OD Mortgage: 0% to 10% Down Options for Optometrists


Key Takeaways:

  • Optometrist mortgage loans can help early-career borrowers purchase their dream home sooner with 0% to 10% down.
  • An OD mortgage offers a variety of fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages with no private mortgage insurance requirement.
  • Optometrists don’t have as many “no money down” options as other medical professions, but physician mortgage lenders are expanding eligibility as their programs continue to grow.

Optometrists looking to buy a new home might assume their OD student debt and other traditional financial barriers will hold them back. However, your degree can give you access to special home financing that provides low down payment solutions and relaxed underwriting criteria, making it easier for optometrists to secure a mortgage in today’s market.

This program — called an OD mortgage — is gaining popularity among banks and mortgage companies as they see the value in lending to the optometry profession. But currently, there are a limited number of optometrist mortgage loans available. Read on to learn more about how you can benefit from an OD mortgage.

What is an optometrist mortgage loan?

An OD mortgage falls within the umbrella of the physician mortgage loan program. These exclusive home financing programs cater to young medical professionals who often carry a lot of student debt but are on course for high lifetime earnings in a steady field.

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An optometrist mortgage loan can be used to purchase or refinance a primary residence and in some cases, second homes or vacation houses. However, investment properties are explicitly excluded.

Benefits of optometrist mortgage loans include:

  • Low down payment options ranging from 0% to 10% with no private mortgage insurance (PMI).
  • Flexible income guidelines that allow borrowers to close on a home up to 90 days before starting a new position (requires an acceptable employment contract and other conditions).
  • More lenient debt-to-income ratio calculations that acknowledge the need for student debt within the optometry profession.
  • Access to higher loan amounts above the conventional loan limit, which is $647,200 in most counties.

But why offer this special home financing to begin with? After all, it can sound almost too good to be true.

Over time, banks have recognized that optometrists and other qualifying professions (e.g. MD, DO, DMD, DDS, etc.) are excellent credit risks with lower default rates than the general public. With this type of introduction product, they’re hoping to build a relationship long-term, that way, you’ll turn to them for future personal and business banking needs.

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