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  • Writer's pictureNathan Zarcaro

[2024] A First Horizon Bank Physician Loan Guide: Who is it Best For?

Updated: Dec 20, 2023

First Horizon Bank physician loan

Eligible Degrees

​MD, DO, OMS, DPM

Financing

  • ​100% financing up to $2.5 million

  • 90% financing up to $1.5 million

Eligible States

​AL, AR, CT, GA, FL, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, TX, VA, NJ, NY

Minimum Credit Score

​670


Key Insights:



  • The First Horizon Bank physician loan is available to physicians, oral surgeons, and podiatrists.


  • Borrowers may access up to $1.5 million at 100% financing, and $2.5 million at 90% financing.


  • The program is best for buyers in expensive states and doctors on an H-1B visa.


 

As physicians leave medical school with $200,000 - or more - in student loan debt (or more), banks across the country continue to offer creative physician loan programs to help doctors buy homes earlier in their careers.


These programs are oftentimes geared towards the highest earning medical professionals in the country. One of the most popular programs is offered by First Horizon Bank, a southeastern United States based bank with about 250 branch locations.


Here is a guide to their physician loan program.




First Horizon Bank physician loan program


In addition to banking, investment planning, and insurance products/services, First Horizon offers a physician mortgage program. Here are the eligibility and program details.



Program eligibility


First Horizon's physician loan is open to MDs, DOs, OMSs, and DPMs, meaning doctors, oral surgeons, and podiatrists qualify. Other eligibility requirements include:


  • A minimum credit score of 670, which is lower than many other lenders

  • Be a United States citizen or legal resident on an H1-B visa

  • Being in AL, AR, CT, GA, FL, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, TX, VA, NJ, NY


The program also takes into account your debt-to-income ratio, but fear not if you have lots of student loans. Flexible underwriting criteria help prospective buyers qualify even when they may not be eligible for a conventional loan.


Finally, your student loans are not included in consideration when deferred for over one year.



Program details


The program allows physicians to borrow up to $2.5 million, so long as they have a 10% down payment. Those that want 100% financing may qualify up to a maximum home purchase price of $1.5 million.


Qualifying providers should contact a First Horizon Bank Private Client Services Relationship Manager to learn more.



Pros/cons to a First Horizon Bank physician loan


Pros


1. Large maximum loan amount


The fact that physicians can borrow up to $2.5 million can be both a pro and a con, if they buy irresponsibly. However, this purchase cap can help doctors with stable income to buy more house upfront, saving them from future moves, closing costs, and stress.



2. No minimum age requirement


First Horizon does not set any minimum age requirement to participate, so oral surgeons and other doctors can participate as soon as they have an offer letter or employment contract in hand.



Cons


1. Residents don't qualify


Many physician mortgage programs offer home financing to qualifying fellows and residents completing the final stages of their education. This helps young doctors to buy homes in a new city or state.


This is not an option with First Horizon Bank. However, applicants may still close on a home up to 90 days before their employment start date, as indicated on an offer letter or employment contract.



2. Exclusion of pharmacists, veterinarians, PAs, and NPs


It has become more common for physician lenders to include other types of providers in their program eligibility. Unfortunately, First Horizon Bank's program is more traditional in that it is only open to doctors, dentists and podiatrists.



Should you take a First Horizon physician loan?


Ultimately, borrowers across the country have a huge selection of special mortgage programs to consider. This can make it difficult for doctors to know which program to pick.


We recommend the First Horizon physician loan for:



1. Buyers in expensive states


As it relates to First Horizon, we feel that their program is best for those that live in qualifying high cost of living states, like Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Virginia.


This is because their maximum loan amount of $2.5 million is among the highest in the industry. Doctors buying and working in the nation's most expensive states oftentimes will often use this financing to buy their forever homes and grow into them, as long as their income can support it.


But in more affordable states like Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, this $2.5 million loan cap may incentivize providers to buy homes that they don't need and cannot afford.



2. Legal, non-United States citizens


First Horizon also includes H-1B visa holders among qualifying applicants. So, if you're not a United States citizen but plan to practice medicine under the H-1B program first Horizon may be the perfect choice for you.


Many other lenders, like BMO Bank, mandate that program participants be United States citizens.



3. Doctors with subpar credit scores


Since eligibility begins for doctors with credit scores as low as 670, those with slightly subpar financial pasts may still qualify to buy their dream homes.


They'll still want to make sure they're being financially responsible, but it is nice that those that made an irresponsible financial decision early in life won't continue to be penalized for it.



Application process


After getting more details from a Private Client Services Relationship Manager, you may begin the loan application process. The process will require you to open a checking account with the bank, but this is easily done.


The RM assigned to answer your questions will likely ask you for basic contact information (like your name, address, and phone number), as well as information about the property you need to finance.


This information will then be passed to a loan officer at First Horizon, and you'll be able to complete the online application.



Gathering financial documentation


The mortgage application is standard and will require you to have financial records and paperwork on hand, like:


  • Two recent paystubs

  • Bank/investment account statements

  • 2 years of federal and/or state tax returns

  • Verification of identification


You may be asked to provide other documents, such as an offer letter, to help proceed through the underwriting process.



Wait for an approval notice


After submitting your application, you'll just sit back and wait for your loan approval or rejection letter. If approved, you'll be provided lots of disclosures and paperwork that contain estimated closing costs, loan amounts, interest rates, and more important information!



Conclusion


We've been writing about physician loans at The Student Debt Destroyer for a while now, and First Horizon's program is among the most unique we've come across. Between its high loan limits, low credit score requirement, and access for non-US citizens, the program certainly stands out in the industry.


Is a First Horizon physician loan of interest to you?


Tell us why or why not in the comments below!



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About Nathan Zarcaro

Nathan Zarcaro is the founder of The Student Debt Destroyer and is passionate about personal finance related causes.  A 2018 graduate of Providence College's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Nathan studied Finance, and has worked for industry leaders in both finance and healthcare.  In his free time, Nathan enjoys playing golf and traveling with his wife Brigid.

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