Can You Use a Conventional Loan for an Investment Property?

A two family side by side investment propertyAre you ready to dive into real estate investing? Imagine opening the door to new opportunities with a key that unlocks the potential for passive income and financial growth.

One key factor is using a conventional loan for an investment property. While traditional loans are typically associated with buying a primary residence, they can also be utilized to purchase rental properties.

This article will explore the ins and outs of using a conventional loan for an investment property, discussing the requirements, benefits, and potential risks involved. Whether you're a seasoned investor or just starting, understanding your financing options is crucial to achieving your real estate goals.

Let's explore how you can leverage a conventional loan to realize your investment property dreams.

Key Takeaways

  • Investment property loans have stricter rules, including higher down payments and credit score requirements, than standard mortgages for primary residences.
  • Different loan options, such as conforming, jumbo, and government-backed loans, are available for financing investment properties.
  • Qualifying for an investment property loan involves meeting specific requirements related to down payment, credit score, debt-to-income ratio, and cash reserves.
  • Tax benefits for investment properties can be more generous than those for owner-occupied properties, including deductions for mortgage interest and property taxes.

What is a Conventional Loan?

Did you know that a conventional loan, a type of mortgage not backed by the government, is commonly used for investment properties with stricter requirements, such as higher down payments and credit scores?

A conventional loan may be a suitable option when considering real estate financing for an investment property. It offers competitive interest rates and flexible loan terms, but keep in mind that loan eligibility criteria are more stringent than those for government-backed loans.

Be prepared to undergo a thorough loan application process to secure financing for your investment property. Let's examine the differences between financing an investment property and a primary residence.

Investment Property vs. Primary Residence

When comparing investment properties to primary residences, you'll notice differences in loan terms and requirements.

Investment property loans typically have stricter rules and higher down payment requirements and may have higher interest rates than primary residence loans.

Qualifying for a conventional loan for an investment property may involve meeting specific criteria such as a credit score, income verification, and demonstrating the property's rental income potential.

Differences in Loan Terms and Requirements

If you're considering using a conventional loan for an investment property, you'll likely encounter stricter terms and requirements than loans for primary residences. It's like walking through a maze with hidden obstacles.

Investment property loans typically require a higher down payment, ranging from 15% to 20%, and may require a higher credit score. Your debt-to-income ratio, property value, and credit score will all significantly determine the loan amount and type you qualify for.

Mortgage lenders will scrutinize these factors closely to assess the level of risk involved in lending to you for an investment property. Understanding these differences is crucial as you navigate the loan process for your investment property, ensuring you meet the necessary criteria for approval.

Qualifying for a Conventional Loan for an Investment Property

Navigating the maze of stricter requirements and terms for qualifying for a loan on an investment property can be challenging. However, critical factors like down payment, credit score, and debt-to-income ratio are essential for success.

When applying for a conventional loan for an investment property, lenders will scrutinize your financial stability, creditworthiness, and ability to repay the loan. A higher down payment, typically around 15-20%, is required compared to standard home loans.

Your credit score is crucial in determining eligibility, with most lenders looking for scores above 700. Additionally, your debt-to-income ratio should be low to demonstrate your ability to manage additional debt.

These factors are crucial for real estate investors seeking financing for their investment properties, ensuring a solid foundation for a successful ROI.

Moving on to the next section about the pros and cons of using a conventional loan for an investment property, let's explore the advantages and disadvantages of this financing option.

Pros and Cons of Using a Conventional Loan for an Investment Property

When considering a conventional loan for an investment property, you should weigh the pros and cons carefully.

Conversely, a conventional loan offers competitive interest rates and terms for financing your investment property.

However, the stricter requirements, higher down payment, and potential limitations on the number of financed properties may pose challenges for some investors.


Pros of using a conventional loan for an investment property include the ability to finance up to 10 properties through Fannie Mae's 5-10 Properties program. This program allows you to expand your real estate investment portfolio and increase your potential rental income. Additionally, conventional loans typically offer lower mortgage rates than other types of property loans, making them an attractive option for financing rental properties.

Working with a conventional lender for your investment property can give you more flexibility and options in the real estate investing market. With the potential to finance multiple properties and secure favorable mortgage rates, a conventional loan can be a beneficial choice for your investment endeavors. However, there are also some cons to consider when utilizing this type of financing.


Consider the drawbacks of opting for this type of financing when looking to expand your real estate investment portfolio. While using a conventional loan for an investment property can be appealing, there are some essential factors to keep in mind:

  • Higher interest rates compared to primary residence loans
  • More extensive down payment requirements, typically starting at 15-20%
  • Mortgage insurance may be required for lower down payments.

Buying an investment property with a conventional loan may face challenges such as higher costs and stricter lending criteria. However, alternative financing options are available that may better suit your investment needs.

Alternatives to Conventional Loans for Investment Properties

If you want to finance an investment property, don't overlook alternative options like home equity loans or private financing to diversify your funding sources and increase flexibility in your investment strategy.

And remember, the key is to maximize your returns while minimizing risks. While conventional loans are a common choice, exploring other avenues, such as FHA loans or tapping into home equity, could offer different terms and conditions that better suit your investment goals.

Remember that using a home equity loan may put your primary residence at risk if you default, so weigh the pros and cons carefully. Considering various financing options can help you tailor your approach to match your specific needs and objectives when investing in real estate.

Next, let's explore some tips for using a conventional loan for an investment property.

Tips for Using a Conventional Loan for an Investment Property

Explore some helpful tips for maximizing your investment potential with a standard mortgage for your rental property.

When using a conventional loan for an investment property, consider putting down a larger down payment to secure better interest rates. Maintaining a high credit score is crucial to qualify for favorable loan terms.

Keep your debt-to-income ratio in check to show lenders your financial stability. Providing documentation of rental income can boost your eligibility for the loan. When calculating your budget, remember to factor in property management costs and potential vacancies.

By following these tips, you can set yourself up for success in financing your investment property.

In the next section, let's discuss the risks and considerations of using conventional loans for investment properties.

Risks and Considerations

Navigating the financial landscape of acquiring properties for profit can feel like walking a tightrope without a safety net. When considering a conventional loan for an investment property, knowing the risks and considerations involved is crucial.

  1. Increased Down Payment: Conventional loans typically require a higher down payment for investment properties, ranging from 15-20%.
  2. Stricter Approval Criteria: Lenders have requirements more stringent for investment property loans, such as higher credit scores and lower debt-to-income ratios.
  3. Market Volatility: Economic conditions can impact the availability of loans and interest rates, making it essential to stay informed and adaptable in your investment strategy.

Understanding and considering these risks can help you make informed decisions when using a conventional loan for an investment property.


In conclusion, using a conventional loan for an investment property can be like planting seeds in fertile soil; it requires careful nurturing and patience to see growth and success.

While it offers stability and potential returns, it comes with risks and considerations.

Exploring alternatives and following tips can help navigate the journey.

Just as a gardener tends to their garden, a prudent investor must tend to their investment property with diligence and foresight.

Multiple Financed Properties for the Same Borrower
Eligibility Matrix

Recommended Reading

Frequently Asked Questions about Conventional Loans
Gift Funds for a Conventional Loan: A Beginner's Guide
Income Guidelines to Qualify for a Conventional Loan
The Benefits of a Conventional Loan