A mobile home, also known as a manufactured home, is a transportable, prefabricated structure moved via truck to a location and used as a permanent residence. Almost 20 million people in the U.S. live in manufactured homes.
Although they are technically homes, getting a mobile home loan is different from getting a traditional home loan. This is primarily because most mobile homeowners don’t own the land that the mobile home sits on. They own the mobile home itself and pay rent for the lot it sits on, rendering the mobile home real property. As a result, they don’t qualify for a traditional mortgage and instead qualify for a chattel or personal loan. These are usually for a shorter period of time and come with a higher interest rate.
Since most people who want to buy a mobile home will need a loan, we reviewed more than 10 mobile home loans and narrowed them down to the top five. These best mobile home loans were chosen based on the types of mobile homes they finance, their coverage area, the types of loans they offer including government-backed loans, and the company reputation.
Read on to find out which mobile home loan is right for you.
The 5 Best Mobile Home Loans
Best Overall: Manufactured Nationwide
Manufactured Nationwide lends in all 50 states and has over 100 years of combined manufactured home lending experience. Unlike other lenders, they don’t just have a division devoted to manufactured and mobile home loans—their entire company focus is on these types of loans. Their goal is to provide loans to those who may not qualify elsewhere.
We chose Manufactured Nationwide as our best overall mobile home loan provider because it offers competitive fixed rates, lends in all 50 states, and it offers loans for different types of mobile homes. Their process is also relatively quick. Typically, it takes 30 to 60 days to go through the entire loan process and close on your new home.
Unfortunately, Manufactured Nationwide has suspended their one-time close construction loans for manufactured homes, but they are still offering one-time close loans for true modular prefab and stick-built properties, and alternative construction loans for mobile homes are available.
Manufactured Nationwide’s services and features include:
- Loans for new and used manufactured and modular homes
- Loans for single-, double-, and triple-wide mobile homes
- One senior banker to work with you throughout the entire purchase process
- Construction loans
- Offers government-backed loans including FHA and VA for qualifying homes that must be affixed to land that you own
Keep in mind that it doesn’t offer loans for homes in a mobile home park or on leased land.
Loan requirements and pricing for Manufactured Nationwide:
- Loans starting at $50,000 for renovations and up to $2 million for purchases
- Down payments range from 0% for a VA loan to 3.65% for an FHA loan
- Minimum FICO score is 500 for an FHA loan and 620 for a VA loan
- Debt-to-income ratio up to 43%
- Average interest rate is 3.4%
- Loan term is either 15 or 30 years
Manufactured Nationwide is a division of Magnolia Bank, which has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Customers of Manufactured Nationwide like its customer service, timely responses, and the overall professionalism of the company.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance
Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, Inc. (VMF) is a national lender offering financing for manufactured homes. It has a partnership with Clayton Homes, a largely manufactured home builder, and is a Berkshire Hathaway company. It has been in business for over 40 years and has closed more than 200,000 loans.
We chose VMF as our runner-up for best overall mobile home loans because it offers loans nationwide, has competitive rates with flexible loan qualifications, and its partnership with Clayton Homes makes it easier for clients to go through the home buying process. Typically, it takes two weeks to close on the home and up to 60 days if you’re financing the land as well.
VMF services and features include:
- New and used manufactured and mobile home loans
- Home improvement loans including financing for energy-efficient improvements
- Loan servicing for traditional loans
- Fixed-rate, adjustable-rate, and FHA-backed loans
- Traditional home loans
Loan requirements and pricing for VMF are as follows:
- Loans start at $75,000 and can exceed $600,000
- Down payment minimum is 3.25%
- Minimum FICO score is 580 to 620 depending on the type of loan
- Debt-to-income ratio is around 40%
- Average interest rate is 5% to 10%
- Loan term is either 15 or 30 years
VMF has an average rating of 3.2 stars on Trustpilot with customers primarily complaining about high interest rates, but the reviews on their website were positive stating that securing financing was easy and they provide quality customer service.
Best for Bad Credit: 21st Mortgage Corporation
21st Mortgage Corporation operates in 46 states and Washington D.C. It was founded in Knoxville, Tenn., in 1995 with a staff of four and has grown over the past 25 years to over 800 employees. Clayton Homes acquired the company in 2003, and 21st Mortgage Corporation owns and services more than 180,000 mortgages valued over $9 billion.
We choose it as our best mobile home loan for borrowers with bad credit because it does not require borrowers to have a minimum FICO score in most states and it also offers mobile home loans in mobile home parks, which not all lenders offer. Home-only loans take about four to six weeks to close and loans with land may take up to eight weeks to close.
21st Mortgage Corporation's services and features include:
- Mobile and manufactured home loans for new and pre-owned homes
- Auto and mobile home insurance
- Loans for homes located in mobile home parks
- Loans for homes with permanent and non-permanent foundations
- Innovative loan programs with down payments made up of cash, land equity, or trades
Loan requirements and pricing for 21st Mortgage Corporation are as follows:
- Loans start at $13,737
- Down payments range from 0% to 35% and can be a combination of cash, trade, and/or land equity
- No minimum FICO score in most states
- Debt-to-income ratio needs to be under 43%
- Average interest rate is 6% to 12%
- Loan term varies depending on the type of loan
- Zero-money-down loan products are available for qualifying loans used on primary residences
While their customer service gets mixed reviews, customers find the company helpful with payments and making payment arrangements, and feel the company is professional and responsive.
Best for Good Credit: MHL
ManufacturedHome.Loan (MHL) is based in Irvine, Calif., and has several years of mobile home loan industry experience. It prides itself on promoting homeownership and offering some of the most competitive rates in the country. It offers a variety of loan products and has a customer service team that is always available.
We chose MHL as the best mobile home loan for borrowers with good credit because it offers competitive interest rates to well-qualified borrowers, as well as down payment assistance and 100% financing options for buyers with high FICO scores. Loans can typically be funded in two to six weeks.
MHL services and features include:
- Loans for mobile, manufactured, and modular homes in mobile parks and on owned land
- Construction loans
- Loans for new and used mobile homes
- Down payment assistance
- FHA, VA, USDA, and conventional loans
- Vacation home loans
Loan requirements and pricing for MHL are as follows:
- Loans start at $75,000 and go up to $2 million
- Down payments start at 0% to 3.5% and increase depending on the type of loan and the borrower qualifications
- Minimum FICO score is typically 700 but some government programs will allow credit scores in the 600s
- Debt-to-income ratio is 36% to 49%
- Average interest rates between 3.75% and 3.88%
- Loan terms are either 15 or 30 years
MHL is accredited with the Better Business Bureau and has an A+ rating.
Best for Low or No Down Payment: eLEND
Based in New Jersey, eLEND is a division of American Financial Resources, Inc., and combines innovative technology with educational resources in order to simplify the mortgage process. It strives to provide affordable home financing options to first-time buyers and existing homeowners.
We chose eLEND as our best mobile home loan for low or no down payments because it offers multiple loans including government-backed loans with down payments as low as 0% and other loan programs offering down payments of 3.5% with down payment assistance for qualified borrowers. If you meet eLEND’s lending criteria but don’t have a large down payment, it may be the best mobile home loan for you. Loans typically close in 35 to 40 days.
eLEND's services and features include:
- Mobile home loans
- Vacation home loans
- Multi-family home loans
- Investment properties
Note that eLEND only lends in USDA-deemed rural areas, so make sure to do your research and find out if where you are purchasing a mobile home qualifies.
Loan requirements and pricing for eLEND are as follows:
- Loans typically go up to $400,000
- Down payments start at 0% to 3.5% and down payment assistance programs are available if you qualify
- Minimum FICO score is typically 620, but a 660 or higher makes you eligible for more loans
- Debt-to-income ratio is around 41%
- Average interest rates are 2.5% with a VA or USDA loan
- Loan terms are typically 30 years
Online reviews for eLEND are mostly favorable, with customers appreciating the friendly customer service, responsiveness, and the multiple types of loan offerings.
What Is a Mobile Home Loan?
A mobile home loan is a loan that is used to finance a mobile or manufactured home. Typical mobile home loans include government-backed loans such as VA and FHA loans, chattel loans, and personal loans. Conventional loans are rarely used on mobile homes unless they’re affixed to land that you own and not in a mobile park.
Some mobile home loans can be used to finance mobile homes that are located on leased land or in mobile parks. Others require that you own the land the home is on and that the mobile home is permanently attached to the land.
Who Should Get a Mobile Home Loan?
You should get a mobile home loan if you’re interested in living in a mobile home but can’t afford to pay for one in cash. You might also want a mobile home loan if you’d like to own a home but might not qualify for a loan on a traditional home.
Keep in mind that if you want a mobile home loan, you will need to meet some minimum qualifications. If the mobile home is attached to property that you own you may qualify for a government-backed loan with a minimum FICO score of 500.
It’s not a good idea to get a mobile home loan if you’re not sure if living in a mobile home is right for you. It may be a better idea to rent one first and see how you like it. If you plan on renting a lot, you may need to pay cash for the mobile home or expect to get a personal or chattel loan with a higher interest rate.
How Much Do Mobile Home Loans Cost?
How much your mobile home loan costs depend on variables like loan amount, loan type, and interest rate. Your interest rate will likely be the most expensive cost, ranging from 2.5% for a VA or USDA loan to over 12% for a non-government backed loan.
A down payment is another cost to consider. Some loan programs offer zero down payments or down payment assistance if you qualify. Other loans require anywhere from 3.5% to 35% of the purchase price as a down payment.
If you’re financing a mobile home on a leased lot, you will need to consider how much the land is costing you and how much you’re paying for utilities and mobile home insurance.
How We Chose the Best Mobile Home Loans
We looked at more than 10 mobile home loans and narrowed them down to the best based on the types of loans they offer, including government-backed loans, as well as the types of mobile homes they finance. To evaluate mobile home loan providers, we looked for companies with solid reputations in the industry, quick loan closings, and multiple types of financing. Company and third-party reviews, loan amounts, and loan qualifications were also important criteria when choosing our top five mobile home loans.
The ones we chose offered prompt closing times, were available to an array of buyers, and gave customers a choice of loans to pick from.
BBC News. "Why do so many Americans live in mobile homes?" Accessed October 28, 2020.
Trustpilot. "Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, Inc." Accessed October 28, 2020.
Google. "21st Mortgage Corporation." Accessed October 28, 2020.
Better Business Bureau. "ManufacturedHome.Loan." Accessed October 28, 2020.