Government loans are loans that are basically insurance policies for lenders to make loans for borrowers that do not have the typical 20% downpayment or equity in their homes. The loan programs are aimed at making home ownership affordable to lower income households and first time homebuyers. The loans are FHA, VA and USDA loans.
FHA Loan Characteristics
FHA loans require a 3.5% down payment.
Full income documentation
Credit scores may go as low as 580 with compensating factors
You must pay an upfront mortgage insurance premium
You must pay a monthly mortgage insurance premium
There are a myriad of other requirements because the government is involved.