Multifamily Mortgage Bankers and Brokers since 1997

Get Your Free Multifamily Loan Quote

Student Housing Loans/Financing

Student Housing Loans -  Best Commercial Loan Rates

By Terry Painter, Mortgage Banker

Member of the Forbes Real Estate Council

At Apartment Loan Store, we have a deep background in Student Housing Lending, and are proud that this is a niche we excel in. Since 1997 we have specialized in funding all types and sizes of student housing properties located near universities and colleges. With four Student Housing Programs to choose from, we will find the right program for you. Student Housing differs from all other multifamily properties in that it's more often rented by the bed, not the unit. Most lenders require that the students sign yearly leases and that the leases are guaranteed by a parent. To locate a student housing property for sale we recommend that you go to: or

We have Four Student Housing Financing Programs:

  • Fannie Mae Student Housing Loans/Financing
  • Freddie Mac Student Housing Loans/Financing
  • CMBS Student Housing Loans/Financing
  • Bank Student Housing Loans/Financing

Fannie Mae Student Housing Loans/Financing 

Starting at $1,000,000, our Fannie Mae general student housing loan program requires occupancy to compromise between 20% and 80% students. We also have the FNMA Dedicated Student Housing program, which requires student occupancy to be 80% or greater. Eligible student housing properties must be located within 2 miles of a major university that has enrollment at a minimum of 10,000 students with 50% or more of them being full time. The subject property, if not in easy walking distance of the university, has to be on a university sanctioned bus line. The property cannot offer food service. The property can be on university-owned land if the key principal on the student housing loan has 5 years or more experience and operates at least one other dedicated student housing property on university owned land.  For more information go to:

Fannie Mae Student Housing Loans/Financing  Terms and Requirements Highlights 

  • Minimum Loan $1,000,000           
  • Minimum Credit Score 680
  • Unlimited Maximum Loan            
  • Minimum 1.30 DSCR
  • 5- to 10-year fixed rates & term 
  • Experience in Student Housing usually required
  • 75%, If cash out 70%                        
  • Student Housing Management company required
  • 25-year amortization     
  • Subordinate Financing not allowed
  • Minimum Occupancy 90%/90 days                
  • Assumable
  • No Debt to Income Ratio  
  • Yield Maintenance Prepayment Penalty

Freddie Mac Student Housing Loans/Financing

Starting at $5,000,000, our Freddie Mac Student Housing Mortgage program requires that the subject student housing property be located within 2 miles of colleges and/or universities near a major bus route to the schools. Minimum enrollment requirement is 8,000 students. Unlike Fannie Mae, several schools within close proximity of each other can be combined to make the minimum enrollment. Subject properties must have 50% students or more. Properties must have a minimum of one bathroom for every two bedrooms, and each apartment unit must have its own full kitchen. Dorms, residence halls, sharing a central kitchen or large bathroom are not allowed. A centralized food service is also not permitted. 12-month leases are encouraged, although 9 month leases are considered. Parental guaranteed leases are encouraged but not required if the student has strong credit. For more info on this program go to:

Freddie Mac Student Housing Loans/Financing Terms and Requirements

  • Minimum Loan $5,000,000
  • 660 Minimum Credit Score Required
  • Up to 80%, $100M Maximum         
  • DSCR: 1.30, 1.35 if cash out refinance
  • 30-Year Amortization                      
  • Subordinate Financing not allowed
  • Non-Recourse                       
  • 20% Commercial Space allowed
  • Rate fixed up to 10 years               
  • Defeasance Prepayment Penalty
  • No Debt to Income ratio        
  • Assumable
  • Interest Only may apply        
  • Mezzanine loan to 90% CLTV allowed

CMBS Student Housing Loans/Financing

At Apartment Loan Store we use our Commercial Mortgage Backed Security (CMBS) loans for Student Housing financing for borrowers who have less than perfect credit and financial strength. Borrowers who have fairly good credit with some delinquencies such as a short sale may qualify (credit dings must be explainable) – or perhaps they have a lower net worth and cash liquidity than what commercial bank and our other student housing loan programs require. It really helps if we have mitigating factors like a good property location, or good historical cash flows. Our CMBS loans still have low rates and can be fixed for up to 10 years with a 30-year amortization. We can also lend on properties in smaller towns or tertiary markets that are located near smaller colleges and universities. Your CMBS loan will be pooled with other mortgages with the same maturity and sold has part of a mortgage backed security bond on Wall Street. For more information about CMBS loans go to:

CMBS Student Housing Loans/Financing Terms and Requirements

  • Minimum Loan $1,500,000
  • 650 Minimum Credit Score
  • Maximum Loan $50,000,000          
  • DSCR: 1.30
  • LTV: Up to 75%                              
  • Defeasance or Yield Maintenance Prepayment Penalty
  • 5- and 10-year fixed rates           
  • Commercial Space Allowed
  • Non-Recourse                            
  • Loan is Assumable
  • 30-Year Amortization               
  • Experience in Student Housing not required
  • No Debt to Income Ratio           
  • Annual leases usually required

Bank Student Loan Housing Loan/Financing Programs

At Business Loan Store, our long-term relationship with national, regional and community banks makes it possible for us to lend on smaller student housing properties that have unique qualities that don’t fit our other student housing loan programs. An example would be a commercial building with many bedrooms and a large shared kitchen rented to mostly students – or a smaller property near a small college that is in need of a loan under a million dollars. These banks usually keep these loans in their portfolio (on the banks books). Usually rates are competitive and fixed for 5-7 years with a 25-to-30-year amortization.    

Bank Student Housing Loans/Financing Terms and Requirements

  • Minimum Loan $500,000                           
  • 660 – 680 Minimum Credit Score
  • Maximum Loan $7,000,000                  
  • DSCR: 1.20 – 1.25
  • LTV up to 75%                         
  • Declining Prepayment Penalty
  • 3-,5-,7-,10-Year Fixed Rates             
  • Commercial Space Allowed
  • 25-30 year amortization                     
  • Loan is usually not assumable    
  • Recourse Required                          
  • Annual Leases might not be required
  • Debt to Income Required            
  • Secondary Financing usually not allowed
  • Global Ratio 1.40                          
  • Experience in Student Housing may not be required


Need help calculating your DSCR? Try our free Debt Service Coverage Ratio Calculator here.

Want to learn more about DCSR and why it is the Number One Factor in analyzing the risk level of your business or investment property loan? Read our current article here! 


Getting the right loan and the lowest rate requires wisdom and finesse. If you’re ready to partner with a team of professionals who’ve built a foundation on straight talk and true strategy, we are the loan store for you.


(503) 376-7303     Get a Quote


HUD Loans are one of the best options with the current level of interest rates. For a complete guide to HUD Multifamily Loans please go here:

HUD Multifamily Loans - The Complete Guide