Life Events

Early Professional Loans

New mortgage option gets families into homes more quickly.

Breanna Olaveson Jan 1, 2017

Just more than a year ago, Jordan Hillam faced a difficult but common problem. As a young orthodontist coming out of school with a good salary, he knew he could afford a mortgage payment. But saving enough for a 20 percent down payment on a home — required to avoid costly mortgage insurance — would take longer than he and his young family wanted to wait before getting into a home.

He and his wife went to every bank in their town, where they applied for and were denied home loans. Then they found Zions Bank.

“Zions was great,” Hillam says. “They took time to look at me as a person and not just as a set of numbers. They have regulations like all banks, but they were willing to look at the things I had done and the potential I had.”

Zions could do that because of a new loan option for people like Hillam. The “early professional loan” gives early career doctors, dentists, orthodontists, physician assistants, pharmacists, veterinarians, CPAs and attorneys the option to avoid mortgage insurance with only an 11 percent down payment.

“This loan allows people to save less money and to get into a home without mortgage insurance a little sooner,” says Roger Jones, manager of residential lending at Zions Bank. “Saving a 20 percent down payment, even at a high income, is difficult for early professionals, especially because of all the expenses involved in a new practice. This program gets them there about twice as fast.”

The Fine Print

The program, which began a year ago, has some requirements: It’s for professionals in practice no more than three years with a minimum combined household income of at least $150,000 per year.

The property must be owner occupied, and borrowers must have a FICO score of at least 720. The down payment must equal at least 11 percent of the home’s purchase price, but all or part of that amount may come as a gift. The maximum loan amount is $750,000.

Planning for the Future

The program — like the people who qualify for it — looks to the future. The bank is not only relying on the future success of clients to make the loan work, but it is also looking out for the future interests of the bank.

“We at Zions recognize that these are customers we want for a long time, so it’s worth structuring a program for them that allows them to get into a home sooner rather than later,” Jones said.

Young professionals welcome the opportunity.

“I really appreciate them helping me out,” Hillam says. “It was a breath of fresh air talking to Zions. Everyone else looked at the superficial, but Zions looked just a little deeper.”

How to Apply

To apply for the early professional loan, potential homeowners can call or go to any Zions Bank branch and speak to a mortgage loan officer.

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