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Can I Qualify for Down Payment Assistance?

Can I Qualify for Down Payment Assistance?

April 10th, 2019 | Purchasing a Home, First-time Homebuyers

One of the biggest obstacles to homeownership is coming up with enough cash for a down payment. When your own savings are not adding up quickly enough and you don’t have a rich uncle to tap for an early inheritance, you may find some help in a down payment assistant programs.

Down Payment Assistance Programs

Many state and local governments as well as local lending institutions and non-profit organizations have created down payment assistance programs because of their vested interest in helping residents and fellow community members become homeowners. Those who own homes are likely to take better care of their properties and participate more in their communities. Because of this, down payment assistance programs are designed to help potential homeowners overcome the most common hurdle. They can offer help in the form of grants, forgivable second mortgages, and even savings matching programs.

Down payment grant programs gift borrowers money for down payment or closing costs as long as they meet certain requirements. Grants are the most advantageous for borrowers as this money does not have to be repaid. 

Another great option, however, are programs that offer forgivable second mortgages. These loans can charge interest, but many of them offer zero percent interest with no payments as long as the loan requirements are met. After borrowers stay in the home for a certain amount of time without refinancing, the loan is completely forgiven.

Other agency and lenders offer matched savings programs. These are similar to employer retirement investment matching programs. For every dollar a potential borrower puts in to the down payment matching account, the sponsoring organization with match it. Some even multiple their matching contribution. For example, Indiana’s Individual Development Account program, puts in $4 for every $1 contributed by savers. These programs can obviously help potential homeowners save up for a down payment much faster.

Program Requirements

Each program has its own specific requirements, but they are often based on things like income-level, credit score, and how many members are in the household. There are also more specific programs that require military or veteran status or public service employment. Other programs may require borrowers to complete a homebuyer education program. There are also often rules about the property itself, ranging from the neighborhood to the purchase price.

Borrowers should also be aware that taking part in a down payment assistance program may come with a higher interest rate.  The risk to lenders increases when borrowers do not have as much to lose on the loan, so you may have to pay more in interest if your down payment is not completely self-funded.

If down payment assistance sounds like something that could aid you in your homeownership quest, start by researching programs available from your state or local government. Check with community lenders and non-profits as well. While it takes some work to locate these programs, it will be worth the effort if you are able to realize your dream of homeownership sooner.

Or you can just call us at 510-339-2121. We know what state, community and local down payment and grant assistance programs are available in California and the qualification guidelines for each of them.

Holmgren and Associates

DBA of Finance of America
1900 Mountain Boulevard
Oakland, California 94611
Phone: 510-339-2121
NMLS 0910184/1071
 

Holmgren & Associates is a branch of Finance of America. We are a full service mortgage banker with an experienced staff offering expertise in residential mortgage lending, with primary focus on loans for home purchase, refinance, and reverse mortgages.

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This is not a commitment to lend. Prices, guidelines and minimum requirements are subject to change without notice. Some products may not be available in all states.  Subject to review of credit and/or collateral; not all applicants will qualify for financing. It is important to make an informed decision when selecting and using a loan product; make sure to compare loan types when making a financing decision.  Any materials were not provided by HUD or FHA. It has not been approved by FHA or any Government Agency.  A preapproval is not a loan approval, rate lock, guarantee or commitment to lend. An underwriter must review and approve a complete loan application after you are preapproved in order to obtain financing.  Questions, comments, concerns? Send to customerrelations@financeofamerica.com