Best First Time Home Buyer Programs in Louisiana

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Contributor, Benzinga
August 8, 2023

If you are a first time home buyer, buying a home can seem overwhelming — especially when you’re trying to shop for the right mortgage. From downpayment resources to understanding lender fees, there are endless factors to consider. 

Going in with in-depth knowledge of the process can save you from a costly blunder. Benzinga has put together a list of the best first time home buyer programs in Louisiana to make your journey toward homeownership simple.

Best First Time Home Buyer Programs in Louisiana:

  • MyHome Assistance Program
    • Market Rate GNMA Program
    • Market Rate Conventional Program
  • Mortgage Revenue Bond Assisted Program

Best National First Time Home Buyer Programs

First Time Home Buyer Programs in Louisiana

The Louisiana Housing Corporation (LHC) runs a number of state and federal programs for borrowers of all income levels. This makes home buying easier and affordable for a first time buyer.

The programs offer mortgage interest tax credits, low down payments, closing cost assistance and mortgage insurance reductions that can help you become a homeowner in no time. LHC also runs programs specific to residents of certain counties. Choosing the right program requires a deeper look into the following programs.

1. MyHome Assistance Program

The LHC offers 2 different programs under single-family homeownership programs.   

Market Rate GNMA Program

The Market Rate GNMA Program offers an opportunity for every Louisiana resident to obtain safe and affordable housing. The LHC offers mortgages through the Market Rate GNMA Program, with 30-year, fixed-rate FHA, VA or USDA Rural Development mortgages at favorable interest rates.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Must be interested in a 30-year fixed mortgage rate
  • Opt for single-family housing (a 1-unit principal residence)
  • Your property must be located in Louisiana
  • Can have household income up to 115% of area median income
  • Minimum credit score of 640

Market Rate Conventional Program

The Market Rate Conventional Program is available to potential homebuyers with a maximum allowed 80% area median income by parish and household size. 

Eligibility requirements:

  • Must be interested in a 30-year fixed mortgage rate
  • Must be interested in single-family housing (a 1-2 unit principal residence)
  • Loan amount max must be $484,350
  • Property located in Louisiana
  • Maximum allowed 80% AMI by parish and household size
  • Minimum credit score of 640
  • Homebuyer education required for first time homebuyers 

2. Mortgage Revenue Bond Assisted Program

The Mortgage Revenue Bond Assisted Program (MRB) helps homebuyers who are at 80% alternative mortgage instrument (AMI) or less. The program offers interest rates that are at the market level and helps first time home buyers with down payment and closing costs.

You can get assistance for 4% of the total loan amount. This program will help you meet the down payment and closing cost requirements. It also offers interest rates lower than the current market levels and assistance from 5% to 9%, depending upon the loan amount. 

Eligibility requirements: 

  • The property must be in the state of Louisiana.
  • You must be a first time home buyer.
  • Your purchase price must not exceed the home purchase limits.
  • You must have a minimum credit score of 640.
  • You must meet the local income requirements.

The Best National First Time Home Buyer Programs

In addition to state-level programs, there are a number of federal loan options available to first time home buyers in Louisiana. Each national program is detailed below, and you can take a look at Benzinga’s recommended loan provider for each option.

Best for Bank Statement Loans: Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions

Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions is a full-service mortgage lender offering traditional and portfolio mortgage loans, but their most innovative product is the Non-QM home loan. This bank statement-only product for self-employed borrowers does not require tax returns and includes a 1099 Income option for 1099 earners.

  • Loan amounts up to $3 million
  • 12 or 24 months personal or business bank statements
  • Two years out of bankruptcy, short sale, foreclosure, or deed-in-lieu
  • Owner occupied, non-owner occupied, second homes
  • 1099 option available
  • 40 year fixed interest only
  • Delayed financing available
  • Non-warrantable condos allowed

The customer service team is easy to reach via email, phone or the online contact form, and you can begin your journey by searching for a local advisor right on the website.

Angel Oak is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia and is licensed in AL, AZ #0927070, licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act, CO, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA #32379, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MI, MN, MS, NV, NH, licensed by the N.J. Department of Banking and Insurance, NM, NC, OH, OK, OR, PA, Rhode Island Licensed Lender, SC, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA dba AOHL LLC, WI.

FHA Loans

FHA loans are a popular choice among most first time home buyers. This loan program offers lower interest rates, low down payment requirements and a flexible credit approval system. Loan limits can vary for each county and range anywhere from $271,000 up to $636,500.

Most FHA lenders require a credit score of 580 or more and a down payment of 3.5% to secure the loan. However, if your credit score is as low as 500, you can still qualify for the loan with a down payment of 10%. 

Eligibility requirements:

  • You must show 2 years of consistent employment.
  • Your debt-to-income ratio must not be higher than 43%.
  • The home must be your primary residency.
  • You must move into your home within 60 days of closing.
  • The property must meet FHA safety and security requirements. 

The Best National FHA Lender: Rocket Mortgage® by Quicken Loans®

Rocket Mortgage® is a trusted mortgage tool for FHA mortgages developed by Quicken Loans®. It’s ideal for homebuyers who want to complete the loan application process online with a fast turnaround time. Rocket Mortgage® can help you customize your payment options and other terms to find a mortgage that best suits your budget with a variety of online mortgages to choose from.

VA Loans

A VA loan is issued by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs for service members, veterans and select military spouses. These loans are backed by the federal government and do not require you to buy private mortgage insurance. VA loans also offer a 0% down payment option and low-interest rates.

Eligibility requirements:

You must have:

  • A Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the VA.
  • Served at least 90 days active wartime duty.
  • Served at least 181 days peacetime duty.
  • Served 6 years in the Reserve or National Guard.
  • Been the spouse of a service member who died in the line of duty or due to a service-related disability.

The Best National VA Lender: Veterans United

Veterans United has been the top VA lender during the last 4 years. Known to also be the nation’s largest home loan lender, Veterans United is the ideal choice for service members and veterans.

It offers different conventional and government loans for first time buyers and serves thousands of new customers every week. As a perk, you can receive free credit counseling by advisors who have also served in the armed forces.

USDA Loans

USDA loans are issued by the United States Department of Agriculture. These loans offer a zero down payment option with low interest rates. USDA loans are mainly available for rural home buyers unable to qualify for a traditional mortgage. To be eligible for a USDA loan, you must meet the basic requirements set by USDA.

Eligibility requirements:

  • A credit score of at least 640
  • An adjusted household income of less than or equal to 115% of the median area income
  • Home located in a rural area
  • Proof of a stable income

The Best National USDA Lender: GMFS Mortgage

GMFS Mortgage is a licensed lender in 12 states with a 5-star rating. The company has over 100,000 customers and around $18 billion in residential mortgage funding. GMFS can offer an efficient system of processing, underwriting and closing your home loan with over 250 employees at 13 locations.

GMFS is one of the most trusted mortgage lenders for USDA loans, with over 2 decades of experience in the mortgage industry, an A+ rating with BBB and a Torch Award for Marketplace Trust. 

Get the Right Mortgage

It’s important to choose the right mortgage, and if you need first time home buyer support, choosing the right program can benefit you for a lifetime. 

Be sure to research your options and ensure your eligibility. Consider each loan type and its benefits and find the right mortgage provider to help you make homeownership a reality. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

How much is a down payment for a house?

A

A down payment for a conventional mortgage is generally 10% to 20%. Down payments for FHA loans are typically 3.5% and there are no down payments for USDA or VA loans.

Q

How does mortgage pre-approval work?

A

Mortgage pre-approval allows the lender to generate a letter detailing how much the lender can loan the seller, up to a certain amount of money for any home on which they have made an offer. This process assures the seller and agent that the buyer can afford the home and secure financing.

Get Ready for Take Off

Rocket Mortgage® is an online mortgage experience developed by the firm formerly known as Quicken Loans®, America’s largest mortgage lender. Rocket Mortgage® makes it easy to get a mortgage — you just tell the company about yourself, your home, your finances and Rocket Mortgage® gives you real interest rates and numbers. You can use Rocket Mortgage® to get approved, ask questions about your mortgage, manage your payments and more.

You can work at your own pace and someone is always there to answer your questions — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Want a fast, convenient way to get a mortgage? Give Rocket Mortgage® a try.