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Mississippi First-Time Homebuyer Programs

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Intro

New homebuyers looking to buy in Mississippi, home of the moody blues and blooming magnolia trees, may be able to find local assistance programs to help make the purchase possible. These programs target first-time homebuyers by helping with down payments, closing costs and monthly payments.

Mississippi also offers counseling services that cover anything from buying a home to foreclosures, along with educational courses ideal for first-time buyers. If you’re interested in buying in Mississippi and want to learn more about the various programs offered, read on to determine which might be a good fit for you.

Mississippi first-time homebuyer programs

The Mississippi Home Corp. (MHC) offers several programs geared toward helping first-time homebuyers purchase a home. The agency first came about in 1989, with the help of the Mississippi Home Corp. act, to provide affordable and safe housing to its residents. These programs can offer anything from deferred loan payments to tax credits that can help save extra money.

Eligibility for Mississippi assistance

While all of these homebuyer assistance programs have individual eligibility rules and regulations, most tend to look at a few major criteria, such as a homebuyer’s income, credit score, legal residency and previous homeownership.

Smart Solution Mortgage

Smart Solution Mortgage teams up with participating lenders to offer loans with competitive rates and down payment assistance. It also provides its Smart Solution Second, which is geared toward those who need a second mortgage by offering 3.5% down payment.

What is it?

  • A 30-year fixed rate
  • Offers cheaper mortgage insurance premiums
  • Offers the option to combine a Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) with the possibility of claiming 40% of mortgage interest (up to $2,000 per year) as credit on federal income taxes and using the rest as a deduction

Requirements

  • Must be the buyer’s primary residence
  • Household income cannot be more than $95,000 per year
  • Must be U.S. resident
  • Minimum credit score of 620 (for Federal Housing Administration [FHA], U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA] or U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs [VA] loans and conventional loans)
  • The property (new or existing) must be in Mississippi and should be one of the following: single-family home, condominium, townhouse or duplex

MRB 7

Mortgage Revenue Bonds program (or MRB 7) helps ease the burden of coming up with a down payment by providing $7,000 to be put toward it.

What is it?

  • A 30-year fixed rate mortgage
  • The buyer has various loan options (FHA, VA, USDA Rural Development and Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac Loans)
  • No restrictions on liquid assets
  • Offers down payment assistance
  • Also offers a 10-year deferred second mortgage with no interest, which can be forgivable after 10 years

Requirements

  • Must be a first-time homebuyer (not allowed to have owned a residence in the past three years), but veterans and residents in “target areas” such as Pike and Sharkey counties, are exempt.
  • Need to meet credit requirements and loan-underwriting requirements, depending on the specific product.
  • Income level cannot exceed maximum in the county in which you plan to live. For example, Clarke County residents with a household of one or two cannot exceed $52,800 in income, and those with three or more max out at $60,720.
  • Must be a U.S. resident.
  • The property must be in Mississippi and can be either a new or existing single-family home, condominium or townhouse.
  • Purchase price must not exceed maximum for specific county.

Housing Assistance for Teachers (HAT)

The Housing Assistance for Teachers Program (HAT) offers homebuying assistance to teachers who want to live in rural Mississippi, where there is a shortage of educators.

What is it?

  • A 25- or 30-year fixed-rate loan that provides up to $6,000 toward closing costs
  • Offers down payment assistance
  • Has no income limits (except when pairing HAT with another MHC loan)

Requirements

  • Must be a teacher for three years in a school district with a shortage of educators.
  • Must meet certain credit requirements.
  • Required to pay at least 1% of the property price for the down payment along with one month’s reserves.
  • The property location needs to be within an eligible county, such as Bolivar or Marshall. Loan-to-value ratio (LTV) cannot be more than 97%.
  • Must have an acceptable credit score (required credit score varies depending on LTV).
  • Must have mortgage insurance, depending on LTV.

Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC)

The Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) can provide a tax credit up to 40% of the loan’s annual interest (actual amount depends on interest already paid), allowing for a possible 60% to be used as a deduction.

What is it?

  • A tax credit of up to 40%
  • The credit can be combined with MHC’s other programs and various loan products (conventional, FHA, VA and RD financing)

Requirements

  • Must be a first-time homebuyer (those in “target areas,” including Benton and Copiah, are exempt).
  • Can’t exceed household income limits, which vary by county. Clay County, for example, cannot exceed $63,360 for a household of one to two, or $73,920 for three or more.
  • The tax credit cannot be more than $2,000 per year.
  • Must live in a single-family home as permanent residence, and all manufactured homes need to be approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
  • Purchase price must not exceed limits for specific county.
  • Must pay a $300 non-refundable reservation fee.
  • Must provide property sales contract and federal income tax returns (from the last three years).
  • Must complete a homebuyer education course.

How to apply

To apply for any of the homebuyer assistance programs with the Mississippi Home Corp., you will need to work with a participating lender. You can start this process by searching the agency’s website for a participating lender and reach out to them directly.

These lenders will be able to match you with the specific program(s) that work best for your needs, depending on your financial profile and credit history. Your income and credit score will be considered, along with the county where you are looking to purchase your new home.

National first-time homebuyer programs

Mississippi has many different programs that can come in handy when you’re looking to buy your first home there. However, the state may not have the perfect program that works for you. If that is the case, you may want to look into other programs that are available nationwide. Some of these programs include the USDA Rural Development program targeting lower-income residents who want to buy a home in a specified rural area, along with Habitat for Humanity, the FHA and the VA. Learn more about these programs by checking out LendingTree’s general guide to first-time homebuyer programs. LendingTree owns MagnifyMoney.

This article contains links to LendingTree, our parent company.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Carissa Chesanek
Carissa Chesanek |

Carissa Chesanek is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Carissa here

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Florida First-Time Homebuyer Programs of 2019

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Florida has lots to offer its residents — from sandy beaches and warm weather to year-round outdoor amusement parks and some of the best stone crabs around.If you’re looking to buy your first home in the Sunshine State, you may be able to get some financial assistance. There are different programs, with various qualification criteria, dedicated to helping new homebuyers with anything from the down payment to lower interest rates.

But Florida doesn’t just offer financial assistance with mortgage loans. There are other programs, such as counseling services, that can help with homebuying, refinancing and everything else you may face when purchasing a home.

Florida first-time homebuyer programs

The Florida Housing Finance Corp. manages first-time homebuyer programs in the state. The agency dates back to 35 years of working with Florida’s government officials to provide local residents financial assistance to afford their new home. Florida Housing Finance Corp. ensures each borrower is matched with a specific program that’s ideal for their individual financial needs and background. Some of the programs offered can include a Homebuyer Loan program and Down Payment Assistance program, among others.

Eligibility for Florida assistance

Those looking to buy in Florida who want to apply for financial assistance from one of these programs may come across varying eligibility requirements. Each one of these homebuyer assistance programs offered in Florida may have its own specific requirements, but most will look at a person’s credit score, along with income level and purchase-price limits. Borrowers may also be required to take a homebuyer education course. Continue reading for more details on each program and its requirements.

Florida Housing Finance Corp.

Florida Housing Finance Corp. offers various programs ideal for first-time homebuyers who need assistance to buy their new home. This agency has programs that can help financially in many ways, including providing lower interest rates on home loans to make for easier payments.

More information about these programs is provided below. However, if you want more in-depth details, you will need to contact the Florida Housing Finance Corp.

Florida Homebuyer Loan Program

The Florida Homebuyer Loan Program offers a 30-year fixed rate on a borrower’s first mortgage loan. Assistance can also be provided with a second mortgage or a grant that can help with the cost of the down payment or closing costs. In order to qualify, borrowers must have already qualified for a home loan, have a credit score of 640 or higher and must have completed a homebuyer education class. Income level and purchase-price limits may also be taken into consideration for qualification.

Mortgage Credit Certificate Program

The Mortgage Credit Certificate Program offers financial assistance toward a first mortgage by providing a federal income tax credit that is based on the borrower’s loan amount (usually a credit of 10% to 30%). This can help reduce the borrower’s tax liability each year to help pay for the monthly mortgage payments. Borrowers must be first-time homebuyers to qualify for this certificate program. A borrower’s income and the property’s purchase price may also be looked at in order to determine eligibility.

Down Payment Assistance Program

The Florida Housing Finance Corp. offers programs geared toward down payment and closing cost assistance. These programs are offered as a second mortgage loan to those who qualify. But keep in mind, in order to receive down payment assistance, borrowers must also have a first mortgage with the Florida Housing Finance Corp.

The Florida Assist (FL Assist) program is an additional down payment assistance program offered by the Florida Housing Finance Corp. Depending on the county you want to live in in Florida, you may be eligible to receive up to $7,500 in down payment assistance and a 0%-interest second mortgage with deferred payments. You will not need to start making payments unless certain circumstances should arise, such as choosing to sell or refinance the home down the road.

As for grants, the agency offers its HFA Preferred Grant, which provides borrowers 3% of the purchase price of the home a person wants to buy. This does not need to be repaid.

How it works

First-time homebuyers who are interested in applying for one of these programs offered by the Florida Housing Finance Corp. can contact an approved lender found on the agency’s website. To find a lender, simply choose your household size and preferred county from the dropdown bars at the bottom of the agency’s webpage. From there, you will get a list of approved lenders that you can click on to learn more about the programs offered and how to contact a specific loan specialist.

A loan specialist from an approved lender should be able to explain the application process while going over requirements, and can get you started with your application while answering any questions you may have along the way.

National first-time homebuyer programs

As outlined here, Florida has its own first-time homebuyer assistance programs that can help lighten the financial burden of purchasing a new home. But these statewide programs are not the only ones that can help. There are many other programs available to you nationwide that can provide financial assistance to purchase your first home, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Housing Service, which offers loans and grants for borrowers looking to buy properties in rural areas. Habitat for Humanity, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loans are also options for homebuyer programs that can be found across the country. To learn more, head over to LendingTree’s easy-to-follow guide to first-time home buyer programs.

This article contains links to LendingTree, our parent company.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Carissa Chesanek
Carissa Chesanek |

Carissa Chesanek is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Carissa here

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How Down Payment Assistance Programs Can Help You Buy a Home

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Making a down payment on a home isn’t always easy. Even if you make less than the recommended 20% down payment, you’re still likely to have to shell out thousands or tens of thousands of dollars upfront. If you are like many homebuyers, you’ll need help paying for your deposit. That’s where down payment assistance programs come in.Down payment assistance programs (DPAPs) can provide help paying for some, if not all, of your down payment. Often, these programs can be used to help pay for closing costs, too. This may ease the financial burden of coming up with thousands of dollars all at once.

In 2017, the nonprofit NeighborWorks America shelled out $39.2 million to borrowers who needed down payment assistance in the United States. That’s just one of numerous such programs, which means there may be plenty of help for you.

What forms can a DPAP take?

Down payment assistance programs can come as loans or grants. While borrowers normally need to pay back loans, you don’t have to repay grants, though you may need to meet specific requirements to be eligible.

  • Grants are considered “gifts” and don’t have to be repaid. The nonprofit National Homebuyers Fund, Inc., is one provider of DPAP grants. Its grants can cover either all or a portion of the down payment cost.Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority also offers a down payment assistance program, called HELPING TO OWN (H2O). It provides a grant of 3.5% to those who want to purchase a home in Indiana.
  • Loans come in different forms but are usually second mortgage programs and need to be paid back in a specific time period, normally ranging from five to 30 years. Some loans, called  “silent seconds,” offer deferred payments. One example is the down payment assistance program from the California Housing Financing Agency. The agency offers a second loan, which requires no payments until you sell, refinance or pay off your house in full.There are also forgivable second mortgage programs, such as the Utah’s Down Payment Assistance program, which provides a five-year forgivable loan with deferred payments and 0% interest.

Who is eligible?

Each down payment assistance program has its own qualification requirements, often having to do with your income, the purchase price of the home and the location of the home. For example, the Arizona Department of Housing’s Pathway to Purchase Down Payment Assistance program has an income limit of $92,984.00 and a purchase price limit of $371,936.00.

Keep in mind, you may also be required to take a homebuyer education course before you can qualify, as is the case with the down payment assistance programs from the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority. Other programs may also require financial counseling with an expert to help you understand what is expected when it comes time to repay your loan.

What to watch out for

There may be other restrictions to consider with down payment assistance programs. For example, Utah’s Down Payment Assistance only allows borrowers who have not owned a home within the past three years. Another possible restriction may require you to live at the property as the permanent residence, as with Nevada Rural Housing Authority’s Home at Last™ Down Payment Assistance.

Loans for down payments may come with higher interest rates than mortgages. You may also need to pay for private mortgage insurance each month for as long as it takes to achieve 20% of your home equity.

And since these loans are usually second mortgages, you’ll likely need to qualify for a first mortgage. This holds true with the Connecticut down payment assistance program loan. It requires you to qualify for a mortgage with a lender approved by the program.

Be sure to also keep an eye out for application fees, which sometimes occur with these types of programs. For example, in Connecticut, lenders who work with the down payment assistance program may charge you a $200 application fee.

Finding down payment assistance in your area

No matter where you live or are looking to buy, there are most likely down payment assistance programs. You’ll just have to do a little digging to find them.

A good place to start is by checking out the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development website. Here, you’ll be able to search by your state to see which programs, such as grants or loans, are offered in your area. You can also search your city’s department of economic and community development website to see what’s offered there.

Local mortgage lenders can provide some assistance as well. Search online to see which local mortgage lenders are available in your area and contact them directly for more information.

Other assistance programs for professionals or first-time homebuyers.

There are many different assistance programs out there, some specifically for certain types of professionals. HUD’s Good Neighbor Next Door program offers a 50% discount off a home’s listing price to working firemen, police officers, first responders and teachers. Recipients must reside at the property for at least 36 months.

Meanwhile, the PenFed Foundation Dream Makers Grant offers a maximum $5,000 grant to active military or veterans looking to purchase a new home.

As for first-time homebuyers, there are likely many different programs available within the state where you want to live. Those in Nebraska may choose the Homebuyer Assistance (HBA) offered by Nebraska Investment Finance Authority, which can provide down payment assistance of up to 5% of the purchase price — as long as the borrower has not purchased a home within the last three years. Those in New York may be interested in the HomeFirst Down Payment Assistance Program, which can provide up to $40,000 for the down payment (or closing costs) for new homebuyers who will live at the property for 10 years or more.

Conclusion

Down payment assistance programs can benefit people who want to buy a home but may not have the the funds for a large deposit. These programs can help you purchase a home in the area of your choice while lifting a financial burden, sometimes requiring only a fair credit score.

However, there are other eligibility requirements to consider and financial education to partake in along with several restrictions and limitations to abide by. It’s best to always weigh all the pros and cons first before finalizing your decision.

This article contains links to LendingTree, our parent company.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Carissa Chesanek
Carissa Chesanek |

Carissa Chesanek is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Carissa here

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