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5 min read May 23, 2023

Mobile Home Loans: A Comprehensive Guide

In today’s fast-paced world, affordable housing has become a pressing concern for many individuals and families. With rising real estate prices and limited options, mobile homes have emerged as a viable solution for those seeking affordable housing.

However, purchasing a mobile home often requires financing in the form of mobile home loans. In this blog, we will explore the world of mobile home loans, discussing their benefits, eligibility criteria, the application process, and tips to secure the best loan terms.

What are Mobile Home Loans?

Lenders design mobile home loans, also known as manufactured home loans or trailer home loans, to assist individuals and families in purchasing mobile homes.

Manufacturers construct mobile homes in factories and transport them to their permanent locations as prefabricated dwellings. Mobile home loans provide borrowers with the necessary funds to acquire a mobile home and, in some cases, may include financing for the land on which the home will be placed.

The Difference Between Mobile and Manufactured Homes

People often use the terms “mobile homes” and “manufactured homes” interchangeably, but there exist subtle differences between the two. These distinctions primarily lie in their construction standards, transportation methods, and legal definitions.

Builders construct manufactured homes, also referred to as factory-built homes, entirely in a factory, adhering to strict building codes set by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in the United States. These homes rest on a steel chassis, which both ensures structural integrity and facilitates their transportation.

After completion, manufacturers transport manufactured homes to their final location and place them on a permanent foundation or concrete pad. These homes adhere to specific standards for design, construction, energy efficiency, and safety.

In contrast, builders constructed mobile homes before the implementation of HUD building codes in 1976. During that time, these homes adhered to earlier, less stringent standards compared to the current regulations. Although people still commonly use the term “mobile home,” it often signifies homes constructed before the implementation of HUD codes.

How To Qualify For Mobile Home Financing

Here are some general factors to consider to increase your chances of qualifying for mobile home financing:

  • Credit Score: A good credit score is essential for securing favorable financing terms. Lenders typically consider credit scores to assess your creditworthiness. Aim for a credit score of 600 or higher to improve your chances of qualifying for a loan.
  • Income Verification: Lenders want to ensure that borrowers have a stable source of income to repay the loan. Prepare documents such as pay stubs, tax returns, and bank statements to verify your income. If you’re self-employed, be ready to provide additional financial documentation.
  • Debt-to-Income Ratio: Lenders assess your debt-to-income ratio, which compares your monthly debt obligations to your income. Aim for a debt-to-income ratio of 43% or lower, including your potential new monthly housing expenses.
  • Down Payment: Saving for a down payment demonstrates your financial responsibility and reduces the loan amount. Lenders typically require a down payment of 5% to 20% of the mobile home’s purchase price. The higher the down payment, the better your chances of qualifying for financing.
  • Employment Stability: Lenders prefer borrowers with a stable employment history. A consistent employment record demonstrates your ability to maintain a regular income and repay the loan. Avoid changing jobs shortly before applying for financing.

Types Of Loans For Mobile or Manufactured Homes

Here are some common types of loans for mobile or manufactured homes:

  • Chattel Loans: Chattel loans are specifically designed for mobile or manufactured homes that are not permanently affixed to the land. These loans treat the home as personal property, similar to a car loan. Chattel loans typically have shorter loan terms and higher interest rates compared to other loan types.
  • Conventional Loans: Conventional loans, also known as traditional mortgage loans, are offered by banks and lending institutions. They are suitable for both mobile or manufactured homes placed on private land and land-home packages. Conventional loans typically require a higher credit score and a larger down payment compared to other loan types.
  • FHA Loans: FHA loans are insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and are available for mobile or manufactured homes that meet certain criteria. FHA loans are more accessible to borrowers with lower credit scores and offer more flexible down payment requirements. These loans have specific guidelines regarding the condition and installation of the home.
  • VA Loans: VA loans are offered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and are exclusively available to eligible veterans, active-duty service members, and surviving spouses. Borrowers can use VA loans for manufactured homes as long as they meet certain requirements, including the classification of being real property.


Mobile or manufactured homes provide an affordable housing option for many individuals and families. Securing financing for these homes is crucial to make homeownership a reality. Understanding the types of loans available and the eligibility criteria can help borrowers navigate the process more effectively.

Lenders design chattel loans specifically for mobile or manufactured homes that are not permanently affixed to the land. Conventional loans offer to finance for both land-home packages and homes placed on private land.


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