First-Time Home Buyer Assistance Programs

First time Home Buyer Assistance Programs

One of the most difficult challenges many first-time home buyers encounter when buying a home is saving up for down payment. Fortunately, there are several local and national first-time home buyer assistance programs available to help home buyers with their journey to home ownership.

There are government agencies that offer government-backed mortgages that typically require low to zero mortgages. There are also state housing authorities that combine down payment grants with favorable interest rates and federal tax breaks. These first-time home buyer assistance programs improve the buyers’ chances of becoming homeowners.

There are over 180 first time home buyer assistance programs available in all 50 states to help with your payment funding, closing costs, and also tax credits.

Types of First Time Home Buyer Programs & Grants First time Home Buyer assistance

Most home buyer assistance programs can help with down payment and closing costs. Some offer local and federal tax credits to help offset the purchasing costs of first-time home buyers.

Most of these assistance programs are typically designed for first-time home buyers. Those who have not owned a home in the past three years may also be eligible for these programs. Some of these programs may require certain income caps and buying a home in a qualified area.

Here are a few types of first-time home buyer government programs and grants:

  • Down payment assistance: Different down payment assistance programs vary when it comes to benefits and eligibility. This includes mortgages that offer low down payment options and down payment assistance (DPA) loans. DPA loan options include second mortgages, deferred payment loans, and forgiven loans.
  • DPA Grants: Down payment assistance grants are essentially gifts that don’t have to be repaid.
  • Closing assistance: Closing assistance are government-sponsored programs that can help pay for closing costs.
  • Tax credits: Assistance programs that offer tax credits such as the mortgage credit certification (MCC) helps you save money on your taxes through various deductions. Both federal and state deductions can lower your taxable income. Read our article on mortgage credit certificates to learn more.
  • Government-Backed Loans: There are government-backed loans that can help eligible first-time home buyers purchase a home with little to no down-payment. Government-backed loans also make it easier for home buyers to qualify for a mortgage.

Each state will offer different programs and our comprehensive list below may have something that can help you to purchase your first home.

180 First-time Home Buyer Assistance Programs by State

Each state offers different types of first-time home buyer programs. Here are 180 examples of government programs and grants available for first-time home buyers in the following states:

Alabama

    • Alabama Step UpThis program offers a 30-year, fixed-rate conventional or FHA mortgage and 3% down payment assistance.
    • Alabama Mortgage Credit Certificates: This program offers federal income tax credits of 20% to 50% of their mortgage interest, up to $2,000.

Alaska

    • Tax-Exempt First-Time Home Buyer Program: This offers a mortgage at a reduced interest rate with limits on borrower income and the cost of the home.
    • Taxable First-Time Home Buyer Program: This offers a mortgage at a reduced interest rate without limits on borrower income and property cost.
    • Closing Cost Assistance Program: This program provides 3% to 4% of the loan amount to pay for down payment, closing costs, or prepaid items.
    • Interest Rate Reduction for Low-Income Borrowers Option: This is available to first-time home buyers so they can reduce the mortgage interest rate by 0.5% or 1%. The interest rate reduction applies to the first $180,000 of the loan.

Arkansas

    • ADFA Move-Up Loan Program: This offers home buyers an affordable mortgage which can be combined with other ADFA single family home buying incentives.
    • ADFA Mortgage Credit Certificate Program: The MCC is issued by ADFA and allows qualifying home buyers to claim a tax credit of up to 50% of the mortgage interest paid per year.
    • ADFA Down Payment Assistance Program (DPA): This provides up to $10,000 for down payment and closing cost assistance in the form of a second mortgage with a 10-year term.
    • Arkansas Dream Down Payment Initiative (ADDI): This program provides up to 10% of the purchase price of their home, maximum of $10,000 in the form of a second mortgage loan with no monthly payment. This is forgivable over five years.

Arizona

    • Home Plus Loan: This program offers 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages and financial assistance of up to 5% of the loan’s principal balance for down payment or closing costs.

California

    • MyHome Assistance Program: This program offers 3.5% of the home’s purchase price or appraised value, whichever is lower, with a cap of $10,000 as assistance to pay for down payment or cover closing costs. This is a deferred-payment subordinate loan available to low- to moderate-income first-time home buyers when taking a CalHFA mortgage loan. It doesn’t have to be paid until the home is sold, refinanced or paid off.
    • CalHFA Zero Interest Program: This provides up to 3% of the total loan amount in the form of a no-interest second loan and is deferred as long as you live in the home.

Colorado

    • CHFA Mortgage Programs: This allows eligible borrowers to combine CHFA mortgages with down payment and closing cost assistance programs.
    • CHFA Down Payment Assistance Grant: This offers up to 3% of your CHFA 30-year mortgage amount for a down payment grant. Because this is a grant, repayment isn’t required.
    • CHFA Down Payment Second Mortgage Loan: This program provides up to 4% of your CHFA mortgage amount to help pay for the down payment. The second mortgage needs to be repaid when you sell, refinance, or completely pay off the first mortgage.

Connecticut

    • HFA Advantage and HFA Preferred Loans: With these loans, eligible first-time home buyers can have lower monthly mortgage insurance premiums with a conventional mortgage. You won’t be required to pay for upfront mortgage insurance. When your equity reaches 20%, your mortgage insurance is canceled.
    • Down Payment Assistance Loan: This allows first-time borrowers to get a second mortgage of $3,000 or more to cover down payment costs. The down payment assistance loan will have the same interest rate as your primary mortgage.
    • Home Ownership for Public Housing Residents: Qualified tenants who rent in public housing or have rental assistance from CHFA, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, or a local housing authority may be able to use CHFA’s below-market interest rates to buy a first home.
    • Home of Your Own Program: This low-interest home loan with no down payment or down payment assistance is for first-time home buyers with disabilities. You may still be eligible even if you are not disabled but a disabled family member will be living in the home with you.
    • Other programs for certain professions: This include Military Mortgage Option, Teachers Mortgage Assistance, and Police Home Ownership Program.

Delaware

    • Preferred Plus Loan: This program offers a competitive interest rate on an FHA, VA, USDA or conventional mortgage.
    • First-time Home Buyer Tax Credit: This program provides a federal tax credit of up to $2,000 per year to first-time home buyers and those who haven’t owned a home in the past three years.

District of Columbia

    • C. Open Doors: This program offers below-market interest rates and provides down payment assistance of up to 3.5% of the total loan amount.
    • Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP): Eligible first-time home buyers may get up to $84,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance in the form of a no-interest loan, with no payments required for the first five years.
    • Mortgage Credit Certificate: This program allows borrowers to get a tax credit of up to 20% of their annual mortgage interest.

Florida

    • Florida HFA Preferred Conventional Loan: This 30-year fixed-rate loan offsets some of the initial costs to make conventional loans available for first-time buyers.
    • Florida HFA Preferred 3% Plus Conventional Loan: This 30-year fixed-rate loan program offers reduced mortgage insurance costs and a 3% down payment and closing cost grant, which doesn’t have to be repaid.
    • HFA Preferred Grant: This program offers up to 3% of the property’s purchase price to help pay for down payment or closing costs. This does not need to be repaid.
    • Florida Assist Second Mortgage: Qualified borrowers can borrow up to $7,500 for their down payment, which is offered at 0% interest with deferred payments.
    • Military Heroes Government Loan Program: This program provides 30-year fixed-rate FHA, VA and USDA loans to all qualified veterans and active-duty military personnel, including those who may have recently owned homes.

Georgia

    • Georgia Standard Down Payment Assistance: It offers Georgia Dream mortgage borrowers a down payment assistance of $5,000.
    • Georgia PEN: This offers a $7,500 down payment assistance to home buyers who work as public protectors, educators and health care providers, or who are active military service members and National Guard.
    • Georgia Choice: Home buyers who are disabled or have a disabled family member living with them may qualify for a down payment assistance of $7,500.

Hawaii

    • Mortgage Credit Certificate: The MCC allows borrowers to get a tax credit of 20% of their annual mortgage interest.
    • Affordable Resale Program: This program provides opportunity to first-time home buyers to buy affordable housing with a price range from $250,000 for a studio to $500,000 for a three-bedroom single-family home.

Idaho

    • Forgivable Grant for Down Payment/Closing Costs: This program provides a grant to help with a down payment and closing costs in the form of a zero-interest forgivable loan. The loan starts being gradually forgiven after four years and completely forgiven after seven years if the terms are met.
    • Second Mortgage for Down Payment/Closing Costs: This provides a loan of up to 3.5% of the property’s sales price or appraisal value, whichever is less, at 5% interest over 10 years to help pay for down payment and closing costs.

Illinois

    • IHDAccess Forgivable: This program offers down payment cash assistance of 4% of the home’s purchase price, up to $6,000, which is forgiven monthly without payment over 10 years.
    • IHDAccess Deferred: This interest-free loan program offers cash assistance of 5% of the purchase price or up to $7,500. No monthly payments are needed and this should be paid off when you refinance, sell the house or pay off your mortgage.
    • IHDAccess Repayable: This provides cash assistance of 10% of the purchase price, up to $10,000. This is structured as an interest-free loan that needs to be paid back over a 10-year period.
    • 1stHomeIllinois: This program provides $7,500 assistance for first-time home buyers’ down payment or closing costs, which does not have to be paid back if you live in the house for at least five years.

Indiana

    • Affordable Home: This provides below-market interest rates on FHA loans for low- to moderate-income home buyers who can afford down payment and closing costs.
    • My Home: This program offers conventional 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with a minimum down payment of 3% and discounted premiums for mortgage insurance.
    • Helping To Own (H2O): This program offers a down payment assistance grant of up to 3.5% for low- to moderate-income first-time home buyers who get FHA loans. The grant does not have to be repaid.
    • Next Home: This provides down payment assistance that ranges from 3% to 3.5%in the form of a second mortgage to low- to moderate-income borrowers who get FHA or conventional mortgages.
    • Mortgage Credit Certificates: Low- to moderate-income first-time home buyers can obtain mortgage credit certificates that can offset their federal income taxes, up to $2,000 for each year.

Iowa

    • FirstHome Program: This offers 30-year fixed interest rates with zero to 3% down payments. It also features reduced or no mortgage insurance fees.
    • Homes for Iowans: This program offers zero to 3% down payment and is available to both first-time and repeat home buyers.
    • FirstHome Plus Program: It provides a $2,500 grant to help pay for down payment or closing costs when combined with the FirstHome Program.
    • Homes for Iowans Plus Program: It offers a $2,500 grant as down payment or closing costs assistance when combined with the Homes for Iowans Program.

Kansas

    • First Time Home Buyer Program: This program provides a loan between 15% and 20% of the property’s purchase price to help with pay for down payment and closing costs. The loan does not have to be repaid and is forgiven over time. Borrowers need to put up at least 2% of the selling price

Kentucky

    • Affordable Down Payment Assistance Program: This program offers up to $6,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance in the form of a 10-year loan with a 1% interest rate.
    • Regular Down Payment Assistance Program: This down payment assistance is in the form of a loan of up to $6,000 at a 5.5% interest rate, payable in over 10 years.
    • Hardest Hit Fund Down Payment Assistance Program: This program provides up to $10,000 for down payment and closing cost assistance and is available to first-time buyers of homes in Christian County.
    • Home Buyer Tax Credit: The Kentucky Home Buyer Tax Credit reimburses up to 25% of the annual mortgage interest you pay during the calendar year, with a maximum credit of $2,000 per year.

Louisiana

    • LHC Choice Conventional Program: This program offers down payment and closing cost assistance up to 6% of the home’s purchase price.
    • LHC Market Rate GNMA Program: This program offers FHA, VA or USDA backed loans and 4% of the home’s purchase price in cash assistance.
    • LHC Mortgage Revenue Bond Assisted Program: This offers cash assistance up to 4% of the home’s purchase price in the form of a forgivable second mortgage.
    • LHC Delta 100 Program: This area-specific program offers up to 100% financing and as much as 3% of the home’s purchase price in closing cost assistance. It targets the eastern parishes of the state along and adjacent to the Mississippi River.
    • LHC Home/MRB Program: This program offers assistance between 5% and 9% of the property’s purchase price in the form of a forgivable grant. This is only available to borrowers with household income that falls below 80% of the area’s median income.

Maine

    • First Home Loan: This program offers mortgages with below-market, fixed interest rates and low- to zero-down payment options for first-time home buyers. Eligible borrowers can combine the loan with Maine Housing’s Advantage program to assist with down payment and closing costs.
    • Advantage: This program offers up to $3,500 to help borrowers with down payment and closing costs and available only with the zero-discount-point mortgage option. This is typically combined with Maine Housing First Home Loan, Salute ME, or Mobile Home Self-Insured Home Mortgage. The borrower must contribute at least 1% of the loan amount.
    • Mobile Home Self-Insured Option: This program insures mortgage loans for mobile homes when the loan-to-value is between 80% to 95%. Borrowers pay a higher interest rate but don’t have to pay for mortgage insurance.
    • Pre-1976 Mobile Home Replacement Initiative: This program is for owners of pre-1976 mobile homes who meet income limits. It combines a Maine Housing mortgage with a $30,000 Maine Housing grant to replace a mobile home built before 1976 with an Energy Star-certified manufactured home. The grant is in the form of a deferred, forgivable note and requires the owner to live in the new home for 10 years.
    • Other programs for veterans and active military: Salute ME and Salute Home Again are loan programs offered to veterans and retired and active-duty military.

Maryland

    • Maryland Mortgage Premier: This offers competitive interest rates with down payment and closing cost assistance up to $5,000 for a in the form of a no-interest, deferred loan.
    • 6% Opportunity Grant: This program offers a grant of 6% of the total mortgage amount for a down payment and closing costs for those who use a Freddie Mac HFA Advantage conventional mortgage.
    • 4% Grant Assist: This program offers 4% of the mortgage amount to use for a down payment or toward closing costs, which doesn’t need to be repaid.
    • You’ve Earned It mortgage: This loan provides an interest rate discount of 0.25 percentage points and a $5,000 down payment assistance. This is only available to those who have at least $25,000 in student loan debt. Borrowers should purchase a home in one of Maryland’s Sustainable Communities.
    • Preferred Rate Mortgage: This program offers the lowest available interest rate on a 30-year home loan.

Massachusetts

    • MassHousing mortgage: This program is a 30-year mortgage that features fixed interest rates and low down payment options.
    • Purchase and Renovation Loan: This program is best for those who consider a fixer-upper because it combines the costs of purchase and renovation into one loan.
    • Down Payment Assistance: This program is for those who qualify for MassHousing mortgages. MassHousing will lend up to 5% of the home’s purchase price or $15,000, whichever is less, for a down payment.
    • Other loan assistance programs: Operation Welcome Home is best for the military who needs down payment and closing cost assistance. Workforce Advantage mortgage is best for those who are considering a home in Boston or the Gateway cities.

Michigan

    • MI Home Loan: The MI Home Loan is subsidized by a bond program and offers a favorable interest rate to first-time low to moderate incomes home buyers and repeat buyers in targeted areas.
    • MI Home Loan Flex: This program offers low down payment options for both first-time and repeat home buyers who meet the eligibility requirements.
    • MSHDA Down Payment Assistance: The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) offers down payment assistance up to $7,500 to borrowers of MI Home Loan and MI Home Loan Flex programs. It comes in the form of a loan with no monthly payments.
    • Mortgage Credit Certificate: This program issues a federal tax credit up to 20% of the annual mortgage interest paid to first-time home buyers.

Minnesota

    • Start Up Mortgage: This program offers a low down payment option, as low as 3%. It also provides options for low-cost or no mortgage insurance.
    • Step Up Mortgage: Down payment requirements for the Step Up mortgage are as low as 3%. It also offers assistance for down payment or closing costs.
    • Monthly Payment Loan: This assistance program offers up to $15,000 to help with down payment and closing costs, which will be paid back in monthly installments for 10 years.
    • Deferred Payment Loan: This offers up to up to $8,000 down payment and closing cost assistance and is available only to first-time home buyers using the Start Up mortgage.

Mississippi

    • Smart Solution: This program offers competitive interest rates, lower mortgage insurance premiums and down payment assistance in the form of a 10-year loan for 3.5% of the purchase price.
    • Mortgage Revenue Bond 7 (MRB7): This provides a down payment and closing costs assistance up to $7,000 as an interest-free loan that is forgiven after 10 years.
    • Housing Assistance for Teachers (HAT): This program is for those who agree to teach in a targeted district for at least three full school years. It offers a grant of up to $6,000 for a down payment and closing costs.

Missouri

    • First Place Loan Program: This program may come with down payment assistance or without. The program without down payment assistance offers below-market interest rates on mortgages for first-time home buyers.
    • First Place Loan Program With Cash Assistance: This program provides down payment assistance of 4% of the loan amount, which is a forgivable second mortgage without monthly payments. This second mortgage is forgiven after 10 years if the borrower keeps the loan and the home is still the borrower’s primary residence.
    • Next Step: This program offers low mortgage rates to home buyers who earn too much to qualify for First Place loans, or who buy homes at prices above the cutoff for the First Place loan program.
    • Next Step Cash Assistance Loan: This is a down payment and closing cost assistance of up to f 4% of the loan amount offered to Next Step borrowers.
    • Mortgage Credit Certificate: This program issues a federal tax credit up to 20% of the annual mortgage interest paid to first-time home buyers.

Montana

    • Bond Advantage Down Payment Assistance Program: This program offers up to 5% of sales price, maximum of $10,000, and is combined with a Montana Housing 30-year first mortgage. This requires a 15-year amortizing loan with low monthly payments.
    • MBOH Plus 0% Deferred Down Payment Assistance Program: This offers up to 5% of sales price, maximum of $6,500 in the form of a 0% second loan with no monthly payments required.

Nebraska

    • NIFA Homeownership Programs: These programs offer competitive interest rates, low or no down payment loans, low mortgage insurance premiums for conventional loans, and loans for down payment and closing cost assistance.

New Hampshire

    • Home Flex Plus: This program provides down payment and closing cost assistance for up to 3% of the loan amount for an FHA, USDA or VA mortgage. It comes in the form of a second mortgage, which is forgiven after four years if the borrower doesn’t refinance, file for bankruptcy, or sell the home.
    • Home Preferred Plus: This conventional mortgage offers a low down payment of 3% with discounted mortgage insurance. It also provides assistance for down payment and closing costs for up to 3% of the loan amount, which can be forgiven after four years if the borrower doesn’t refinance, file for bankruptcy, or sell the home.
    • Purchase Rehab: This government-backed loan is best for fixer-uppers and lets you add $35,000 to the purchase mortgage to help with repairs and upgrades.
    • Home Start Homebuyer Tax Credit: This program lets you apply for a tax credit during the loan process and provides an annual tax credit for a portion of the mortgage interest up to $2,000.
    • Home Preferred Manufactured ROCs: This program is designed for buyers and current homeowners in qualified New Hampshire Resident-Owned Communities, or ROCs. It offers low fixed rates, low down payment requirements, and low-priced mortgage insurance options.

Nevada

    • Home Is Possible (HIP): This gives up to 5% of the loan amount to pay the down payment, or closing costs or a combination. It doesn’t have to be repaid if you keep the home as your primary residence for three years or more.
    • HIP Plus: This program combines down payment and closing cost assistance with a mortgage credit certificate that provides federal tax credit. HIP Plus provides up to 5% of the loan amount to help pay the down payment and closing costs, which does not have to be repaid. The mortgage credit certificate provides an annual tax credit of up to 30% of the mortgage interest paid per year, up to $2,000 a year.
    • HIP 1500: This program offers up to 5% of the loan amount to help pay down payment and closing costs. It also provides an extra $1,500 for closing costs and a reduction in monthly mortgage insurance premiums.

New Jersey

    • Down Payment Assistance Program: This New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) down payment assistance program offers $10,000 to assist first-time home buyers with closing cost and down payment in the form of a 0% interest loan that is forgiven in five years.
    • Police and Firemen’s Retirement System Mortgage Program: This 30-year fixed-rate loan program is designed for active member of the New Jersey Police and Firemen’s Retirement System who have at least one year of service.

New Mexico

    • FirstHome: This program offers competitive interest rates on mortgages for first-time home buyers with low to moderate incomes.
    • NextHome: This program offers down payment assistance in a forgivable loan with no monthly payments and is available to both first-time and repeat home buyers.
    • FirstDown: This offers a down payment and closing cost assistance of up to $8,000 as a second mortgage. This requires monthly payments.
    • HomeNow: This is a down payment assistance for home buyers who earn 80% or less than the area’s median income. This assistance is in the form of a second mortgage up to $8,000 — it is forgivable with no monthly payments required and must be paired with a FirstHome primary mortgage.

New York

    • Achieving the Dream: This program offers reduced interest rates and a lower down payment requirement on a 30-year loan.
    • Conventional Plus Program: This program offers a 30-year loan for purchase or refinance, down payment and closing costs assistance, and helps borrowers avoid mortgage insurance.
    • Low Interest Rate Program: This State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA) Low Interest Rate Program offers favorable interest rates to low-to-moderate-income home buyers.
    • Down Payment Assistance Loans: This can be combined with any SONYMA mortgage program and is structured as a second mortgage. There will be no monthly payments required and no interest charged. The loans are forgiven after 10 years if borrowers meet certain requirements.
    • RemodelNY: This is a purchase and renovation loan best for a fixer-upper or a home that needs a few upgrades.
    • Neighborhood Revitalization Program: This program offers cash and financing assistance for prospective homeowners to buy and renovate vacant homes.
    • Graduate to Home Ownership Program: This program provides down payment assistance, favorable interest-rate loans and home-buying education to recent college graduates.
    • FHA Plus Program: This program combines SONYMA’s down payment assistance with an FHA-backed mortgage to help reduce the mortgage insurance premium.
    • Energy Star Labeled Homes Program: This program allows you to install energy-efficient upgrades such as windows, insulation, appliances, lighting, and heating and cooling systems.

North Carolina

    • NC Home Advantage Mortgage: This offers down payment assistance of up to 5% on FHA, VA and USDA loans and 3% on conventional mortgages. This is in the form of a 0% interest loan with no monthly payments.
    • NC 1st Home Advantage Down Payment: This program offers $8,000 in down payment assistance in the form of a 0% interest loan with no monthly payments. 20% is forgiven each year in the 11th to 15th year of the loan.
    • Community Partners Loan Pool: Local governments and member nonprofit housing agencies offer down payment assistance in the form of a 0% second mortgage for up to 20% of the sales price, up to a maximum of $30,000, when combined with the NC Home Advantage Mortgage.
    • Self-Help Loan Pool: This is for low-income borrowers who can get 0% interest rate mortgages if they buy homes from Habitat for Humanity or other self-help home ownership organizations. The assistance comes in the form of a grant of up to $35,000, which is combined with its own mortgage that has to be paid off in 20 to 33 years.

North Dakota

    • FirstHome™: This program is best for first-time home buyers and those who have not owned a home as principal residence within the last three years.
    • DCA Program: This program provides low-income buyers with affordable mortgage loans that include down payment and closing cost assistance. This should not be used in conjunction with any other down payment assistance programs.
    • Start Program: This program provides low- to moderate-income buyers with affordable mortgage loans that include down payment and closing cost assistance. Start cannot be used in conjunction with any other down payment assistance programs and should only be used on one to two-unit properties.

Ohio

    • Ohio Your Choice! Down Payment Assistance: This offers down payment assistance of either 2.5% or 5% of the home’s purchase price. This should be repaid if you refinance or sell the property within seven years. After seven years, the financial assistance is forgiven.
    • Ohio Mortgage Tax Credit: This is a mortgage credit certificate for first-time home buyers who combine an Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) mortgage and a down payment assistance program. The certificate allows a tax credit of up to 40% of the borrower’s annual mortgage interest paid and can be used annually for as many as 30 years as long as they stay in the property as primary residence.
    • Other assistance programs: Ohio Heroes is for veterans, active-duty military members or reservists (surviving spouses included), police, paid and volunteer firefighters, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, travel nurses, state tested nurse aides, teachers, administrators and counselors. Ohio Grants for Grads is a program designed to keep the recent graduates in Ohio.

Oklahoma

    • Gold Grant: This offers 3.5% of the total loan amount for down payment assistance and up to $2,500 for closing costs and is only available to borrowers who are approved for Freddie Mac HFA Home Possible mortgage.
    • Dream Grant: This offers 3.5% of the total loan amount to put toward a down payment and an additional $2,500 for closing costs. This is only available to borrowers who are approved for Freddie Mac HFA Home Possible mortgage.
    • OHFA Shield: This program is for first-time home buyers who currently work as firefighters, law enforcement officers or emergency medical service providers in Oklahoma. It offers a quarter-point reduction of their mortgage interest rate and a down payment assistance of 3.5% of the total loan amount.
    • OHFA 4Teachers: This program offers a quarter-point reduction of the mortgage interest rate and 3.5% of the total loan amount in down payment assistance to qualified teachers.

Oregon

    • Oregon Down Payment Assistance: This is a down payment assistance grant of up to $15,000 available to applicants who complete home ownership education and follow-up counseling.
    • Oregon Cash Advantage Home Loan: This offers cash assistance equal to 3% of the mortgage amount to help first-time home buyers with closing costs.
    • Oregon RateAdvantage Home Loan: This offers the lowest fixed interest rates and can be used with FHA or USDA loan, or a conventional mortgage with a 20% down payment.

Pennsylvania

    • Keystone Government Loan Program: The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) offers mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FDA), the Rural Development program of the USDA, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
    • Keystone Home Loan Program: This program is best for first-time home buyers, discharged veterans, or buyers interested in properties in certain targeted Pennsylvania counties.
    • Keystone Advantage Assistance Loan Program: This program is a second mortgage loan that helps with the down payment and closing costs. It provides up to 4% of the purchase price or the property’s market value, or $6,000, whichever is less. This can be repaid in 10 years with 0% interest.
    • Mortgage Credit Certificate: This provides tax credits of 20% to 50% of the mortgage interest you pay per year, up to $2,000.
    • Homestead Down Payment And Closing Cost Assistance: This program offers up to $10,000 in closing cost and down payment assistance in the form of a forgivable loan.
    • Programs for Persons with Disabilities: First-time buyers with disability or those who are living with a household member with a disability may be eligible for an additional $10,000 loan at 0% interest, as a part of the Homestead program.

Rhode Island

    • First-time Home Buyer Loans: Combined with down payment assistance, this program offers up to 100% financing.
    • Closing Cost and Down Payment Assistance: This program offers a 15-year fixed second mortgage to finance the down payment and closing costs.
    • FirstHomes Tax Credit: The program provides qualified first-time home buyers and those buying in targeted areas of the state with a mortgage credit certificate.

South Carolina

    • Forgivable Down Payment Assistance: This program offers $6,000 cash assistance as a second mortgage, which is forgivable after 10 years of residing in the house. There is no interest charged and no payments are required. This is only available to those who are earning less than 80% of the local median income.
    • Repayable Down Payment Assistance: Home buyers who are earning above 80% of the median area income may qualify for repayable assistance up to $6,000. The loan is a second mortgage with a 2% interest rate and requires monthly payments for a 10-year term.
    • SC Mortgage Tax Credit Program: This program provides up to a $2,000 annual federal income tax credit against the mortgage interest paid.

South Dakota

    • First-time Homebuyer Program: This provides low interest fixed rate mortgage loans and cash assistance for home buyers purchasing their first home in South Dakota.

Tennessee

    • Great Choice Loan: This is a 30-year, fixed-rate loan which also provides help with down payment and closing costs.
    • Great Choice Plus: This is for those who qualify for a Great Choice loan and participate in a home buyer education course. This is a no-interest, deferred second mortgage that provides up to 5% of the purchase price to help with down payment and closing costs.
    • Homeownership for the Brave: This loan offers reduced interest rates and zero to low down payment requirements. This is for active-duty service members, including the National Guard, veterans and reservists with at least 180 days of active duty.

Texas

    • My First Texas Home Loan: This program is a 30-year, low fixed-interest rate mortgages available for first-time home buyers and includes down payment and closing cost assistance of up to 5% of the mortgage amount in the form of a no-interest second lien that requires no monthly payment.
    • Texas Mortgage Credit Certificate: This offers a tax credit of up to 40% of your annual mortgage interest, up to $2,000 per year.

Utah

    • FirstHome Loan: This program offers the lowest interest rate and up to 6% of the loan as down payment and closing cost assistance in the form of a second mortgage.
    • HomeAgain Loan: This offers affordable interest rates on mortgages for first-time and repeat home buyers. Borrowers may get a second mortgage for up to 6% of the primary mortgage amount to help with the down payment and closing costs.
    • Score Loan: This program is for low- to moderate-income borrowers with credit scores lower than the 660. It also offers down payment and closing cost assistance of up to 4% of the primary mortgage amount.
    • NoMI Loan: This is a mortgage with a low down payment (minimum of 3%) and without monthly mortgage insurance payments. It also allows down payment and closing cost assistance as a second mortgage for up to 5% of the primary loan amount.
    • Grants for Veterans: Cash grants up to $2,500 are available to members of the military or veterans who separated in the past five years when they buy their first Utah home.

Vermont

    • ASSIST Loan: This is a no-cost loan to help first-time home buyers. It provides up to $5,000 to assist with down payment and closing costs and 0% interest with no monthly payments
    • Advantage: This program allows you to save up to $825 on Vermont Property Transfer Tax at closing and offers low down payment options.
    • Mortgage Credit Certificates: This program offers federal tax credit up to $2,000 each year you pay interest on your mortgage.
    • MOVE MCC: This offers tax credit each year up to $2,000 plus other VHFA benefits that include up to $825 savings on Vermont Property Transfer Tax at closing and low down payment options.

Virginia

    • Down Payment Assistance Grant: This grant offers up to 2.5% of a home’s purchase price to help pay for down payment and doesn’t need to be repaid.
    • Granting Freedom: This program offers a grant of up to $4,000 to pay for home modifications that increase accessibility, like widening doorways and adding wheelchair ramps. This is available only to military members or veterans with service-connected disabilities.
    • Other programs: Other loan programs for first-time home buyers include Fannie Mae Preferred with reduced mortgage insurance, Fannie Mae 97% no mortgage insurance, FHA Plus, and USDA (Rural Housing Service).

Washington

    • Home Advantage DPA #1: This program offers up to 5% of your loan amount in down payment assistance as a 0% interest loan, with payment deferred for 30 years.
    • Home Advantage DPA #2: This program provides up to $10,000 in down payment assistance.
    • Opportunity DPA: This program provides a down payment assistance of up to $10,000 with a 1% interest rate, deferred for 30 years.
    • HomeChoice: This program provides up to $15,000 in down payment assistance in a 1% deferred second mortgage to borrowers who have a disability or those who have a disabled family member living with them.
    • House Key Veterans: This provides $10,000 in down payment assistance is structured as a second mortgage with a 3% interest rate, and deferred for up to 30 years. This is available to military veterans, and current or former members of the Washington National Guard or Reserve.

West Virginia

    • Down Payment/Closing Cost Assistance Program: This offers up to $7,500 in a separate, very low fixed-rate 15-year loan as closing cost assistance for those with down payment of 10% or less. Those who need to put down more than 10% in down payment can borrow up to $10,000 in closing cost assistance.
    • HOME Leverage Loan Program: This program is a 0% interest second mortgage up to $14,999 that you don’t have to repay, designed to help pay for down payment.
    • USDA 502 Direct Loan Program: This program allows 100% financing and monthly payment assistance and is available to low- and very-low-income borrowers who want to buy properties in rural areas of West Virginia.

Wisconsin

    • First Time Home Buyer (FTHB) Advantage: This program offers 30-year fixed-rate mortgages at low interest rates for buyers who have credit scores of 620 or higher. Eligible properties include houses, duplexes, and eligible condominiums and townhouses.
    • WHEDA Advantage: This program is available to first-time home buyers and offers 30-year fixed-rate mortgages at low interest rates.
    • Easy Close Advantage: This is a down payment and closing costs assistance that comes in the form of a 10-year loan. The maximum amount depends on the type of primary mortgage: for WHEDA FHA Advantage, the assistance maxes out at 3.5% or $3,500, whichever is greater. For other WHEDA Advantage loans, the maximum assistance is 3% or $3,000, whichever is greater.
    • Capital Access Advantage: This program offers a maximum of $3,000 down payment and closing cost assistance in the form of a 0% interest-rate loan that doesn’t require monthly payments.
    • WHEDA Tax Advantage: This mortgage credit certificate is for first-time home buyers, eligible veterans, and repeat buyers who purchase homes in low-income targeted areas.

Wyoming

    • WCDA Down Payment Assistance Program: This offers up to $10,000 in assistance for down payment in the form of a second mortgage loan.
    • Chenoa Down Payment Assistance Program: This offers up to 3.5% assistance for down payment and closing costs as a 10-year second mortgage.
    • Home Ready Program: This is a Fannie Mae conventional loan that offers a down payment of as low as 3% in a 30-year low fixed rate program.

How to Find a First Time Home Buyer Program

This list referenced above is just a sampling of what may be available in your state. Many home buyers call a lender asking about whether they have first time home buyer assistance programs.

In most instances, you will need to find and secure the assistance on your own without the help of a lender. You should be prepared to finding the assistance you need, getting documentation or approval and then bringing that to your lender. If a lender offers to help you to find that assistance, then they are doing it as a value added service.

Best First Time Home Buyer Mortgage Programs

Although there are many types of mortgage programs, there are a few. These are our top choices focusing on a combination of having a low-down payment, flexible credit requirements, and low interest rates.

We suggest reading this article on the best first time home buyer mortgage programs before making your final decision.

Related Questions

What credit score do you need to qualify for a home buyer assistance program?
You can qualify for the assistance programs with even low credit scores, but the critical part will be qualifying for the mortgage program. Read our article on bad credit mortgages for more info.

How do I get a grant for a down payment on a house?
Grants are available in every state and every potential home buyer would need to apply for them independently. Some are true grants and others are interest free loans that would need to be repaid.

What if I don’t have a down payment for a house?
If you do not have a down payment, then a down payment assistance program or even a gift from a relative can be the right solution for you.

Do I have to pay back the down payment assistance?
Most down payment assistance programs are designed to be a gift. However, there are some where the funds are reimbursed once you sell the home.

Can down payment assistance be used for closing costs?
If you have money remaining after your down payment, then most programs will allow you to use the extra funds towards closing costs.

Are there zero down first-time home buyer programs?
There are two popular mortgage programs where there is no down payment requirement. The first is the VA loan where you or your spouse needs to be a veteran or active military. The other is the USDA loan that is available to all US citizens if the property is located in an approved USDA area.

Related Articles

First Time Home Buyer TipsThis is a list of the top 25 first time home buyer tips from top professionals in the industry.

Guide for First Time Home Buyers – This article will provide you with a full list of everything the first time home buyer will need to know.

First Time Home Buyer Mortgage Programs

This article provides a list of first-time home buyer mortgage programs that are perfect for first time home buyers.

Common Down Payment Assistance Programs for FHA Loans – If you are thinking about getting an FHA loan, this article will help you to find the assistance needed.

Tools for First Time Home Buyers – See what tools will be most critical to own when you buy your first home.

Discussion Topics

Mortgage Advice

Buying a Home

Home Improvement

Real Estate

Home Finances