Getting your first home loan can feel like climbing a hill riddled with obstacles. From saving for large down payments and closing costs to deciphering acronyms on loan paperwork, sometimes it can feel like there’s no support for first-time home buyers.
But, luckily, that’s where you’re wrong. There is help for you, and being a first-time home buyer opens doors to some great financial breaks.
First-Time Home Buyer Programs
You know that feeling when you’re staring at all the different ice cream flavors at the store, trying to decide which one is the right one? Well, finding loan assistance for first-time home buyers is kind of like that. There are lots of options and figuring out which one to choose can be puzzling. Ultimately, these special programs, from both government and nonprofit organizations, can make the home buying process smoother and less daunting. Your real estate agent is a great starting point for making sense of all of this. They’ll be able to point you to the right lenders and resources.
Knowing what’s possible can help you feel more confident that you’re ready to buy.
First-time home buyer nonprofit programs
Is your income kind of low? Debt pretty bad? No worries, you don’t have to be rolling in money to get the keys to your first house.
Life can throw a lot of stuff at us, but there’s a whole world of community nonprofits and educational organizations out there to help you become a homeowner.
They offer all sorts of ways (and positive vibes) to help make it easier to get a house. This includes help with closing costs, down payment assistance, and grants (which are basically loans you don’t ever have to pay back). These loan programs can make a world of difference.
If you’ve got some big-time obstacles in your life, whether it’s money, health, or anything else, check out these first-time home buyer programs:
|The Program||How It Can Help|
|Habitat for Humanity||Volunteers work with eligible families to help build safe and affordable homes. They also provide financial education to prepare you to own your home for a long, long time.|
|National Home Buyers Fund||NHF helps finance affordable housing with down payment and closing cost assistance, as well as flexible loan options. If you don’t qualify, they’ll still give you free homeownership counseling.|
|Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America||NACA offers extremely low-interest loans with no down payment, closing costs or fees. Yes, please!|
If you don’t end up qualifying for help from a nonprofit, there’s still hope.
Local, state and federal governments offer financial assistance and helpful first-time home buyer loans. Looking to move to an up-and-coming area? Well, these assistance programs are common for buyers in areas designated for revitalization.
First-time home buyer government programs
While local and state home-buying assistance programs vary widely, there are multiple federal home loan programs that all first-time home buyers have access to.
- Good Neighbor Next Door purchase discounts program
- Fannie Mae’s HomePath ReadyBuyer Program
- Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM)
First-Time Home Buyer Loans
Government-backed loans are designed to give everyone, regardless of their background, an opportunity to enjoy the security, pride and wealth-building that can come with homeownership.
Most first-time home buyers who qualify for a government-backed loan get to take advantage of grants, down payment assistance and sometimes even closing costs assistance.
This can help you boost your savings for other aspects of buying a house.
Here are some popular government-backed loan options:
- FHA home loans
- FHA 203(k) home improvement loans
- USDA home loans
- VA home loans
- Native American Direct Loan (through the VA)
- Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac conventional loans
Qualifying for First-time Home Buyer Government Programs
Want to know if you’ll qualify for one of these government-backed programs? Typically, eligibility depends on your not having owned a house at any point in the past 3 years.
But, of course, each type comes with its own specific requirements and standards, sometimes for the borrower and sometimes for the property itself.
It pays to be in the know. Understanding your financial situation inside and out, as well as your home buying goals, can help you select the government-backed loan that makes the most sense for you.
What Else Should First-Time Home Buyers Know?
Knowing how you’ll be able to pay for your house is just one part of the puzzle. But, thankfully, you’re not alone in this process and there are plenty of people who’ve been through this and have your back through it all.
Check out some of our other, no-nonsense guides for first-time buyers looking to take control of the home buying process.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. “FHA Mortgage Limits.” Retrieved November 2021 from https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/housing/sfh/lender/origination/mortgage_limits