While you’re spending all your free time scrolling through Zillow, you might also be wondering whether you can actually afford to buy a home. Your state’s first-time homebuyer program could help make your homeownership dreams come true by offering assistance with your down payment and closing costs, in addition to competitive interest rates.
Typical eligibility criteria require that you must not have owned property before (or in the three years prior to applying), you must use the home as your primary residence, and you must meet income and credit score requirements. To help you find the right fit for your needs, we’ll cover the major first-time homebuyer programs in every state.
- Each state provides some form of down payment assistance or affordable home loans for first-time homebuyers.
- Typically, someone is considered a first-time homebuyer if they have not owned their home for at least the past three years.
- Many programs cap the maximum amount of assistance, either at a percentage of the home price or at a set dollar limit.
- Your state also may require you to complete a homebuyer education course to receive the loan or funding.
The Step Up homeownership program provides assistance of 4% of the sales price (capped at $10,000) on Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loans, and conventional loans approved by the state housing finance authority (HFA).
Applicants must use the money to purchase a new or existing home in Alabama. Also, homebuyers must apply for either an FHA or HFA Advantage loan through a participating lender. Other eligibility requirements include:
- Annual income at or below $130,600
- A debt-to-income ratio of 45% or lower
- A credit score of 640 or higher
In addition, applicants must complete a homeownership education course to be eligible for the program.
First Home Limited
The First Home Limited program helps first-time homebuyers in Alaska. However, the actual requirement is that applicants must not have owned a primary residence in the past three years, so you may qualify even if you’ve previously purchased a home. The three-year requirement may also be waived if the home is in a targeted area or if the borrower is a qualified veteran.
Targeted areas are in tracts identified by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). You can enter the street address in this Census Bureau form to find out.
Eligibility is also based on income limits, which vary based on location and whether the property is in a targeted area. The acquisition cost is also limited in nontargeted areas; for example, the maximum eligible cost of a single-family home in Juneau for 2021 is $422,845.
The HOME+PLUS Home Buyer Down Payment Assistance Program is administered by the Arizona Industrial Development Authority. It provides a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage along with up to 5% down payment assistance to people who are struggling to save enough money for a down payment and closing costs.
To qualify, borrowers must have an annual income of less than $112,785 and credit scores of at least 640. Also, at least one of the borrowers must have completed a homebuyer education course before closing. In addition, the down payment assistance program can only be used in conjunction with a HOME+PLUS mortgage.
ADFA Move-Up Loan Program
The Arkansas Development Finance Authority (ADFA)’s Move-Up Loan Program provides 30-year mortgages with fixed rates and no prepayment penalty. The loan must be your first mortgage, but it can be an FHA, conventional, Rural Development, or Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loan. Borrowers must purchase a home for less than $424,100.
The Move-Up Program can also be combined with the state’s other incentive programs. For example, the Mortgage Credit Certificate Program offers first-time homebuyers a dollar-for-dollar tax credit of up to 35% of the mortgage interest paid each year, up to a maximum of $2,000 per year, for as long as the home is their primary residence.
CalHFA FHA Program
The California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) has an FHA program for first-time homebuyers that includes an HFA-insured 30-year mortgage with a fixed rate. Eligible properties must be the borrower’s primary residence and include manufactured homes, single-family homes, and even some condominiums.
Borrowers must also complete virtual or in-person homebuyer education counseling and collect their certificate of completion. Income limits vary based on the home’s location; for example, in San Bernardino County, the maximum qualifying income is $153,000.
CHFA Down Payment Assistance Grant
The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) offers a down payment assistance grant for up to 3% of a borrower’s first mortgage. For example, a borrower could receive up to $7,500 in down payment help for a $250,000 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.
Borrowers must have a minimum 620 credit score, meet income limits, and complete a homebuyer education class. In addition, borrowers need to contribute at least $1,000 toward the home’s purchase.
Downpayment Assistance Program Loan
The Connecticut Housing Finance Authority’s Downpayment Assistance Program (DAP) Loan helps borrowers cover their down payment and closing costs. The loan is considered a second mortgage on the home, and through Dec. 31, 2022, APRs range from 1.00% to 1.50%. Borrowers can apply for up to $20,000 in assistance.
Borrowers must qualify for a CHFA mortgage with an approved lender and attend a homebuyer education class. They also need to contribute at least $1,000 toward the down payment.
DSHA Homeownership Loan
The Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) has a home ownership mortgage program that provides a 30-year loan with a fixed interest rate at or below market rates. The loan amount cannot exceed $417,000, although there is no limit on the purchase price. To be eligible, borrowers need a minimum credit score of 620; those with credit scores below 660 must participate in housing counseling. Maximum income for one- or two-person households is $113,400 in New Castle County and $99,600 in Kent and Sussex counties.
Borrowers also qualify for an interest-free second mortgage of 2% to 5% of the loan amount to use toward closing costs, as well as a federal tax credit for up to $2,000 of mortgage interest each year.
District of Columbia
Home Purchase Assistance Program
The District of Columbia’s Department of Housing and Community Development’s Home Purchase Assistance Program for first-time homeowners provides up to $80,000 in down payment and $4,000 in closing cost assistance. Payment on loans is deferred for at least the first five years unless the borrower refinances their mortgage or moves to a new primary residence.
Assistance amounts and income limits vary based on household size. For example, a three-person household with income under $90,700 could receive up to $40,000. Borrowers must contribute either $500 or 50% of liquid assets above $3,000, whichever is the larger amount. The contribution may be limited to $500 if the borrower is disabled, elderly, or displaced.
Homebuyer Loan Program
The Florida Housing Finance Corporation’s Homebuyer Loan Program offers 30-year fixed-rate mortgages to first-time homeowners through participating lenders. The minimum credit score is 640, and borrowers must complete a homebuyer education course. Maximum purchase prices and incomes vary by county.
Eligible borrowers may also qualify for down payment and closing cost assistance up to $10,000 or 5% of their loan amount, some of which may be forgivable. Prospective borrowers can use the Homebuyer Loan Program Wizard to determine their eligibility and loan amounts.
Georgia Dream Homeownership Program
The Georgia Dream Homeownership Program offers down payment loans of $7,500 to first-time homebuyers. Public protectors, health care providers, educators, active military members, and people who work in those industries may qualify for $10,000. Borrowers with disabilities or who have a family member with a disability may also receive $10,000.
Homebuyer counseling is required. Borrowers must have less than $20,000 in liquid assets and contribute at least $1,000 toward the home’s purchase. Depending on the county, the income limit for a two-person household is $72,000 or $84,000, and the maximum home price is $275,000 or $325,000.
HHFDC Affordable Resale Program
The Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation (HHFDC) offers the Affordable Resale Program, through which it sells units in specific housing developments to qualified residents for below-market rates. Costs range from $250,000 for a studio apartment to $500,000 for a three-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom family unit.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien who lives in Hawaii and at least 18 years old, live in the purchased unit, earn enough to qualify for a home loan, and own no other land or property. Once your application is accepted, you’ll be entered into a lottery to buy a property, which you must occupy for the first 10 years you own it.
Idaho Housing Down Payment Assistance
The Idaho Housing and Finance Association offers a second mortgage for down payment and closing cost assistance of up to 7% of the purchase price. The second mortgage has a fixed rate of 5% payable over 10 years.
Borrowers need a credit score of 620. They must also attend a homebuyer education course and contribute a minimum of 0.5% of the sales price.
IHDA Mortgage Down Payment Assistance
The Illinois Housing Development Authority provides several options for first-time homebuyers. The Access Forgivable loan offers 4% of the purchase price, up to $6,000, and borrowers won’t have to pay it back if they live in the home for 10 years. The Access Deferred loan offers 5% of the purchase price, up to $7,500, and borrowers will need to pay it back when their first mortgage matures or when the home is refinanced or sold. The Access Repayable Loan provides 10% of the purchase price, up to $10,000. Borrowers will be required to pay back the loan over the course of 10 years, but there is 0% interest.
To be eligible, borrowers must contribute the greater of $1,000 or 1% of the purchase price on the purchase of a condo, townhouse, or single-family home on less than five acres of land.
The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority offers the First Place Program, which provides down payment assistance up to 6% of the purchase price for first-time homebuyers. Borrowers must get an FHA 30-year fixed loan.
The minimum credit score is 640 for borrowers with a debt-to-income ratio (DTI) less than 45% or 680 for borrowers with a DTI between 45% and 50%.
In Iowa, first-time homebuyers can take advantage of the FirstHome program, which offers a choice between two options. Borrowers can apply for either a $2,500 grant to assist with the down payment and closing costs or a loan for the lesser of $5,000 or 5% of the home’s sale price.
For either option, the maximum income limit ranges from $79,500 to $99,700, depending on the county. The minimum credit score is 640, and the maximum DTI is 45%. The home’s purchase price must not exceed $311,000—although a home in a targeted area could cost up to $381,000. The handy eligibility checker can help you quickly determine whether you qualify.
First Time Homebuyer Program
Kansas Housing’s First Time Homebuyer Program allows borrowers to apply for a 0% interest loan for 15% to 20% of the home’s purchase price. The loan is forgiven if the borrower remains in the home for 10 years. The program applies to existing homes, not new construction, and certain cities and counties are excluded.
There is no credit score requirement, but borrowers must show the ability to get a loan at a current market rate. Also, their median income must not exceed 80% of income levels in their area. Borrowers must come up with at least 2% of the money needed to purchase the home.
Down Payment Assistance
The Kentucky Housing Corporation provides a Regular Down Payment Assistance Program for first-time homeowners in the form of a loan up to $7,500. Homes selling for less than $346,644 qualify. The loan has a 3.75% interest rate and is repayable over 10 years.
The agency also offers an Affordable Down Payment Assistance Program for borrowers who meet income limits, which vary by county. The assistance amount is $7,500 and is repayable over 10 years at 1.00% interest.
Mortgage Revenue Bond Assisted Program
First-time homebuyers in Louisiana can apply for the Mortgage Revenue Bond Assisted Program, which offers up to 4% of the mortgage amount to help cover a down payment and closing costs. Borrowers must have a minimum credit score of at least 640, and the home’s purchase price cannot exceed $271,164. Income limits vary depending on the area.
First-time homebuyers who earn 80% or less of their area’s median income can apply for the Mortgage Revenue Bond Home Program. It’s similar to the Assisted Program but offers between 5% and 9% of the loan amount and has lower income limits.
First Home Loan Program
The Maine State Housing Authority’s First Home Loan Program assists first-time homebuyers. When borrowers get an FHA, RD, or VA loan or use a mortgage insurance company approved by MaineHousing, they may need to pay a minimal down payment—or none at all.
In addition, the Advantage program provides $3,500 in down payment and closing cost assistance. Borrowers must contribute 1% toward the home’s cost and take a homebuyer education class. The minimum credit score is 640.
1st Time Advantage
The Maryland Mortgage Program includes three 1st Time Advantage options. 1st Time Advantage Direct provides competitive interest rates. 1st Time Advantage 5000 provides a $5,000 loan for down payment assistance and closing costs. The loan has no interest, and payments are not due until the first mortgage ends by repayment, sale, or refinancing. There’s also the 1st Time Advantage 3% Loan, an interest-free loan for 3% of the mortgage amount to be used toward your down payment and closing costs.
Borrowers must be at least 18 years old and have a valid Social Security number, though they don’t need to be citizens. They cannot have owned a property in the past three years and must have less than 20% of the home’s value in liquid assets. Income limits range from $92,500 to $154,420, depending on the county and the size of the household.
MassHousing Down Payment Assistance
In Massachusetts, the MassHousing Down Payment Assistance program can provide up to $50,000 in down payment help for borrowers in Boston or one of the Gateway cities (Attleboro, Barnstable, Brockton, Chelsea, Chicopee, Everett, Fall River, Fitchburg, Haverhill, Holyoke, Lawrence, Leominster, Lowell, Lynn, Malden, Methuen, New Bedford, Peabody, Pittsfield, Quincy, Revere, Salem, Springfield, Taunton, Westfield, and Worcester). Borrowers buying homes in other communities could get up to $30,000 in down payment assistance. Regardless of the city, the loan amount cannot exceed 10% of the home’s purchase price.
Income limits vary by community, which you can easily check using MassHousing’s search tool.
MI Home Loan
First-time homebuyers in Michigan can take advantage of the MI Home Loan, which provides down payment assistance up to $7,500, or up to $10,000 in certain ZIP codes.
All borrowers must complete a homebuyer education class and have a credit score above 640. The home must cost less than $224,500. Household income limits vary based on location and household size.
First-time buyers in Minnesota who qualify for a Minnesota Housing mortgage can apply for the Start Up program and obtain loans to assist with their down payment and closing costs. The monthly payment loan option provides up to $17,000 at the same rate as the mortgage and is repayable over 10 years. The Deferred Payment Loan offers up to $12,500, interest-free, with no monthly payments. The full amount is due at the end of the mortgage term. The Deferred Payment Loan Plus offers up to $15,000, again with no interest or monthly payments, but with a balloon payment due at the end of the term.
All three options are subject to income limits, which vary based on your county and family size.
Smart Solution Mortgage
Mississippi Home Corporation’s Smart Solution Mortgage offers first-time homebuyers a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at a competitive rate. Borrowers are also eligible for Smart Solution Second, a down payment loan for 4.5% of their first mortgage. The 10-year loan will have the same interest rate as the first mortgage.
Borrowers must have a credit score of at least 640 for FHA, Freddie Mac, USDA, or VA loans, and household income can’t be more than $95,000.
First Place Homebuyer Program
In Missouri, the First Place Homebuyer Program provides two options for first-time homebuyers. For borrowers who don’t need help with their down payment or closing costs, the Non Cash Assistance Loan offers a lower interest rate and lower monthly payments.
The second option is a Cash Assistance Loan, which provides 4% of the mortgage amount toward the down payment and closing costs. If the borrowers remain in the home for 10 years, the loan amount is forgiven. The maximum purchase amount for a single-family home is $311,979 or $381,308, depending on the location. Income limits vary based on location and household size.
Down Payment Assistance Program
First-time buyers in Montana can qualify for the Bond Advantage Down Payment Assistance Program, which provides a 15-year loan for up to 5% of the home’s sale price, up to $12,500. The interest rate is the same as on the borrower’s first mortgage.
Buyers with household incomes under $55,000 (or $65,000 for households of three or more people) may qualify for the MBOH Plus 0% Deferred Down Payment Assistance Program. This interest-free loan provides up to 5% of the sale price, capped at $10,000. It has no monthly payments and instead must be repaid in full when the borrower refinances, pays off, or sells the property.
Both options require a minimum credit score of 620 and a homeowner education course. Borrowers must provide at least $1,000 of their own money to help purchase the home. In addition, the MBOH Plus Program requires a DTI of less than 43%.
First Home Program
Nebraska offers a number of homebuyer assistance programs. The First Home Program may be a good fit for borrowers who don’t need financial assistance with their down payment or closing costs. Maximum purchase prices range between $311,000 and $381,00 for a one-unit home, depending on the location, and unlike most states, Nebraska publishes a table of current interest rates.
The First Home Grant Program provides a $5,000 grant for down payment or closing cost assistance, which does not need to be repaid. Household income varies by location.
Home Is Possible Program
In Nevada, the Home Is Possible Program offers borrowers a 30-year loan for up to 5% of the home’s mortgage amount to use for down payment and closing costs.
Borrowers must not earn more than $105,000 for an FHA, VA, or USDA loan, and income limits for conventional loans vary. Also, borrowers must have a minimum credit score of 640 (680 for a manufactured home), and the home cannot cost more than $647,200. Borrowers will also have to pay a one-time fee of $755 at closing and complete a homebuyer education course.
New Hampshire Housing Homeownership Programs
New Hampshire Housing offers a number of homebuying assistance programs to help buyers with different needs and priorities. The Our Home Flex Plus program provides up to 4% of the mortgage amount in assistance for down payments and closing costs. The loan is forgiven after four years if the borrower doesn’t sell or refinance the home or file for bankruptcy. The borrower must complete a homebuyer education class and must earn less than $137,400.
Purchasing a fixer-upper? The Purchase Rehab program may be a good fit. It offers up to $35,000 on top of your mortgage to help you pay for safety and energy-efficiency improvements. It requires a 3.5% down payment but can be combined with Our Home Flex Plus for assistance with that cost.
NJHMFA Down Payment Assistance Program
The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) Down Payment Assistance Program gives first-time home buyers a $10,000 loan for down payment and closing cost expenses. The loan is interest-free, has no monthly payments, and is forgiven after five years as long as the borrower stays in the home.
Income limits and maximum purchase prices vary, and you can learn more by contacting participating lenders through the NJHMFA.
First-time homebuyers in New Mexico can take advantage of FirstHome, an affordable mortgage option designed for buyers with low to moderate incomes. Few details are provided, so you’ll have to contact a local lender to learn more. FIRSTHome can also be combined with FirstDown, which offers loans for up to $8,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance.
To qualify for either program, borrowers must have a minimum credit score of 620 and complete homebuyer counseling. In addition, they must contribute $500 toward the purchase of the home. Both programs cap purchase prices at $311,980 to $433,920, depending on the county, and income limits vary based on location and household size.
Down Payment Assistance Loan
In New York, first-time homebuyers can take advantage of an interest-free Down Payment Assistance Loan of $3,000 or 3% of the purchase price (up to $15,000), whichever is higher. There are no monthly payments, and the loan is forgiven after 10 years as long as the borrower does not sell or refinance within that period.
Information about maximum home prices, income limits, or credit score requirements can be obtained from a local lender. Borrowers must contribute at least 1% of the purchase price.
NC 1st Home Advantage Down Payment
First-time homebuyers in North Carolina can apply for an NC 1st Home Advantage Down Payment loan for up to $8,000 in interest-free down payment assistance. Starting at the end of the 11th year, 20% of the loan amount is forgiven each year. By the end of year 15, the loan is entirely forgiven.
Borrowers must have a credit score of at least 640. In addition, they must meet income limits, which vary by county, as well as sales price limits.
Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance
First-time borrowers in North Dakota can obtain assistance with down payments and closing costs through the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency. The loan is for 3% of the mortgage amount. Applicants have to meet income limits, which depend on their county and household size, and they must complete a homebuyer education course.
The agency also offers a number of other programs designed for borrowers in certain situations, such as single parents, veterans, and people with disabilities.
Your Choice! Down Payment Assistance
The Ohio Housing Finance Agency’s Your Choice! Down Payment Assistance program can help first-time homeowners with down payment and closing costs. It provides a loan for either 2.5% or 5% of the home’s purchase price. If the borrower remains in the home for seven years, the loan is forgiven; if they sell or refinance during that time, they must repay the full amount.
The minimum required credit score is 650 for an FHA loan and 640 for a conventional, USDA, or VA loan. Borrowers must also meet income and purchase price limits, which vary by county and household size.
OHFA Homebuyer Down Payment Assistance
First-time homebuyers in Oklahoma can apply for Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency Homebuyer Down Payment Assistance. Assistance amounts vary, so you’ll need to contact a participating lender for more information.
Down Payment Assistance
In Oregon, funds to help first-time homebuyers are distributed to organizations, who then provide down payment assistance. You can speak with a housing counselor to get more information on services in your area. Oregon provides a list of contact information for housing counselors on its website.
Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency Grant and Keystone Advantage Assistance
First-time homebuyers in Pennsylvania may qualify for a $500 grant to assist with closing costs and the down payment if they obtain an HFA Preferred loan.
In addition, they can apply for a Keystone Advantage Assistance Loan, which offers up to 4% of the mortgage amount, interest-free and payable monthly and amortized over 10 years. Borrowers must have a minimum credit score of 660 and less than $50,000 in liquid assets after deducting closing costs.
Rhode Island Housing’s Extra Assistance program provides a loan for the lower of either $15,000 or 6% of the home’s purchase price to first-time homeowners who get a RIHousing mortgage.
Borrowers must have at least a 620 credit score, and they must complete a homebuyer education course.
SC Housing Homebuyer Program
In South Carolina, the SC Housing Homebuyer Program offers mortgages with a low fixed interest rate, as well as interest-free down payment assistance up to $8,000. There are no monthly payments, and the loan is forgivable in either 10 or 20 years, depending on the borrower’s income. Also, the home’s maximum purchase price is $325,000.
Fixed Rate Plus Loan
First-time homebuyers in South Dakota can apply for the Fixed Rate Plus loan, an interest-free loan of either 3% or 5% of the home’s cost in down payment assistance. There are no fees or monthly payments, and repayment is due when you sell the home or pay off your mortgage. Borrowers should contact approved lenders for more information.
Great Choice Home Loan
In Tennessee, the Great Choice Home Loan program offers 30-year fixed-rate mortgages for first-time homebuyers. Borrowers need a minimum 640 credit score and must meet income and purchase price limits, which vary by county and household size.
In addition, borrowers may qualify for a Great Choice Plus down payment assistance loan. This loan provides $6,000 or 6%, depending on the home’s purchase price, to help cover the down payment and closing costs. A homeowner education class is required.
Home Sweet Texas Home Loan Program
Texans can take advantage of the Home Sweet Texas Home Loan Program, which provides mortgage loans at low interest rates. In addition, the program offers down payment assistance up to 5% of the total loan amount.
The down payment assistance is either a grant or forgivable loan with 0% interest and no monthly payments. The loan is forgiven after the buyer remains in the house for three years. A minimum 620 credit score is required, and income limits depend on your county.
Down Payment Assistance
In the state of Utah, buyers can get a Utah Housing Loan as well as a down payment assistance loan. The second loan’s interest rate is 2% higher than the first loan’s rate. To qualify, borrowers must have a minimum credit score of 660.
Homebuyer education is not required but is recommended. Income and purchase price limits vary by county and household size.
VHFA MOVE and ASSIST
The Virginia Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) offers a number of homebuyer assistance programs to complement 30-year mortgages from participating lenders. MOVE often has the lowest rate and includes savings on the state property transfer tax, as well as up to $15,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance through ASSIST. The assistance is a 0% interest loan with no monthly payments, payable when the mortgage is paid off or refinanced or the home is sold.
To qualify for ASSIST, you must have less than $30,000 in liquid and non-retirement assets. Income and purchase price limits for MOVE vary by county.
Virginia Housing’s Loan Combo includes a down payment grant, a mortgage credit certification to save money in federal income tax, and a free homebuying course. Income and purchase price limits vary by county and household size, and borrowers must contact an approved lender to learn more about their eligibility and potential rates.
Down Payment Assistance
The Washington State Housing Finance Commission provides down payment assistance to homebuyers who get a Home Advantage or Opportunity Loan. The agency reports that the typical homeowner receives $10,000 toward their down payment and closing costs. The interest rate can range from 0% to 4%, and the loan is added to your mortgage, so you pay a single bill each month. The loan is deferred, so it’s not payable until the home is paid off, sold, or refinanced. The minimum credit score is 620, and the household income limit is $160,000.
The commission also offers programs designed for veterans, homebuyers with disabilities, and buyers in specific areas of the state.
The West Virginia Development Fund’s Homeownership Program includes a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage for up to 100% of the home’s cost. Buyers may also qualify for assistance with their down payment and closing costs in the form of a loan for up to $7,500 or $10,000, depending on the loan-to-value ratio.
Borrowers must attend homebuyer education counseling and must purchase properties under five acres. Income limits and maximum sales prices vary by location.
WHEDA Down Payment Assistance Programs
The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) provides two down payment assistance programs. WHEDA Easy Close DPA provides up to 6% of the purchase price as a 10-year mortgage at the same fixed rate as the first mortgage and monthly payments.
The WHEDA Capital Access DPA provides up to either $3,050 or 3% of the purchase price, whichever is higher. It’s a 30-year mortgage with 0% interest and no monthly payments. The balloon payment is due when the borrower pays off the first mortgage, refinances, or sells the home.
First-Time Home Buyer
The Wyoming Community Development Authority has a First-Time Home Buyer program for a 30-year mortgage with low interest rates. Borrowers must complete homebuyer education, purchase a property less than 10 acres, and meet income and purchase price limits.
Borrowers can also qualify for the Down Payment Assistance program, which has a 0% interest rate (and 0.080% APR, based on a $5,500 average loan amount). There’s no monthly payment, and borrowers will repay the full amount at the end of the mortgage or when the home is sold or refinanced. It requires a 620 minimum credit score, and the borrower must also contribute $1,500 toward the home’s purchase.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is a first-time homebuyer when it comes to down payment assistance programs?
Generally, for someone to be considered a first-time homebuyer, they must either be buying a home for the first time, or have not owned a home for the last three years. However, exact qualifications vary from state to state.
Why do first-time homebuyer programs have income limits?
These programs have income limits because they're usually aimed at helping people buy a home who may otherwise struggle to come up with enough funds for the down payment and/or closing costs. Since many first-time homebuyer programs offer assistance in the form of deferments or even grants (which do not need to be repaid), the thinking is that they will help low- to moderate-income buyers the most. They provide an incentive to homeownership and provide a path for such buyers to build wealth.