There are special programs in 2023 for first responders who are looking to purchase or even refinance a home.
Various lenders have created unique mortgage programs or incentives to help first responders through the mortgage process.
What are First Responders?
First responders are those who respond to emergencies may include the following professions and lenders who offer home loans for first responders may include more that are not listed below.
- Police officers
If you are a first responder and do not see your profession listed above, contact us because you still may be eligible.
Home Loans for First Responders
There are some basic loan programs that may be well suited for first responders. These are standard loan programs but when bundled with some of the special incentives that are discussed below, it makes buying a home extremely affordable.
These are the basic first responder loan programs:
Conventional – Available to first responders who have good credit and at least 5% down.
- Must qualify using documented income
- 5%+ down payment required
- No PMI with a down payment of at least 20%
- Minimum credit score of 620 required
Read [conventional mortgages]
FHA – Perfect for those who have lower credit scores or who are trying to qualify for a larger loan amount.
- Down payment of at least 3.5%
- Minimum credit score of 500
- Debt to income ratios of up to 56.9% allowed
- Rehab version of the program is available
- Home must be your primary residence
Read about [FHA Loans]
USDA – If you are purchasing in a rural area, a USDA loan is a program that you may be eligible for with no down payment.
- Available for homes located in a rural area
- No down payment required
- There are income limits
- No credit score requirement but most lenders as for a score of at least 600
Read more on [USDA Loans]
VA – For those who are also active military or veterans, a VA loan with zero down is a loan program to consider.
- Available to veterans, active military, or spouses of veterans
- No down payment required
- The 1.75% funding fee may be financed
- For the purchase of primary residences only
Read [VA Loan Information]
These are just a few of the programs that may work for first responders. Just complete this short loan scenario form and someone will call to discuss your options and the incentives for first responders.
Special Home Buyer Incentive Programs for First Responders
Some lenders will offer various home buyer incentive programs for first responders. The value of these incentives can be significant and will help to reduce your out of pocket costs. These incentives are offered by lenders who are serious about helping first responders and may include some of all of the following:
- No application fee
- No underwriting fee
- No processing fee
- Free appraisal
- Free credit consultation
- Free credit report
- No closing costs
- Lower interest rates
Keep in mind that you likely cannot get all of the incentives above at the same time. For example, the lender may agree to cover all of your closing costs but it likely will not be at the lowest rate.
Home Mortgage Rates for First Responders
The interest rates for first responders will be competitive and will be greatly impacted by your credit scores. Your lender may offer the opportunity to buy the rate down and those costs can be covered by the seller.
Although lenders do not offer special mortgage rates for first responders, the incentives available will help with your out of pocket costs when purchasing a home.
First Responder First Time Home Buyer Grants
Most of the grants that you see being offered to first responders are ones that help with funding equipment and training to help first responders to do their job (first responder grants).
You may find home buyer grants in your community that can help with down payment and closing costs. Most of these are not just for first responders, however you will need to be a first time home buyer.
Doctors Who Have a Recent Bankruptcy
Many medical professionals have struggled during difficult times and decided that a bankruptcy was the best financial alternative. If you are a doctor, physician, or medical professional and experienced a recent bankruptcy, you can still qualify for a mortgage.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy – If your bankruptcy was a chapter 7, you can qualify just one day after your discharge for a mortgage. However, it likely will require a much larger down payment.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy – If your bankruptcy was a chapter 13, you can qualify for an FHA loan after you have made just 12 on time bankruptcy payments.
Do First Responders get a discount on home loans?
First responders do not get a discount on the loan or loan balance, but some lenders offer discounts on some of the lender fees and closing costs.
What Others are Saying About First Responder Mortgages
Eric Jeanette – “First responders help our communities and often put themselves at risk. They should have special programs to help purchase or refinance a home.”
Fool.com – “A new proposal known as the HELPER Act was recently introduced in the House of Representatives. Its goal is to create a mortgage program specifically for public service workers like police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and teachers.”
Ca.gov – “The money you put down or the down payment on your home loan can be one of the largest hurdles for many first-time homebuyers“