programs

11 programs that help first-time homebuyers get a mortgage

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  • To qualify for a conventional mortgage, you typically need a 620 credit score, 36% debt-to-income ratio, and 10% down payment.
  • But there are programs that help first-time homebuyers get mortgages even if they don’t meet conventional loan standards.
  • You may be eligible for a government-backed mortgage, a conventional loan backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, or a program specific to your state.
  • You can also get a special loan if your home requires significant repairs after moving in.
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Buying your home may feel like an insurmountable challenge, because you have to meet multiple requirements to qualify. Conventional mortgages typically mandate at least a 620 credit score and 36% debt-to-income ratio. Many lenders also ask for at least 10% toward a down payment.

These requirements can be tricky for first-time homebuyers to meet, especially if you’re young. Thankfully, there are plenty of programs designed to help out first-time homebuyers.

You do have to meet some conditions to qualify for such programs. But when it comes to your finances, these loans and grants have more lenient requirements for getting a mortgage than conventional loans.

Here are 11 programs for first-time homebuyers:

Unlike conventional loans, government-backed mortgages are guaranteed by federal agencies. If you default on your payments, then the agency pays the lender on your behalf. This guarantee allows lenders to offer you a mortgage even if you don’t meet the usual conditions for a conventional loan.

FHA loan

With a Federal Housing Administration loan, you only have to put 3.5% down. 

Lenders

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New funding expands Home HeadQuarters grant, loan programs for homeowners

Syracuse, N.Y. – Local officials today announced the expansion of grant and loan programs to help homeowners pay for repairs or renovations. The programs are administered by Home HeadQuarters, a nonprofit housing organization.

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Covid-19 emergency home repair grants: Bank of America is providing $100,000 to beef up this grant program, which provides income-eligible homeowners with up to $2,000 for emergency repairs such as replacing hot water tanks, repairing furnaces, and addressing other quality of life and safety issues. To qualify, you must have lost a job or substantial work hours because of the coronavirus pandemic. Home HeadQuarters said it already has more than 125 people on a waiting list.

Get more information here.

Solvay/Geddes home renovation loans: Homeowners throughout Geddes can now get loans of up to $25,000 for home renovations. The loans carry interest at 1% and are repayable over 10 years. They can be used for interior or exterior work and are available to all town residents regardless of income.

There is $2.3 million available in the loan fund, Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon announced today. The money comes from Empire State Development, the state economic development agency, as part of a $30 million revitalization program announced in 2014 for Solvay and the west shore of Onondaga Lake.

Previously, the loans were only available in the village of Solvay, were capped at $15,000, could only be used for exterior work, and were repayable over seven years.

In addition to loans, low- and moderate-income homeowners may qualify for grants to cover 25% of their improvements. Landlords can get loans at 5% interest for rental properties.

Get more information here.

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