- The Citizens Bank Physician Mortgage Program allows recent medical graduates and healthcare professionals to obtain a mortgage with a low credit score of up to $1,000,000 with 10% down.
- These mortgages are available for condos and planned unit development homes (PUD) such as townhouses.
- The Citizens Bank doctor loan program is available in over 25 states but not across the entire US.
Owning your own home is a dream for many graduates. If you’ve managed to get through medical school and its associated post-graduate programs while maintaining a great credit score, you may find that seeking a traditional home loan is a good route to take. For those who have had to take on considerable debt, however, the scene is more complicated.
The average medical student in the US has somewhere between $200,000 and $300,000 in debt to pay off, which makes maintaining a good credit score very difficult. The trouble is, without this good score, qualifying for a real estate mortgage to finance your primary residence can be next to impossible.
With the Citizens Bank physician mortgage program, you get access to specialized financing from a national bank that can allow you to invest in your financial future faster. Here’s what you need to know about this program, its pluses and minuses, and how you can benefit.
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Pros/Cons of Citizens Bank physician mortgage loans
A physician’s mortgage with Citizens Bank has numerous benefits.
You can get a loan with a low minimum credit score. It’s true that other banks also provide physicians’ mortgage programs but they often require a minimum credit score of 720 or above. In contrast, with Citizens Bank, you’re required to have a minimum credit score of 700, giving borrowers potential access to a mortgage even with considerable debt.
Citizens Bank provides physicians mortgages with the following terms:
- 5% down up to $850,000
- 11% down up to $1,000,000
Applicants to this program who have a relatively high debt-to-income (DTI) ratio can still find Citizens Bank will approve their mortgage.
To qualify for a traditional mortgage, you often need a lower DTI as this is considered less risky for the lender.
You can choose from a variety of mortgage types with. With Citizens Bank, you can get access to various mortgage types. The exact interest rate will depend on credit score and market conditions. These include:
- Fully-amortizing fixed-rate mortgage
- Adjustable-rate mortgage
- Interest-only option. (This is only available on select adjustable-rate programs and provides a maximum of 89% financing).
Your mortgage loan can be up to:
- $600,000 maximum for licensed residents, fellows and interns
- $400,000 maximum loan amount if you’re unlicensed
Access to lower monthly payments. Citizens Bank doesn’t require you to get private mortgage insurance (PMI) and this can be to your advantage. With this extra payment, your monthly bills can be lower.
High maximum loan limit. Citizens Bank provides a loan limit of up to $1,500,000 compared with many other similar programs that cap loans at $1M.
Available for a wide range of students and professionals. The Citizens Bank Physician’s Mortgage program is available to:
- Practicing physicians such as licensed medical doctors and dentists
- Osteopathic doctors
- Doctors of medicine in dentistry (DMD)
- Dental surgeons (DDS)
- Medical residents
- Medical professionals who have been out of residency for no more than 10 years
- Research physicians
- Self-employed medical professionals with a two-year history of being self employed
- Newly licensed medical residents (you can be currently employed, in residency, or about to begin your new employment or residency within 60 days of your mortgage closing)
- New medical professional graduates who are under contract for residency within 60 days of closing and have not yet obtained a license.
You can defer your student loan debt. This specialty mortgage program allows you to exclude any student loan payments deferred for at least 12 months from your debt-to-income ratio. You can also use your Income Based Repayment (IBR) payment. Finally, you can use an employment contract as income to qualify leading you to home ownership sooner.
As with other doctor loans, the Citizens Bank physician mortgage program has a few drawbacks.
Only a mortgage on your primary residence. You can only get a mortgage for a primary residence with this program (new mortgage or refinance). In addition, you will have to supply a down payment and you can’t get access to a loan with 0% down, unlike some other physician’s mortgage programs.
Limited geographic availability. This mortgage program is only available in certain states including: Connecticut, District of Columbia (DC), Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia , and West Virginia.
Limited type of residence. It’s important to note this loan program can only be used to finance the purchase of a condo or a home in a planned unit development (PUD), such as a townhouse. In other words, you can’t use this program to purchase a detached single family home.
How to apply
To apply for a Citizens Bank doctor’s mortgage, check out their website and click here to find a loan officer. You can also call 1-888-514-2300 to speak with a representative.
Typically, when you apply for a home mortgage, you’ll be asked to supply an array of personal information for underwriting including:
- A letter of acceptance for your residency/fellowship with employment start date
- Tax returns from previous years
- Detailed information related to your present personal debt
- Proof of your education and degrees
- Proof of your licensing
- Your most recent bank statements
- Your social security number
Is using a Citizens Bank doctor mortgage a good idea?
If you’re a medical student in residency or a practicing medical professional less than 10 years out of your residency and you have a low credit score but money saved up for a down payment, the Citizens Bank Mortgage Program could be an ideal choice for home buying.
This program can be a great choice for those individuals looking to purchase a primary residence condo or townhome who would otherwise find it difficult to be approved for a traditional home mortgage.
If you’re looking to explore physician mortgage loans in your state, check out our state-by-state guide to physician loans as a starting point in your search.
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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.