a Tennessee community bank. In 2015, SouthEast Bank decided to start offering student loan refinancing to borrowers on top of its traditional products. Its product line includes checking and savings accounts, mortgage loans, and credit cards.

ELFI offers competitive interest rates to borrowers that qualify for student loan refinancing. Borrowers can choose from fixed and variable rate loans available in 5-20 year terms. While ELFI does not have any restrictions on the maximum amount that borrowers can refinance, their minimum loan amount is $15,000.

ELFI works closely with MOHELA and American Education Services (AES). Both refinance loan servicers have great track records of customer service.

Learn More: ELFI Student Loan Refinance Review

    Pros
  • No application fees, origination fees, or prepayment penalties.
  • Forbearance allows you to postpone loan payments up to 12 months if you experience economic hardship.
  • New ELFI borrowers can get a $100 cash bonus through the Fast Track Bonus program if you get approved and accept your loan terms within 30 days of submitting your application. (Beginning December 1, 2018, ELFI will no longer offer the $100 Fast Track Bonus.)
  • ELFI borrowers earn a $400 cash referral bonus for every person you successfully refer if they apply and are approved within 90 days of registration. The person you refer will also receive a $100 bonus. Learn more here.
    Cons
  • Cannot qualify if you have filed for bankruptcy in the past.
  • Cannot qualify if you did not attend and graduate from a Title IV-accredited school.
  • After 11 days without payment, ELFI assesses a late fee equal to 5% of the amount past due or $50 - whichever is less.
  • No cosigner release option like other more established lenders. But borrowers can refinance loans again without a cosigner if they qualify on their own.
States Available
  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming
INvestEd_Indiana_gkbnjw-thumb INvestEd

INvestEd is an Indiana non-profit corporation that provides student loan refinancing to U.S. citizens and permanent residents with at least $5,000 in private or federal student loans nationwide. The INvestEd Refi Loan offers fixed and variable rates, and 5, 10, 15, and 20-year terms, on loan amounts up to $250,000.

For over 35 years, the goal of INvestEd has been to provide students with solutions to put higher education within reach. We believe strong choices before college are the best way to limit excessive student loan debt after college. That’s why our efforts focus on providing friendly, free, expert financial aid help to students, families, and counselors. At hundreds of Indiana high school events each year as well as over the phone, in print, and via email, INvestEd assists Hoosiers with the college planning process.

Learn More: INvestEd Student Loan Refinance Review

    Pros
  • Offers variable and fixed interest rates
  • Offers deferment and forbearance options
  • Offers autopay discount
    Cons
  • Long cosigner release period (48 months)
States Available
  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming
mefa-logo-blue_to4vdt-thumb MEFA

The MEFA Education Refinancing Loan offers fixed and variable rates, and loan terms of 7, 10, and 15 years. It is available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents with at least $10,000 in private or federal student loans nationwide. There is no maximum loan amount.

The Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA) is a not-for-profit, state-based, and self-funded state-chartered student loan organization that helps families cover educational expenses. As an authority on planning, saving, and paying for college, MEFA offers access to powerful and affordable financial products to help students finance higher education.

Learn More: MEFA Student Loan Refinance Review

    Pros
  • Offers variable and fixed interest rates
  • Available to borrowers who haven’t completed their degrees
  • No prepayment or origination fees
    Cons
  • Doesn’t offer any discounts (such as autopay discounts)
  • They don’t have a cosigner release available
  • No forbearance or deferment options
States Available
  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming
PenFed_Credit_Union_wizeus-thumb PenFed

PenFed Powered By Purefy is an award-winning student loan refinance option available to PenFederal Credit Union members with at least $7,500 in private or federal student loans. It offers fixed and variable rates on loan amounts up to $300,000 with 5, 8, 12, and 15-year terms.

Serving 2 million members worldwide with $25 billion in assets, PenFederal Credit Union is one of the country’s strongest and most stable financial institutions. PenFed serves members in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as in Guam, Puerto Rico, and Okinawa. Online service is available to members 24/7.

Learn More: PenFed Student Loan Refinance Review

    Pros
  • Offers variable and fixed interest rates
  • Can apply for refinancing with your spouse
  • No origination fees or prepayment penalties
    Cons
  • Doesn’t offer any discounts (such as autopay discounts)
  • No formal deferment or forbearance options
  • Must become a member to refinance
States Available
  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming
risla_i2mmj3-thumb RISLA

RISLA is a student loan refinancing option available nationwide to borrowers with at least $7,500 in private or federal student loans, and who earn at least $40,000 in income. RISLA offers fixed and variable rates on loan amounts up to $250,000 with 5, 10, and 15-year terms.

The Rhode Island Student Loan Authority (RISLA) stands out from the crowd by offering a safety net to borrowers who refinance their student loans in the form of income-based repayment. Although based in Rhode Island, RISLA offers student loan refinancing to borrowers in all 50 states.

Learn More: RISLA Student Loan Refinance Review

    Pros
  • Available to borrowers who haven’t completed their degrees
  • Low minimum credit score
  • No prepayment or origination fees
    Cons
  • No cosigner release option available
States Available
  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming
sofi_kazfze-thumb SoFi

SoFi burst onto the scene in 2011, quickly becoming one of the leaders in student loan refinancing and consolidation. The San Francisco-based company offers among the most competitive interest rates in the industry and is known for round-the-clock customer service.

SoFi operates within fairly strict credit criteria. The company’s non-traditional underwriting process evaluates merit, employment and financial history, and monthly debt-to-income ratios. SoFi also heavily considers the applicant’s estimated cash flow, career path, and level of education. The company’s ideal borrower boasts strong job stability, substantial income, and a proven history of managing their budget and credit.

SoFi champions transparency and a strong sense of community in everything it does. With SoFi, what you see is what you get. The company makes sure you’re well aware of all the member benefits that it entails. What sets SoFi apart from others in the crowded student loan space is its commitment to the personal growth and career development of its 500,000 members and counting.

In November 2019, the minimum student loan refinance amount for SoFi was increased from $5,000 to $10,000 (100% of school-certified expenses) for all California residents.

Learn More: SoFi Student Loan Refinance Review

    Pros
  • Very competitive rates.
  • Free consultations.
  • No hidden fees or prepayment penalties.
  • Live customer service available nights and weekends.
  • Checking rates does not affect your credit score.
  • Refinancing is available in 49 states, plus the District of Columbia.
  • A swift application process allows for pre-qualification in just 15 minutes.
  • Capitalize on networking events, career services, and complimentary financial advising.
  • If you lose your job for no fault of your own, SoFi will suspend your monthly payments for up to 12 months. Not only will this provide financial relief while searching for a new job, but SoFi will also connect you with job placement services. Still, the interest that accrues during this period of unemployment would be added to the loan.
  • Get additional rate discounts on other products like personal and mortgage loans.
  • SoFi offers wealth management services and SoFi Money, a new personal banking app that simplifies checkings and savings.
    Cons
  • Very strict underwriting criteria. The average SoFi borrower has a credit score over 700 and an income upwards of $100,000.
  • Residents of Nevada are not eligible for refinancing. Variable rate loans are not available in Ohio or Tennessee.
  • The soft credit pull that comes with checking rates on conditional offers does not impact your credit score. If you choose to move forward on an offer, a hard credit inquiry will affect your credit score.
States Available
  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming
No companies match your search.

The industry relaxed its downpayment requirement years ago. Some even allowed 100 percent financing. But following the 2008 financial crisis, lenders were forced to impose downpayment requirements again. The most accommodating mortgages require 3.5 percent of the purchase price.

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, more than three-quarters of 2016 medical school graduates incurred student loan debt.

A physician mortgage loan is an exclusive type of low down-payment home financing designed to meet the unique financial needs of physicians, dentists, and other eligible medical professionals.

Also known as physician loans and doctor loans, they are often considered jumbo mortgages because they allow higher loan balances than conventional and FHA loans.

Physician mortgage loans do not require private mortgage insurance (PMI) and are more accommodating of borrowers with high student loan debt and minimal income history.

You can qualify for a physician mortgage if you are a medical resident or a licensed medical doctor. You can also qualify if you are a doctor of optometry, osteopathy, ophthalmology, podiatry, dental medicine, or dental science.

Disability Insurance FAQs

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