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First Time Home Buyer Programs: State-By-State

By Jacinta Sherris
first time homebuyer

Your first home will be one of the most important investment decisions you will ever make. Thankfully, there are a number of resources available to you that can help improve your chances of securing a mortgage, offsetting closing costs, or finding help with your down payment.

We’ll review top first-time home buyer programs both at a national and state-by-state level. We’ll also go over how to qualify for a mortgage with a low interest rate! 

What is a first-time home buyer program?

First-time home buyer programs offer financial assistance to anyone who hasn’t owned a principal residence in the past three years. Even if you sold your home three-and-a-half years ago, you may still be able to qualify for first-time home buyer assistance. Also, if you’re married and your spouse has owned a residence in the recent past, you may still qualify for the programs.  

First-time home buyer programs also offer down payment assistance. They tend to help with closing costs, and they may even assist you with securing a mortgage at favorable interest rates. First-time home buyer assistance programs aim to boost your chances of owning a home.

These programs may be geared towards people of a certain demographic, profession, or geographic areas. The exact benefits can also vary depending on whether the program is national or state-sponsored. 

National first-time home buyer programs

FHA loans

These mortgage loans come insured by the Federal Housing Administration, which can help you secure a home with a smaller down payment and lower credit score requirements. First-time home buyers have been able to qualify with a minimum credit score of 580 for down payments as low as 3.5% of the sale. There are also options available if your credit score is even lower than 580. 

Best For: First-time home buyers with low credit in need of smaller down payments.

Conventional loan

Conventional loans are backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, both of which are government-sanctioned companies that work with local mortgage lenders to offer affordable options on conventional loans, such as 3% down payments.

Best For: Borrowers with good credit but struggling to come up with a down payment

USDA loan

USDA loans are backed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and they are only available to those meeting a certain income threshold or buying property within an eligible rural area. 

Best For: Borrowers looking to purchase a home in a USDA-eligible rural area who can also meet the income threshold and the credit score minimum of at least 640. 

VA loan

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs helps military personnel, veterans, and their families secure mortgages with low interest rates and no down payments. There is no credit check or credit score requirement for VA loans, nor is there a need for mortgage insurance. 

Best For: Active-duty military members, veterans, and their families. 

State-by-state program guide 

First time home buyer program Alabama

Step Up 

Offered by the Alabama Housing Finance Authority (AHFA), Step Up helps first-time home buyers secure affordable mortgages while also providing financial assistance when necessary to pay the down payment. 

Best For: First-time home buyers that meet a certain income threshold and can afford a mortgage but need help covering the down payment. 

Mortgage Credit Certificates

Another first-time home buyer program is by the Alabama Housing Finance Authority (AHFA). Known as the Mortgage Credit Certificates, this AHFA program reduces your federal income tax bill, which subsequently frees a portion of your income and ultimately helps you save money. 

Best For: First-time home buyers who meet income thresholds but want to save money by reducing their income tax bills.  

Affordable Income Subsidy Grant

The Alabama Housing Finance Authority (AHFA) Affordable Income Subsidy Grant offers money to eligible home buyers who need help offsetting their closing costs. 

Best For: Home buyers who can meet certain income thresholds. 

Alaska first time home buyer programs

First Home Program

The Alaska Housing Finance Corporation offers a First Home Program that gives people access to mortgages with reduced interest rates. Intended for first-time home buyers who haven’t owned a residential property in the past three years, the First Home Program prioritizes qualified veterans. There are not any income requirements or limitations on the purchase price in order to qualify for the AHFC First Home Program, but you must have a minimum credit score of 620. 

Best For: First-time home buyers who haven’t owned a primary residence in Alaska in the past three years. 

Closing Cost Assistance Program

This AHFC program grants both first-time home buyers and repeat buyers with FHA, VA, or USDA loans. Up to 4% of the loan amount will be put towards the down payment, closing costs, or other prepaid items associated with buying a home. There are no income requirements or limits on the home’s total purchase price. However, you must have a minimum credit score of 640. 

Best For: First-time home buyers that need help covering the down payment or closing costs of their home. 

First time home buyer programs Arizona

Home Plus

This program targets home buyers who can afford a mortgage and have strong credit scores  but are struggling to come up with enough cash to cover a down payment and the closing costs of a new home. Down payment assistance can range from 0% to 5% of the total loan amount with the help of Home Plus.   

Best For: Home buyers with strong credit who are struggling to afford the down payment or cover the closing costs of their home regardless. 

Pathway to Purchase Down Payment Assistance

Home buyers purchasing homes in ZIP codes and cities that are most affected by foreclosures may receive assistance for their down payments and closing costs. In order to qualify, you’ll have to meet certain income thresholds and abide by home price limits. 

Best For: Home buyers who meet certain income requirements and home price limits while purchasing homes in eligible areas. 

Arkansas first time home buyer programs

AFDA Move Up Program

Arkansas Development Finance Authority (AFDA) has a Move Up Program that helps first-time home buyers secure an affordable mortgage at a low interest rate. Loans from Move Up can also be combined with other types of AFDA financial assistance opportunities. 

Best For: First-time home buyers purchasing a property with a maximum purchase price of 

$424,100 USD.

AFDA Down Payment Assistance Program 

This AFDA program offers down payment and closing cost assistance to first-time home buyers. The program acts like a second mortgage by matching the first mortgage. The program has a ten-year term, and the program can provide between $1,000 to $10,000 to eligible home buyers. 

Best For: Home buyers struggling to cover their down payment or closing costs. 

California first time home buyer program

MyHome Assistance Program

Offered by the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA), this program provides first-time home buyers with a deferred-payment junior loan. The value of the junior loan can be no larger than 3.5% of the purchase price or appraised value. It is intended to help you pay your down payment or any associated closing costs. 

Funds for the MyHome Assistance Program are capped at $11,000 USD, but this limit doesn’t apply to school employees, fire department employees, or anyone purchasing newly-constructed homes, manufactured homes, or homes with ADUs. 

Best For: First-time home buyers who meet CalHFA’s income limits

CalHFA Conventional Program

The CalHFA Conventional program is a mortgage loan for first-time home buyers insured through private mortgage insurance on the conventional market. These loans feature fixed interest rates throughout 30-year terms.

Best For: First-time home buyers with good credit who are looking to secure low interest rates.

First time home buyer program Colorado

CHFA Mortgage Programs

The Colorado Housing and Finance Agency (CHFA) helps first-time home buyers secure homeownership by offering a variety of mortgage options. In some cases, you may even be able to put 4% of your CHFA mortgage amount towards a down payment. This loan is considered a second mortgage so it will need to be repaid, but you don’t have to pay it back until you sell your home, refinance your house, or completely pay off your first mortgage. 

Best For: First-time home buyers who have a solid credit history and also meet the CHFA’s income requirements. 

CHFA Down Payment Assistance Grant

This program helps you get up to 3% of your CHFA 30-year mortgage loan amount as a down payment grant. The best part? Repayment isn’t required. 

Best For: First-time home buyers who are struggling to afford a down payment even though they have solid credit histories and meet the CHFA’s income requirements. 

Connecticut first time home buyer programs

CHFA Mortgage Loans

The Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) offers a variety of below-market-rate mortgages to assist low- to moderate-income first-time home buyers. There’s an additional 0.125% discount on published interest rates for public housing tenants, educators, police, disabled people, and military borrowers.

Best For: First-time home buyers that meet certain income requirements and and sales price limits

Delaware first time home buyer program

Preferred Plus

The Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) offers assistance to both repeat and first-time home buyers. The Preferred Plus loan helps borrowers secure a competitive interest rate on their mortgages. In some cases, you may even qualify for down payment assistance and closing cost assistance. 

Best For: Both repeated and first-time home buyers in Delaware who have a solid credit score of at least 680. 

First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

This program offers a tax credit for first-time home buyers or those who haven’t owned a home in the past three years. The tax credit can be up to $2,000 per year. Veterans as well as those who purchase homes in specific areas may be exempt from the three-year requirement.

Best For: First-time home buyers who are veterans and also meet certain income requirements. 

First time home buyer program Florida

Florida Housing First Time Home Buyer Program

The Florida Housing Finance Corporation offers assistance to first-time home buyers by helping them secure a mortgage that suits their financial situation. Mortgage loans can also be combined with other down payment or closing cost assistance programs.

Best For: First-time buyers who meet income, credit, and purchase price requirements.

Florida Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) Program

This program allows first-time home buyers to claim up to 50% of their paid mortgage interest each year as a tax credit on their federal IRS return – capped at $2,000 annually. 

Best For: First-time home buyers who not only meet the income and purchase price limits but who are also looking to save on taxes.

First time home buyer Georgia

Georgia Dream Program

The Georgia Dream Homeownership Program helps qualified borrowers afford the down payments on their new homes. In order to qualify, borrowers must either be first-time home buyers or be purchasing a property in a qualifying area. There are income limits and credit score requirements as well. Most homeowners will receive about $7,500 from the Georgia Dream Program, but people with disabilities could receive as much as $10,000.

Best For: First-time home buyers looking for help with their down payments. 

Hawaii first time home buyer programs

Affordable Resale Program

The Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation (HHFDC) allows residents to purchase homes at below-market prices. From $250,000 for a studio and $500,000 for a three-bedroom single-family home, the HHFDC makes it possible to afford a home. 

Best For: Residents who are at least 18 years old, live in Hawaii, plan to occupy the property they purchase, have enough income to qualify for a mortgage, and don’t own a majority interest in other property or land.

Mortgage Credit Certificate

The mortgage credit certificate offsets the amount of taxes that low- and moderate-income households have to pay. This program is open to all residents as long as they meet certain income requirements and purchase price limits. 

Best For: Low- to moderate-income families looking to save on taxes. 

Idaho first time home buyer programs

Idaho Housing and Finance Association 

The Idaho Housing and Finance Association offers a variety of mortgage loans and refinance loans through a network of approved lenders for both first-time and repeat home buyers. 

With the Idaho Housing and Finance Association, mortgage interest rates can be as low as 2.86% with options for down payment and closing costs assistance. However, you’ll have to meet certain income thresholds and credit score requirements if you want to qualify. 

Best For: Home buyers with sound credit scores, low- to moderate-income levels, and the desire to purchase a home within the set purchase price limit. 

Home Buyer Tax Credit (MCC)

Many states offer mortgage tax credits and Idaho is no different. First-time home buyers and repeat buyers in certain areas can get a federal tax credit of up to $2,000 annually to put towards their mortgage interest.

Best For: First-time home buyers and other qualifying borrowers looking to save on taxes. 

Illinois first time home buyer programs

Purchase Programs

This Illinois Housing Development Authority Program focuses on down payment assistance in varying amounts. Here are some of the possible outcomes of the IHDA mortgage program:

  • Lump sum of $6,000 forgiven over five years
  • Either 4% of the home’s purchase price or up to $6,000 forgiven over ten years
  • Up to 5% of the purchase price with a max value of $7,500
  • Up to 10% of the purchase price with a max of $10,000

Best For: First-time and repeated home buyers looking for down payment assistance. 

Indiana first time home buyer programs

First Place 

The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) provides down payment assistance for first-time home buyers and veterans. The program offers assistance up to 6% of the purchase price.

Best For: First-time home buyers and veterans with low-to moderate-income levels. 

Next Home

This program offers 3.5% of the home’s price in down payment assistance to qualifying first-time home buyers. Unlike First Place, Next Home can be combined with the Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC).

Best For: First-time home buyers looking to secure down payment assistance as well as a mortgage credit certificate.

Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC)

This program is a federal tax credit that helps reduce income tax liability for qualifying home buyers and veterans. Both first-time home buyers and repeat buyers in certain areas of Indiana may receive up to $2,000 annually to put towards their mortgage interest.

Best For: First-time home buyers and other qualifying borrowers looking to save on taxes. 

Iowa first time home buyer programs

First Home

These loans feature low interest rates, lower minimum down payment requirements, and a free Iowa title guarantee owner’s certificate. There are income requirements for the First Home program in addition to what lenders impose. 

Best For: First-time home buyers or veterans purchasing property in an eligible area.

Homes for Iowans

Another Iowa Finance Authority program is called Homes for Iowans. It aims to provide assistance to all residents of Iowa whether or not they are first-time buyers or repeat buyers. These loans come with lower interest rates, fewer fees, and down payment assistance. 

Best For: Home buyers who meet the income limit of $139,580. 

Kansas first time home buyer program

First Time Home Buyer Program

This program provides first-time home buyers with a loan between 15% or 20% of the home’s purchase price.The funds go towards your down payment and closing costs. As you continue to live in the home, the loan is forgiven over time. However, you will have to put down at least 2% of the sale price. 

Best For: First-time home buyers within the required income thresholds.

Kentucky first time home buyer programs

Secondary Market Funding Source

This program is for first-time home buyers and repeat home buyers who meet Kentucky’s income limits. It allows qualifying borrowers to only put down a minimum 3% of the final sale price. 

Best For: Home buyers who meet Kentucky’s income limits

Down Payment Assistance 

FHA, USDA, or VA borrowers may qualify for a loan up to $6,000 at an interest rate of 5.5% that they can then put towards a down payment and final closing costs. 

Best For: Home buyers with good credit looking for help with closing costs and down payment assistance. 

Home Buyer Tax Credit

This tax credit reduces the federal income tax that you owe for every year you occupy the home. The tax credit equals about 25% of the annual mortgage interest paid, though it is capped at $2,000 per year.

Best For: Home buyers who meet the tax credit income threshold.

Louisiana first time home buyer programs

MRB Home Program

This program is for borrowers who bring in an annual household income below 80% of the area’s median income. Qualifying home buyers may receive between 5% and 9% of the home’s purchase price so that they can meet their down payment and closing costs. However, borrowers will still have to contribute either the lesser of 1% of the home’s sales price or a $1,500 payment. 

Best For: Low- to moderate-income households. 

Mortgage Credit Certificate Program 

Another program offered by the Louisiana Housing Corporation, this Mortgage Credit Certificate Program focuses on reducing the tax burden for first-time home buyers, veterans, and low- to moderate-income buyers who are purchasing a home in one of the designated areas. The tax credit is capped at $2,000 through this program. 

Best For: Low- to moderate-income households, first-time home buyers, and veterans. 

Maine first time home buyer programs

MaineHousing First Home Loan 

Loans offered through Maine Housing come with low interest rates and various down payment options. Qualifying owners may even receive up to $3,500 that they can then put towards their down payments and closing costs.  

Best For: First-time home buyers and veterans. 

Maryland first time home buyer programs

Maryland Mortgage Program

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) maintains a variety of different mortgage solutions that assist first-time home buyers, borrowers with student debt, households purchasing in a particular location, and others who need help. You may be able to save on interest rates, receive help with your closing costs, qualify for a smaller down payment, and so much more. 

Best For: Qualifying borrowers with sound credit scores.

Massachusetts first time home buyer programs

MassHousing Mortgage

The Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency, or MassHousing, is a great resource for mortgages geared towards first-time home buyers. There are many low-cost down payment options as well as six months’ worth of mortgage payment protection from up to $2,000 per month. 

Best For: First-time home buyers with solid credit scores.

ONE Mortgage Program

This program is aimed at helping low- to moderate-income households secure an affordable mortgage. Loans come with a thirty-year fixed rate, 3% towards a down payment, and some of the lowest interest rates around. 

Best For: First-time home buyers with less than $75,000 in total household assets in addition to solid credit scores. 

First time home buyer programs Michigan

MI Home Loan Mortgage

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) offers the MI Home Loan for first-time low- to moderate-income home buyers and repeat buyers in select areas. Down payment assistance of up to $10,000 is available for qualified borrowers. Income thresholds and sale price limits of $224,500 apply. 

Best For: Home buyers with low to moderate incomes and sound credit scores. 

MI Home Loan Flex

The MI Home Loan Flex is slightly more flexible than the MI Home Loan Mortgage. It’s open to first-time and repeat home buyers statewide. However, households must still meet the income thresholds and credit score requirements. Plus, the sale price can’t exceed more than $224,500. 

Best For: First-time and repeat home buyers.

Minnesota first time home buyer programs

Start Up Mortgage

The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, or Minnesota Housing, offers the Start Up mortgage program exclusively for first-time home buyers. It features low interest rates, low origination fees, and down payments as low as 1% of the total price. There are also options for down payment and closing cost assistance. 

Best For: First-time home buyers with strong credit scores. 

Step Up Mortgage 

Minnesota Housing hosts this program to help current homeowners buy a new home. The program features low interest rates and down payments as little as 3% in addition to down payment and closing cost assistance. 

Best For: Repeat home buyers who fall within the income limits and purchase price limits.

Mississippi first time home buyer programs

Smart Solution

The Mississippi Home Corporation helps both first-time and repeat home buyers alike get the funds they need to purchase a home. Borrowers who qualify can receive competitive interest rates and an additional add-on of down payment assistance which can be up to 4.5% of the full loan amount.

Best For: Borrowers whose household annual income doesn’t exceed $95,000.

Mortgage Revenue Bond 7 (MRB7)

This program is primarily aimed towards first-time home buyers and veterans looking to buy homes in certain areas of Mississippi. The MRB7 program provides borrowers with $7,000 for a down payment and helps with closing costs through an interest-free loan that ultimately is forgiven after ten years. 

Best For: First-time home buyers, borrowers in certain areas, and veterans who meet the income requirements and purchase price limits. 

Missouri first time home buyer programs

First Place Loan Program

The First Place loan program allows first-time home buyers to receive a mortgage with a low interest rate. Additionally, the loan program also offers another option for a mortgage with slightly higher rates. With this option, the down payment assistance is offered in cash. 

Best For: First-time home buyers and veterans. 

Mortgage Credit Certificate Program 

Another program offered by the Missouri Housing Development Commission, the Mortgage Credit Certificate Program allows eligible first-time home buyers to reduce their federal income tax burden for each year they own and live in their homes.

Best For: First-time home buyers. 

Montana first time home buyer programs

Montana Housing Home Loans

Montana Housing offers various mortgage products to help first-time home buyers afford a new home. They feature low-interest rates, down payment assistance, and help with closing costs. In order to qualify, you’ll have to meet income and purchase price limits

Best For: First-time home buyers who meet income and purchase price limits. 

Nebraska first time home buyer programs

NIFA Loan

The Nebraska Investment Finance Authority (NIFA) provides qualifying first-time home buyers with competitive interest rates, reduced mortgage insurance premiums, loans for down payments, and closing cost assistance. In some cases, you may even be able to lower your monthly payments and increase your buying power. 

Best For: First-time home buyers.

Nevada first time home buyer programs

Home Is Possible

The Nevada Housing Division offers the Home Is Possible program for home buyers who make $98,500 or less every year. The program is applicable to homes that cost less than $548,250 as well. Qualifying borrowers can receive up to 5% of the home loan value and put it towards their down payment as well as upcoming closing costs. However, there is a one-time fee of $755 to participate in the NHD program. 

Best For: Borrowers who make $98,500 or less in annual income and have solid credit scores. 

New Hampshire first time home buyer programs

Home Preferred Plus

The New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority provides this mortgage program to borrowers who need help covering their closing costs and down payments. Borrowers may access up to 4% of their total mortgage value, and the borrower’s total annual income cannot exceed $137,400.

Best For: Home buyers with low to moderate income as well as good credit scores. 

Home Buyer Tax Credit

This tax credit aims to make home ownership more affordable for first-time buyers. This program allows first-time buyers to claim a tax credit for their annual mortgage interest up to $2,000 for as long as you live in your home.

Best For: First-time home buyers looking to save on taxes. 

New Jersey first time home buyer programs

Down Payment Assistance Program

This program offered through the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) offers $10,000 in down payment and closing costs assistance for first-time home buyers. The assistance comes in the form of a 0% interest loan that is forgiven within five years. 

Best For: First-time home buyers who meet income and purchase price limits. 

First time home buyer programs New Mexico

FirstHome

This program by the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority, or MFA, offers first-time home buyers with low or moderate incomes the opportunity to secure an affordable mortgage and receive down payment assistance. In order to qualify, you’ll have to contribute $500. 

Best For: First-time home buyers with strong credit.  

FirstDown 

This program provides a second mortgage intended to help first-time homeowners cover closing costs and down payments. You may be able to receive up to $8,000 in assistance but you’ll have to pay it back through monthly payments. 

Best For: First-time home buyers who can afford to take out a loan to cover their down payments. 

First time home buyer programs New York

Achieving The Dream

The State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA) offers this program to lower-income, first-time home buyers. Borrowers will benefit from lower interest rates and lower down payment requirements. 

Best For: First-time home buyers who meet income requirements. 

Down Payment Assistance Loan

The Down Payment Assistance Loan helps low-income borrowers access the cash they need to cover their down payments. The program provides up to 3% of the purchase price in cash at a 0% interest rate. There are no monthly payments, and the loan is forgiven after ten years. 

Best For: Low-income first-time home buyers. 

North Carolina first time home buyer program

NC Home Advantage Mortgage

Open to both first-time and repeat home buyers alike, the  North Carolina Housing Finance Agency has a program that offers down payment assistance up to 5% of the loan amount. Once you’ve lived in your home for at least 11 years, 20% of the down payment assistance will be forgiven each year thereafter. The entire down payment assistance will be forgiven once you’ve lived in the home for 15 years. 

Best For: Home buyers that don’t make more than $99,000 per year. 

NC Home Advantage Tax Credit

First-time buyers and military veterans may qualify for a tax credit of 50% of their annual mortgage interest payments up to $2,000 per year. Borrowers will have to meet certain income and sales price limits

Best For: First-time home buyers and military veterans.

North Dakota first time home buyer

NDHFA Loan

The North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDFHA) offers products to first-time home buyers, borrowers in specific areas, and borrowers who meet the set income requirements. There are also options for down payment and closing cost assistance. All products require a $500 out-of-pocket cash investment, and the home must be a personal residence. 

Best For: First-time home buyers, borrowers in specific areas, and borrowers who meet the income requirements.

Ohio first time home buyer programs

Ohio Your Choice! Down Payment Assistance

First-time home buyers and repeat buyers may qualify for cash assistance of anywhere between 2.5% to 5% of the home’s purchase price. Funds can be used to cover the down payment and other closing costs. Once you live in the home for at least seven years, the loan will be forgiven. However, if you sell or refinance your house before seven years have passed, you’ll have to repay the borrowed funds in full. 

Best For: Borrowers who meet income and purchase price limits

Ohio Mortgage Tax Credit

Another program provided by the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OFHA), this Ohio Mortgage Tax Credit focuses on helping first-time home buyers receive a federal tax credit on a portion of the mortgage interest they have paid. This value is capped at $2,000 annually. 

Best For: First-time home buyers who meet income and purchase price limits

Oklahoma first time home buyer programs

OFA Down Payment Assistance 

The Oklahoma Finance Agency (OFA) provides down payment assistance to first-time home buyers, repeat buyers, teachers, first responders, and employees who work for the state. Eligible borrowers can receive as much as 3.5% of their total loan amount in down payment assistance. You can check your eligibility here

Best For: Borrowers with strong credit.

Oregon first time home buyer programs

Oregon Cash Advantage Home Loan

Offered by the Oregon Housing and Community Services, this loan program helps first-time borrowers get a low-interest rate on their mortgage. They will also receive 3% of the loan amount as down payment and closing cost assistance.

Best For: Borrowers with strong credit. 

Oregon Down Payment Assistance

Eligible home buyers who have completed the Oregon Home Buyer Education Course and recommended coaching classes from a qualified organization can receive up to $15,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance.

Best For: First-time and repeat home buyers with strong credit.

Pennsylvania first time home buyer programs

PHFA Home Loan

Home loans provided by the Pennsylvania Finance Housing Agency offer competitive interest rates, low fees, and fixed terms in addition to down payment and closing cost assistance. 

Best For: First-time home buyers and veterans. 

Mortgage Credit Certificate

Eligible buyers may receive a Mortgage Credit Certificate that allows up to $2,000 as an annual tax credit on mortgage interest that has been paid. In order to qualify, your home must be your primary residence. 

Best For: First-time home buyers and borrowers who meet the income requirements.

Rhode Island first time home buyer programs

First-Time Home Buyer Loans 

Rhode Island Housing loans are designed for first-time home buyers. They feature unique benefits, and qualified borrowers may be able to receive 100% financing with no down payment requirements. In cases where you’ll have to pay a down payment and closing costs, assistance is available. Purchase price and income limits apply. 

Best For: Borrowers within the purchase price and income limits.

First Homes Tax Credit

First Homes Tax Credit provides qualified home buyers with tax savings on the interest they pay on their mortgages annually. Savings are capped at $2,000 per year. Purchase price and income limits apply. 

Best For: First-time home buyers and repeat home buyers in select areas.

South Carolina first time home buyer programs

SC Housing Home Buyer Program

The South Carolina Housing Authority provides low-interest, fixed-rate loans and down payment assistance to first-time home buyers through participating lenders. 

Best For: First-time home buyers and repeat buyers in targeted areas.

Palmetto Home Advantage

This mortgage is designed for both first-time and repeat home buyers. Borrowers can secure a market rate loan with down payment assistance of either zero, four, or five percent of the total loan amount. Eligible borrowers will have to meet income limits of $101,000 as well as adhere to set price limits. 

Best For: First-time and repeat borrowers who earn within the income limits.

South Dakota first time home buyer programs

SDHDA Home Loan

The South Dakota Housing Development Authority (SDHDA) offers low interest fixed rate mortgage loans and cash assistance for first-time buyers. You’ll have to meet income requirements in order to qualify. Also, the home’s sale price cannot exceed $300,000.

Best For: First-time home buyers who fall within the income limits.

SDHDA Down Payment Assistance

Borrowers who receive an SDHDA home loan may also qualify for 3% to 5% in down payment and closing costs assistance. These funds will come via a second mortgage with 0% interest and no additional fees.

Best For: Borrowers with sound credit scores. 

Tennessee first time home buyer programs

Great Choice Home Loan

The Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) created the Great Choice Home Loan program to help make home ownership more realistic for low- to moderate-income households. This program is open to both first-time and repeat buyers alike who are within the income and purchase price limits.  

Best For: Low- to moderate-income borrowers with good credit. 

Great Choice Plus Second Loan

Essentially a second mortgage, this program helps Great Choice Home Loan borrowers receive additional assistance to put towards down payments and closing costs. This loan is paid in monthly installments over the course of 15 years. The interest rate will be equivalent to the interest rate of your first mortgage.

Best For: Borrowers with good credit. 

Texas first-time home buyer programs

My First Texas Home Loan

The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) offers a program to first-time home buyers and veterans who need help buying a home. Qualified borrowers may receive down payment and closing cost assistance equivalent to up to 5% of the loan amount. This second mortgage comes with no interest and no monthly payments.  

Best For: First-time home buyers and veterans. 

Mortgage Credit Certificate

First-time home buyers and veterans may receive a certificate that offers a dollar-for-dollar reduction on federal taxes. This assistance is available without a minimum credit score. 

Best For: First-time home buyers and veterans. 

Utah first time home buyer programs

FirstHome Loan

The FirstHome Loan program helps first-time home buyers, qualified veterans, and single parents achieve affordable homeownership. The mortgages feature low-interest rates. There are options for down payment and closing cost assistance in the form of a second mortgage. Qualification is based on credit score, debt ratios, income, and the home’s purchase price.

Best For: First-time home buyers, qualified veterans, and single parents. 

Vermont first time home buyer programs

VHFA Mortgage Program

The Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) offers thirty-year fixed-rate mortgages through participating lenders. Coupled with additional benefits, these mortgages come with low-interest rates, down payment help, and closing cost assistance. You might even receive up to $875 in savings on the Vermont Property Transfer Tax closing cost. 

Best For: Borrowers who meet income and purchase price limits.

Virginia first time home buyer programs

Virginia Housing Loan Combo

Virginia Housing makes homeownership possible for low- to moderate-income households. You can access low interest rates, zero down payment options, and a free home buyer’s class. Income and purchase price limits apply. 

Best For: Households that meet the income and purchase price limits.

Down Payment Assistance Grant

Virginia Housing’s Down Payment Assistance (DPA) grant helps eligible first-time home buyers access the funds they need to cover the cost of their down payments. The maximum grant amount is between 2% and 2.5 % of the total purchase price. There are no repayment requirements. 

Best For: Borrowers who meet household income limits

First time home buyer programs Washington

Home Advantage Program

Washington’s Home Advantage program is available through qualified lenders. It offers thirty-year fixed-rate mortgages for first-time home buyers. Loans also come with additional benefits such as a 4% down payment assistance.

Best For: Borrowers with good credit who meet the maximum annual income limit of $145,000. 

Home Advantage Down Payment Assistance

This program allows you to receive a loan equal to up to 5% of your mortgage, which you can then put towards your down payment. Assistance comes in the form of a 0% interest loan with payment deferred for 30 years. However, you’ll have to make payments sooner if you sell your home or refinance your mortgage. 

Best For: Borrowers with good credit who meet the maximum annual income limit of $145,000.

West Virginia first time home buyer programs

Homeownership Program

This program offers first-time home buyers, borrowers in targeted counties, and veterans access to affordable mortgages. Eligible borrowers can also receive up to 100% assistance with down payments and closing costs. 

Best For: Borrowers who meet income limits

Down Payment/Closing Cost Assistance Program

Offered by the West Virginia Housing Development Fund, this program provides borrowers with up to either $7,500 for loans with a loan-to-value ratio greater than or equal to 90% of the purchase price or $10,000 for loans with a loan-to-value ratio less than 90% of the purchase price. Assistance comes in the form of a fifteen-year, fixed-term loan at 2% of the purchase price. 

Best For: Borrowers who already qualify for the Homeownership Program.

Wisconsin first time home buyer programs

WHEDA Home Loans 

The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) helps first-time and repeat home buyers receive affordable solutions through participating lenders. These loans come with low interest rates, minimal down payments, and fixed terms. Additional benefits may be available to homeowners who purchase in certain rural areas. 

Best For: First-time and repeat home buyers.

Wyoming first time home buyer programs

First-Time Home Buyer Loan

This program from the Wyoming Community Development Authority (WCDA) is designed to help first-time buyers achieve homeownership. Loans feature thirty-year terms, low interest rates, and fixed costs, as well as the possibility to qualify for down payment assistance. 

Best For: Home buyers that meet WCDA’s income and purchase price limits.

Down Payment Assistance 

With WCDA, borrowers can pay their down payments and closing costs without hesitation. Assistance comes in the form of a loan at 0% interest with no monthly payments. Instead, repayment is due when you sell the home or if you decide to refinance. 

Best For: Home buyers that meet WCDA’s income and purchase price limits.

Why First-Time Home Buyers Need Solid Credit

Your credit score becomes particularly important when purchasing a home. Generally, you’ll want your score to be 620 at a minimum in order to qualify for the majority of first-time home buyer programs and secure the best rates. If you need help boosting your score in a short amount of time, make sure to check out MoneyLion’s Credit Builder Plus membership. This powerful membership can help you secure up to $1,000 in financing along with credit insights and tips. Learn more here.

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