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Best First Time Home Buyer Programs by State

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If you’re a first time home buyer, you have access to a number of state-sponsored programs to make becoming a homeowner easier. Let’s take a look at some state-specific first time home buyer programs you can use to make getting a mortgage easier and less stressful. 

StateBest Program
AlabamaHousing Finance Authority 
AlaskaAHFC Tax-Exempt
ArizonaHOME Down Payment Assistance Program
ArkansasADFA Move-Up loan program
CaliforniaCalHFA Zero Interest Program
ColoradoNEWSED Down Payment Assistance
ConnecticutCHFA first mortgage
DelawarePreferred Plus Loan
FloridaHFA Preferred Grant
GeorgiaGeorgia PEN
HawaiiHawaiiUSA’s First Time Homebuyer
IdahoFannie Mae HFA Preferred
IllinoisIHDAccess Repayable
IndianaHelping to Own
IowaFirstHome Plus Program
KansasFirst Time Home Buyer Program
KentuckyRegular Down Payment Assistance Program
LouisianaLHC Preferred Conventional Program
MaineMaineHousing Advantage
MarylandMaryland Mortgage Premier
MassachusettsMassHousing Mortgage Program
MichiganMSHDA Down Payment Assistance
MinnesotaStart Up mortgage
MississippiSmart Solution
MissouriFirst Place Loan Program With Cash Assistance
MontanaBond Advantage Down Payment Assistance
NebraskaHome Buyer’s Assistance Program
NevadaHome is Possible For Teachers
New HampshireHome Flex Plus
New JerseyNJHFA Down Payment Assistance Program
New MexicoHOMENow
New YorkSONYMA Achieving The Dream
North CarolinaSelf-Help Loan Pool
North DakotaHomeAccess
OhioYourChoice! Down Payment Assistance
OklahomaOHFA 4Teachers
OregonOregon Down Payment Assistance
PennsylvaniaKeystone Advantage Assistance
Rhode IslandFirst Time Homebuyer Mortgage
South CarolinaForgivable Down Payment Assistance
South DakotaFirst Time Home Buyer
TennesseeGreat Choice Plus
TexasMy First Texas Home loan
UtahUtah Housing FirstHome Loan
VermontVHFA ASSIST
VirginiaVHDA Down Payment Assistance Grant
WashingtonHome Advantage DPA
West VirginiaDown Payment/Closing Cost Assistance Program
WisconsinCapital Access Advantage
WyomingWCDA Home$tretch

Program Overviews

The specific programs you’ll have access to will vary depending on where you live. Let’s take a look at some of the most common state-specific programs and how you can use them.  

Housing Finance Authority 

Alabama’s Housing Finance Authority offers low-cost, affordable housing loans with government insurance for low-income buyers investing in their first home. The Housing Finance Authority also grants to select low-income buyers who need assistance covering their closing costs. 

AHFC Tax-Exempt

The Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) offers home loans to buyers investing in their first home with lower interest rates than other loans available on the market. The AHFC accomplishes this funding through tax-exempt mortgage bonds. You may be liable for recapture on the money you saved through a higher federal tax rate if you sell your home at a profit in the 9 years after you close on your loan. You must meet income limits specific to your ZIP code to qualify for an AHFC Tax-Exempt loan. 

HOME Down Payment Assistance Program

Arizona’s HOME loan series offers a variety of conventional and government-backed loan options with down payment assistance. Are you buying your first home? If so, you might qualify between 2% to 6% of down payment assistance, depending on the loan you choose and whether you’re a veteran or not. 

ADFA Move-Up Loan Program

Arkansas’s ADFA “Move-Up” loan program allows you to receive a grant up to 4% of your loan value, financed at a slightly higher interest rate than the buyer’s mortgage loan. You can use your grant to pay for closing costs, put your grant toward your down payment or even pay down debt to help improve your chances of qualifying for a loan.  

CalHFA Zero Interest Program

California’s CalHFA Zero Interest program gives you access to a lower interest rate on your 30-year conventional FHA loan, along with deferred interest assistance to help you cover closing costs. As long as you meet ZIP code specific income requirements, you can get 3% to 4% of your loan value for 0% interest for the life of your loan. If you pay off your loan, refinance or sell your home, your assistance repayment begins.   

NEWSED Down Payment Assistance

Colorado’s NEWSED down payment assistance program helps low-income households receive down payment funding through interest-free loans. The amount of funding you may qualify for depends on your household income and the type of loan you choose. Once you sell your home, own your home or refinance, you’ll begin making repayments toward the amount you borrowed.    

CHFA First Mortgage

The Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) offers homeowners access to mortgage loans with below-market interest rates. To qualify, you’ll need to agree to take a buyer’s education course, which is provided free of charge. You must also meet income and home value limitations. Most home buyers also qualify for down payment assistance through CHFA’s loan program, and special additional benefits are available for educators, police officers, EMTs and other public service employees. 

Preferred Plus Loan

The Delaware State Housing Authority’s Preferred Plus Loan program allows home buyers in limited-income households to receive an affordable 30-year loan, along with down payment and closing cost assistance. You may be able to claim between 2% and 5% of your loan’s value in assistance, depending on your household income. 

HFA Preferred Grant

Florida’s Housing Finance Authority (HFA) offers an HFA grant program. Through the grant program, you may qualify for between 3% and 4% assistance to help fund a down payment or closing costs. You won’t ever need to repay the money you receive through this HFA program — even if you sell your home or move out.  

Georgia PEN

Are you employed as a public protector, educator, active member of the United States military or healthcare provider and you’re buying your first home? You may qualify for up to $7,500 of down payment and closing cost assistance through the Georgia PEN program. Financial assistance is offered in the form of a no-interest loan, repayable when you own or sell your home.   

HawaiiUSA’s First Time Home Buyer

HawaiiUSA’s First Time Home Buyer program helps new buyers understand a little more about their mortgage loan options through a series of educational resources. Though it doesn’t offer any form of down payment or closing cost assistance, it may be useful for buyers who still have questions on the mortgage process. 

Fannie Mae HFA Preferred

HFA Preferred is Fannie Mae’s low down payment conventional mortgage financing option, allowing home buyers to purchase a home with as little as 3% down and a reduced private mortgage insurance rate. When you complete your free home buyer education course, you can also apply for down payment and closing cost assistance through the Idaho Housing and Finance Association. 

IHDAccess Repayable

IHDAccess Repayable is Illinois down payment and closing cost assistance program for first time buyers. You can get 10% of your home’s purchase price up to $10,000. The money you receive is structured as an interest-free loan, repayable over a 10-year period. 

Helping to Own

Indiana’s Helping to Own program offers down payment assistance low-income and moderate-income home buyers who have qualified for an FHA loan. You can get up to 3.5% of your loan value in a grant that doesn’t need to be repaid if you qualify.

FirstHome Plus Program

Iowa’s FirstHome Plus Program offers 30-year fixed rate loans with reduced mortgage insurance for buyers investing in their first home. If you qualify for a FirstHome loan, you can also add-on the FirstHome Plus Program, which provides you with $2,500 to put toward your closing costs or down payment. You don’t need to repay this grant when you own or sell your home. 

First Time Home Buyer Program

Kansas’ First Time Home Buyer Program is exceptionally generous and offers first time buyers between 15% and 20% in a forgivable loan. You can put the money from your loan toward closing costs or a down payment. You don’t need to pay the loan back long as you continue to live in your home — the loan is forgiven over time. You must meet income requirements to qualify.

Regular Down Payment Assistance Program

Kentucky’s Regular Down Payment Assistance Program offers up to $6,000 in a loan to help you cover the costs of a down payment. The loan is repayable over a 10-year term at 5.5% APR. If you live in a very low-income household, you might also qualify for the Affordable Down Payment Assistance Program, which allows you to repay your loan at 1% APR instead. 

LHC Preferred Conventional Program

The Louisiana Housing Corporation’s Preferred Conventional Program offers down payment and closing cost assistance equal to 4% of your home loan value. To qualify, you must meet income requirements and complete a home buyer’s education course. 

MaineHousing Advantage

When combined with a MaineHousing First Home Loan, MaineHousing Advantage can offer you a grant of up to $3,500 to help you pay for closing costs or cover your down payment. You must qualify for a MainHousing loan to use the Advantage program. You must also complete a required home buyer education course. 

Maryland Mortgage Premier

A Maryland Mortgage Premier loan can help you buy a home with a more competitive interest rate than you’re likely to see on the general market. Your loan can be an FHA loan, USDA loan or VA loan, depending on your circumstances. The program also offers up to $5,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance in the form of a deferred, no-interest loan.  

MassHousing Mortgage Program

The MassHousing Mortgage Program can give first time home buyers the opportunity to purchase a home with a 30-year conventional mortgage with an APR below market rates. You’ll also get a discount on your private mortgage insurance if you put less than 20% down on your loan.

MSHDA Down Payment Assistance

You may qualify for up to $7,500 or 4% of your loan value in down payment or closing cost assistance with MSHDA Down Payment Assistance. To qualify, you must buy your home with a 30-year fixed-rate home loan issued through the MI Home Loan or MI Home Loan Flex program. You must also have good credit and complete a buyer’s education course.   

Start Up Mortgage

Start Up loans from the Minnesota Housing Authority give you access to exclusive, low-interest 30-year conventional mortgage loans. You may also qualify for up to $15,000 of closing cost and down payment assistance alongside your Start Up loan.  

Smart Solution

With a Smart Solution loan from the Mississippi Home Corporation, you can find 30-year conventional loans with more competitive interest rates than the current market rates. You’ll also save on mortgage insurance if you need it, and you can get a loan for up to 4% of your loan value to help cover the costs of your closing and down payment.

First Place Loan Program With Cash Assistance

Missouri’s First Place program includes 2 parts. First, you can use the First Place loan program to find an affordable loan with a lower interest rate. The program is available to first time buyers only, and special considerations are available for veterans. You can then combine your First Place-approved loan with a cash assistance loan equal to up to 4% of your loan value. If you’re still living in your home after 10 years, your cash assistance loan is completely forgivable. 

Bond Advantage Down Payment Assistance Program 

Montana’s Bond Advantage Down Payment Assistance Program, in combination with a 30-year fixed-rate Montana Housing loan, can make homeownership more attainable. Bond Advantage can help you borrow a maximum of $10,000 toward your down payment. Both of your loans keep the same interest rate, which means you’ll pay much less than you would borrowing money through another loan type. 

Home Buyer’s Assistance Program

Nebraska’s Home Buyer’s Assistance Program can help you get a 30-year loan with only a $1,000 contribution toward your closing costs and down payment. If you meet income qualifications, you can get up to 5% of the value of your home loan through the program. Your down payment loan is charged interest at a rate of 1% APR, repaid over a term of 10 years. 

Home is Possible for Teachers

If you’re a licensed full-time K-12 public school classroom teacher in Nevada, you can get a competitive 30-year fixed-rate loan through the Home is Possible for Teachers program. You can also claim up to $7,500 in loans for your down payment, which is completely forgiven after you live in your home for 5 years. 

Home Flex Plus

New Hampshire’s Home Flex Plus program can help you find a government-backed loan at a more competitive interest rate than the general market. You can also claim up to 3% of your loan value in down payment assistance. The assistance is granted through a deferred second mortgage, which is fully forgiven after 4 years.

NJHMFA Down Payment Assistance Program

The New Jersey Housing Management and Finance Agency (NJHMFA) Down Payment Assistance Program can help you find a more affordable 30-year government-backed loan. You may also qualify for up to $10,000 of down payment assistance when you’re approved through an NJHMFA lender, which is forgivable after 5 years. 

HOMENow

New Mexico’s HOMENow program is for low-income buyers looking to invest in their first property. HOMENow may provide you with up to 8% of the value of your home loan up to $8,000 in down payment assistance and help for closing costs. You must use your HOMENow assistance in conjunction with New Mexico’s FIRSTHome program, which offers competitive rates on government-backed mortgages.

SONYMA Achieving the Dream

The State of New York Mortgage Agency’s (SONYMA) Achieving the Dream program can allow you to buy a home at a more competitive interest rate with a 30-year conventional loan. You may also qualify for up to $15,000 worth of down payment assistance, offered in the form of a second mortgage that is forgiven after 10 years. 

Self-Help Loan Pool

North Carolina’s Self-Help Loan Pool (SHLP) can help you claim up to $35,000 of mortgage assistance to purchase a home being rebuilt by an SHLP-affiliated group, typically Habitat for Humanities. You must demonstrate significant economic need to qualify, and you must agree to stay in your home between 5 to 15 years, depending on the amount of assistance you receive. If you don’t stay in your home for the agreed-upon length, you’ll be required to pay back the money you borrowed at 0% APR and a 20- to 33-year term.

HomeAccess

HomeAccess, sponsored by the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency, offers down payment assistance and exceptionally affordable loans to those who demonstrate severe economic need. To qualify, you must have a disabled adult living or veteran living in your home. You may also qualify if you’re a single parent with a dependent child currently living with you. The amount of assistance you can get varies by ZIP code.

YourChoice! Down Payment Assistance

YourChoice! gives you the option to choose between 2 down payment assistance options. You may choose either 2.5% of your home’s value or 5% to put toward closing costs, a down payment or prepaid fees. The lower percentage assistance has a lower APR if you need to pay it back and vice versa. If you live in your home for 7 years, the assistance is fully forgiven.

OHFA 4Teachers

The OHFA 4Teachers program offers up to 3.5% down payment assistance to borrowers currently employed as a public or private K-12 teacher. You may also receive a reduced mortgage insurance premium if your loan requires it.

Oregon Down Payment Assistance

The Oregon Housing and Community Services department offers low-income buyers the opportunity to receive up to $15,000 of down payment assistance. This assistance can be combined with both conventional and government-backed loans and is offered as a non-repayable grant. You must complete a free homeowner’s education course and meet basic credit requirements to qualify.

Keystone Advantage Assistance

The Keystone Advantage Assistance program can help you qualify for up to $6,000 or 4% of your loan value (whichever is less) in down payment assistance. You’ll receive the money as a second mortgage loan with a 10-year term and 0% APR.

First Time Home Buyer Mortgage

The First Time Home Buyer Mortgage program can help you finance 100% of your home. This means that you’ll be able to buy a home without a down payment on loans that would typically require one (like FHA loans and conventional loans). Down payment and closing cost assistance is also available in the form of a 15-year second mortgage.

Forgivable Down Payment Assistance

Forgivable Down Payment Assistance from the South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority can help you qualify for up to $6,000 to help pay for closing costs or your down payment. To qualify, you must earn less than 80% of your local income. After 10 years of living in your home, the loan is forgiven.

First Time Home Buyer

South Dakota’s First Time Home Buyer program offers below-market interest rates and down payment assistance to qualifying buyers. You may be able to get up to 3% of your loan value in down payment assistance, issued as a second mortgage. Loan payments begin when you pay off your mortgage or refinance, and the loan doesn’t accrue any interest.

Great Choice Plus

Tennessee’s Great Choice Plus program can help you qualify for a 30-year fixed-rate loan at a more competitive interest rate. You may also qualify for up to 5% of your loan value in assistance to help with closing costs or a down payment. The assistance is offered in the form of a second mortgage, and repayments don’t begin until you move out of your home, own it or refinance.

My First Texas Home Loan

The My First Texas Home loan program can help you qualify for a 30-year fixed-rate loan with a lower interest rate than you’d typically be able to get. You can also qualify for up to 5% down payment and closing cost assistance as a 0% APR second mortgage loan. Your second loan doesn’t need to be repaid until you sell, own or refinance your home.

Utah Housing FirstHome Loan

A Utah Housing FirstHome Loan can help you get a more affordable 30-year fixed rate loan, along with up to 6% of your loan value in a second mortgage. Your second mortgage loan will have an APR that’s 2 points higher than your standard mortgage loan.

VHFA ASSIST

The Vermont Housing Finance Agency’s ASSIST program works together with its VHFA mortgage loan program to offer you up to $5,000 in closing cost and down payment assistance. The assistance is offered as a second mortgage with a rate of 0% APR. Repayments begin when you own, sell or refinance your home.

VHDA Down Payment Assistance Grant

You may qualify for up to 2.5% of your loan value with a VHDA Down Payment Assistance Grant to cover your down payment or closing costs. This grant doesn’t need to be repaid, no matter how long you live in your home. You must meet income limits to qualify.

Home Advantage DPA

Washington’s Home Advantage DPA can offer you up to 5% of your loan value in down payment and closing cost assistance. The loan has deferred payments for 30 years or until you sell your home or refinance. Most Home Advantage DPAs accrue 0% APR, and you must meet income limits to qualify.

Down Payment/Closing Cost Assistance Program

You may qualify for a 15-year loan of up to $7,500 through the Down Payment/Closing Cost Assistance Program if you have less than 10% to put down on your home loan. If your down payment is greater than 10%, you may qualify for up to $10,000 in assistance. Both loan options have an annual APR of 2% and repayments begin immediately. As the name suggests, you can use the money for both closing costs and down payments.

Capital Access Advantage

The Capital Access Advantage program is a down payment assistance program for buyers with very low income who live in an area with severe housing insecurity. You may qualify for up to $3,500 in a 0% APR loan with deferred payments. Repayment begins when you own your home, sell it or refinance. Income and location limitations apply.

WCDA Home$tretch

Home$tretch is the Wyoming Community Development Authority’s down payment assistance program. You may qualify for up to $10,000 in assistance issued as a deferred loan. The loan has an APR of 0.08%, and repayments begin when you own your home, sell or refinance.

Finding Your Perfect Home Loan

From convenient online mortgages that you can apply for in as little as 10 minutes to special self-employed loans that take your business assets into consideration, it’s never been easier to find an affordable mortgage loan. Start by learning more about types of loans, terms and first time home buyer programs in your area. Your dream of owning a home might be closer than you think!