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Wyoming is known for the breathtaking scenery of Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. Its Western culture, rich history and delicious dining options make it a great place to live.
If you’re searching for a home in Wyoming, remember to shop around and compare mortgage rates. What may seem like a small difference could add up to thousands over the course of a 15-year or 30-year mortgage.
Mortgage debt in Wyoming
Credit Karma members with mortgages in Wyoming had average mortgage debt of $195,227 in 2020, with average monthly mortgage payments of $1,239.
That puts Wyoming a bit below average for both mortgage debt and average monthly mortgage payments compared to Credit Karma members across the U.S. in 2020.
Types of home loans
If you choose to finance your dream home, you might be overwhelmed with the number of mortgage loan options out there. Here are some of the more common mortgage types Wyoming homeowners may consider.
Conventional loans in Wyoming
Conventional loans are mortgages that aren’t part of government programs. These loans tend to be good for people with solid credit and a down payment of at least 3% to 5%.
Wyoming FHA loans
FHA loans are a good option for first-time homebuyers to explore — particularly if your credit is less than perfect. That’s because you may be able to qualify with credit scores as low as 580 with a 3.5% down payment or 500 with a down payment of 10%. This FICO® score requirement is the FHA minimum standard. In general, additional lender credit score requirements may apply.
The FHA loan limit in 2021 is generally $356,352 for a one-unit property, but it can reach as high as $822,375 depending on where you live.
Two areas in Wyoming have higher limits.
- Sheridan, WY
- Jackson, WY-ID
You can find the exact limit by county on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development website.
VA loans in Wyoming
If you’re an eligible veteran or service member comparing mortgage rates in Wyoming, a VA loan can be attractive since down payments and mortgage insurance typically aren’t required by the VA, and you may be able to qualify even if your credit isn’t great.
Similar to FHA loans, VA loans are insured by the federal government but issued by private lenders.
Conforming loan limits in Wyoming
Conforming loans are a type of home loan that meets certain loan limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. This means they can be bought by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, federal-government-sponsored enterprises that guarantee mortgages.
Loans that exceed conforming loan limits are known as jumbo loans. Lenders often consider these loans riskier than conforming loans.
All of Wyoming’s counties except for Teton county have a conforming loan limit of $548,250 in 2021.
First-time homebuyer programs in Wyoming
If you’re hoping to buy your first home, there may be some assistance programs available to you in Wyoming.
- Standard First-Time Homebuyer: Offered by the Wyoming Community Development Authority (WCDA), the Standard First-Time Homebuyer program provides a 30-year fixed, low-rate mortgage plus down payment assistance. To be eligible, you must complete homebuyer education and meet purchase price and income limits. Also, your property can’t be larger than 10 acres.
- Spruce Up: With the Spruce Up program through WCDA, you can roll your mortgage and rehab into one loan. It may be a good option if you’d like to make nonstructural repairs, repair or replace your HVAC or electrical systems, or create a more accessible home. The requirements of Spruce Up are the same as the First-Time Homebuyer program.
- Down Payment Assistance: This WCDA program can allow you to borrow up to $10,000 to cover down payment costs. To qualify, you need a minimum credit score of 620 and at least $1,500 of your own funds.
Mortgage refinancing rates in Wyoming
If you’re thinking about refinancing your mortgage, keep a few things in mind:
- Break-even cost — Once you know the closing costs for your refinance, you can use any savings on your monthly mortgage payment to calculate how long it will take you to recoup that investment and “break even.”
- Cash-out refinance — Have you accumulated equity in your home that you’d like to convert to cash? A cash-out refinance lets you refinance your home for more than what you owe and get cash in return. But you’ll owe the full amount plus interest and you’ll end up owning less equity in your home, which means less cash in your pocket if you sell in the future.
- Loan term — You also may want to either shorten or extend your loan term. For instance, if you have a 30-year mortgage, you may want to convert it to a 15-year loan. Keep in mind that reducing your term likely means you’re paying more each month — but less in interest over time. Lengthening your loan term may mean you pay less each month, but more interest over the course of the mortgage.