5 Best Physician Mortgage Loans in Arkansas


Physician mortgage loans in Arkansas are available to medical doctors, dentists and other professionals depending on the specific loan program of the lender.

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Key Terms

  • Put as little 0% down when using an Arkansas physician mortgage loan.
  • No private mortgage insurance (PMI) required when using a doctor mortgage.
  • Student loan payments typically receive favorable treatment with a doctor loan, making it easier to qualify for a mortgage.

Arkansas is nicknamed “The Natural State” for good reason. It has an incredibly diverse geographic landscape, which includes the highland regions of the Ozarks and Ouachitas, densely forested land known as the Arkansas Timberlands, and lowlands in the east along the Mississippi River.  

You don’t have to be a dedicated nature lover to want to purchase a home in Arkansas, however. The state has one of the most affordable home price averages compared to state averages across the U.S. Last year, a whopping 36.5% of Arkansas home sales were under $235,000, making it an appealing and affordable market for many looking to buy. 

Doctors and dentists looking to purchase a home in Arkansas can not only enjoy the lower home prices but also take advantage of the state’s physician mortgage loan programs. These programs allow qualified applicants, such as the nearly 6,500 doctors in Arkansas, to buy a home with minimal or no down payment cost. 

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Advantages and disadvantages of Arkansas physician mortgage loans

Arkansa physician mortgage loans are great options for many professionals, but it’s always best to consider all the upsides and downsides of a loan before committing. Here are some of the pros and cons you will want to keep in mind when looking at doctor mortgages in Arkansas. 

Pros:

  • No or little money down, or up to 100% financing
  • Higher limits that can allow you to buy a bigger home than you might expect
  • No required Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) payments
  • Special consideration for student debt, a pain point for many highly-educated healthcare professionals

What are some of the cons? Consider the following:

  • Higher limits can cause you to buy a bigger/more expensive home than you need or can afford
  • Rates can be higher with doctor mortgages for borrowers
  • The lender may require that you open an account with them (e.g. savings account)

Physician mortgages in Arkansas have a lot of appeal, especially considering that they can often come with 100% financing on a home. Just make sure to keep the cons in mind when weighing things in the balance. Bear in mind that loan repayment will kick in at some point in the future and that the incentives of the physician home loan should always be balanced with the possible downsides. If you have already found a perfect home to live on the NMLS but want to look for options with limited or no down payment, consider some of the home loan lenders for physicians in Arkansas.

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5 Top Arkansas physician home loan lenders

If you’re ready to look over the best doctor mortgage lenders in Arkansas, here are some options to consider.

1. Arvest Bank

Arvest Bank is headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas but has branches in Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri. Its name is a mash up of Arkansas and the word “invest”. The bank is almost entirely owned by the Walton family.

There aren’t too many doctor mortgage programs that allow you to close with $0 money out of pocket by also financing your closing costs, but Arvest offers one of those programs. Here are the physician loan details:

  • 0% down up to $1,000,000
  • 5% down up to $1,500,000
  • 103% mortgage financing option with no money down up to $1,000,000.
  • Arvest will only work with primary residences that are single family and owner occupied.
  • You’ll need a minimum credit score of 660 to qualify.
  • Arvest is able to work with physicians and their spouses to take into consideration income from the non-spouse but still use that income to qualify for the “doctor” mortgage.
  • Arvest can qualify you based on your income as stated in a contract and you can close on the house up to four months before your official start date.
  • They can also accept up to a 50% debt ratio, which would be helpful for professionals with higher than average student loan debt.

When you sign up for an Arvest doctor home loan, you’ll get assigned to a private banker who will be able to offer you discounts on other financial products. You’ll also be given the top level “Platinum Club” checking account for free.

When you’re ready to connect with a loan officer, use our form to quickly match with eligible loan programs based on your specific circumstances.

2. First Horizon Bank

First Horizon Bank is a full-service bank located in Memphis, Tennessee. They recently completed a merger with Iberia Bank and are scheduled to be merged into TD Bank in 2023, making this an active bank. They also happen to have a competitive doctor mortgage program.

We spoke with a loan officer at First Horizon Bank to get some inside information on its doctor mortgage program for you. Here’s what you need to know:

  • 0% down up to $1,500,000
  • 30 Year Fixed Rate
  • ARMs available
  • Primary residences only
  • Student loan debt is not included in calculating debt-to-income ratio when deferred for more than 12 months.
  • Maximum financing amount is $2 million
  • No PMI
  • No pre-payment penalty

When you’re ready to connect with a loan officer experienced in doctor mortgages, use our form to quickly match with eligible loan programs based on your specific circumstances.

3. Flagstar Bank

Flagstar Bank was chartered in 1987 and holds around $23 billion in assets, making it a medium-sized bank. However, they punch well above their weight when it comes to mortgages and operate as the sixth largest bank mortgage originator nationally. Not surprisingly, a big part of their success has been a doctor mortgage program.

We contacted Flagstar Bank to learn more details about their physician loan. Here are the key terms that you need to know?

  • 5, 7 & 10 year ARM  products
  • 0% down up to $1,000,000 (first time homebuyer – have not owned in last 3 years)
  • 5% down up to $1,500,000 (first time homebuyer – have not owned in last 3 years)
  • If not a first-time home buyer
  • 10% down up to $1,000,000
  • 15% down up to $1,500,000
  • 20% down up to $2,000,000
  • 25% down up to $2,500,000
  • Fixed products
  • 10% down on the jumbo fixed to a max loan amount of $1,000,000 with no PMI
  • 20% down on the jumbo 30 year fixed with a max loan amount of $3,000,000
  • For first time home buyer (have not owned within last 3 years):
  • 3% down up to $647,200
  • If not a first time home buyer:
  • 5% down up to county limit (with and without PMI)
  • Medical doctors and lawyers are eligible. We weren’t able to confirm that the program is available to dentists and other (non-doctor) medical professionals, but encourage you to contact them to confirm.

The total reported lender fees in the disclosures we reviewed as of the date of this article were $1,395 ($550 processing and $845 for underwriting).

Another benefit of Flagstar is that they can submit a full file to underwriting for an actual loan approval (not pre-approval) without having a purchase contract signed, which makes your competitive with all cash offers and the process less stressful for you. There is no application fee or prepayment penalties. They also offer a float down, buy down, and recast option.

When you’re ready to connect with a loan officer experienced in doctor mortgages, use our form to quickly match with eligible loan programs based on your specific circumstances.

4. Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank is one of the largest banks in the Untied States. I bet you didn’t know that it’s headquartered in the smallest state: Rhode Island. With over $160 billion in assets, it’s no surprise that Citizens offers a full range of financial products, including a physician loan.

We contacted a loan officer at Citizens Bank to learn more about their doctor mortgage loan program specifically. Here are details you won’t find anywhere else:

  • 5% down up to $850,000
  • 10% down up to $1,000,000
  • Practicing licensed medical doctors (MD and DO), dentists (DDS and DMD), residents and research physicians are eligible
  • Licensed residents, fellows and interns can borrow a maximum of $600,00 (or $400,000 if unlicensed)
  • No more than 10 years out of residency
  • Self-employed professionals are eligible with a two-year history of self-employment income
  • New medical professional graduates who are under contract for residency within 60 days of closing and have not yet obtained a license are eligible
  • No private mortgage insurance
  • 40% max debt-to-income ratio
  • Student loan debt that’s deferred for more than 12 months from the date of closing can be excluded from DTI calculations
  • Construction-to-permanent loans available with a maximum of 89% loan to value ratio
  • Fixed rate or adjustable-rate mortgage options
  • Interest-only option on certain adjustable-rate mortgage options (max financing at 89%)

When you’re ready to connect with a loan officer experienced in doctor mortgages, use our form to quickly match with eligible loan programs based on your specific circumstances.

5. Huntington Bank

Huntington Bank is the 26th largest bank in the United States. Operating primarily out of the Midwest, their mortgage group can service a large part of the country. Huntington has a competitive physician loan product with no money down financing options.

We contacted a loan officer at Huntington Bank to gather information about the doctor mortgage and here’s what we heard back:

  • 0% down payment up to $1 million
  • 5% down payment up to $1.25 million
  • 10% down payment up to $2 million
  • Maximum financing up to $2 million
  • Eligible degrees are: MD, DO, DDS, DVM or DMD
  • Residents are eligible
  • Minimum credit score is 700
  • 2 months reserves required (6 months for jumbo loans) – reserves can be held in bank or investment accounts
  • Gift funds for down payment are OK
  • 30-year and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages
  • ARMs available in 7/6, 10/6 or 15/6 terms
  • Can close on the strength of a new employment contract without paystubs
  • No private mortgage insurance
  • No prepayment penalty

When you’re ready to connect with a loan officer experienced in doctor mortgages, use our form to quickly match with eligible loan programs based on your specific circumstances.

Should you consider an Arkansas physician mortgage?

Ask yourself: Is an Arkansas physician mortgage loan the right fit for you? It very well could be. The answer to that question involves where you are in your life and career and where you see yourself going moving forward. 

Have you planted your roots in Arkansas? Is your job with a government agency or major area hospital and you’re doing something you will want to do for a long time? If you have been in a position for more than a year or two, enjoy the community and lifestyle in your region, and see yourself staying in Arkansas, a doctor mortgage could be a perfect fit. 

Are you comfortable with a potentially higher rate on your mortgage? That higher rate comes with a good deal of benefits, including little to no money down, and may be worth it. If you prefer to find a lower rate, you may want to save toward a down payment on a conventional mortgage. 

Keep in mind that your Arkansas lender offering a physician mortgage is looking for a long-term relationship with you. They covet high-income professionals, and this is something that could benefit you. If you don’t want to commit beyond your mortgage to a lender, however, waiting for a conventional mortgage may be the better fit. 

Interest rates for lenders can vary, but you might also factor in the ability to refinance your loan in the future as you’re weighing whether or not to take out a physician home loan. Keep in touch with your recruiters to gather all the documents like your job contract, as this will be needed in the home loan application process.

The type of doctors who take out physician loans in Arkansas

The following are some classic examples of doctors and professionals in Arkansas who have decided to go with a physician mortgage. Reading through these examples can help clarify whether or not a doctor mortgage is right for you. From primary care to internal medicine and behavioral health, the payment options for buying a home loan through a physician loan is valuable for medical providers who have limited resources for a current down payment.

Doctor with little or no down payment

Laura married her husband early on in medical school and had a child soon after. They both knew they were moving in the same direction, and starting a family felt right. Now at the start of their residencies at Mercy Hospital Northwest, the couple is looking around for mortgage options. 

Raising a child while in medical school didn’t do their savings any favors, so they will only qualify for a mortgage that requires little to no money down. Thankfully, the fact that they have their residencies lined up puts them in good stead with a local lender who specializes in physician mortgage loans. The lender will also give special consideration to their student loans, which are still sizable. A physician loan is the best option for this growing family. 

Doctor who prefer investing in stocks

Tom has an established plastics practice in Little Rock with a great clientele and great income. He has been able to make some impressive investments, too, in a stock portfolio. While the time is right to move his family into a larger home, he doesn’t want to sell his portfolio to have the cash available for a down payment. Instead, he’s decided to turn to a physician mortgage loan to finance his house. His income qualifies him for 100% financing, allowing him to maximize his leverage and keep his investments intact. 

If you’re looking to explore physician mortgage loans in other states, check out our national overview of physician loans as a starting point in your search.

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Joshua Holt

Joshua Holt is a licensed mortgage loan originator (NMLS #2306824) and founder of Biglaw Investor. His mortgage expertise lies in the areas of professional mortgage loans, particularly for lawyers, doctors and other high-income professionals. Prior to Biglaw Investor, Josh practiced private equity mergers & acquisition law for one of the largest law firms in the country.

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