Many young people are putting off buying their first home because they quite simply can’t afford it. Whether it be from student loan debt or just an inability to break out of the renter routine due to their financial situation, there are ways to overcome this tough situation to get a home with an affordable mortgage. Here are some programs that can help you get out of that rental and into your first house.
Try FHA Loans If You Have a Good Credit Score
Established in 1934, the Federal Housing Administration insures the loan so that the lender can off you a better deal. If you have a credit score of 580 or higher, this can be great option to get a down payment as low as 3.5%. If you are in the 500 to 570 range on your credit score, you can still qualify for down payments of at least 10%. If you are below the threshold of 500, then you will probably not be eligible for this type of loan.
Getting A Loan Back by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae
Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are government entities that make the secondary mortgage market more liquid, which in turn “helps lower the interest rates paid by homeowners and other mortgage borrowers,” according to the FHFA website. As a result, this enables lenders to offer competitive interest rates and take down payments as low as 3% of the purchase price.
Investing in A Fixer-Upper
Another loan that is also backed by the FHA is through the Section 203(k) rehabilitation program. If you can’t afford a newly built home and decide that you want to get into a home that needs work, this can be another option. Basically, the program allows homebuyers and homeowners to finance both the purchase or refinancing, of a house and the cost of the work needed to rehabilitate the home through a single home. Down payments through this method can be as low as 3%.
Aid for Active Duty, Veterans, and Surviving Spouses
With a VA loan, the VA basically guarantees a portion of the loan, which enables the lender to offer more favorable terms. These loans have competitive interest rates and do not require a down payment. Moreover, PMI is not required and you don’t have to stress about your credit score for a minimum credit score, as required by an FHA loan, is not required in this instance.
Good Neighbor Next Door
If you are a firefighter, a pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers, emergency medical technicians, or law enforcement, then you should consider the Good Neighbor Next Door program offered by HUD. Designed to revitalize communities, certain eligible single-family homes are offered exclusively through the program for seven days. Through this program, you can get a discount of 50% from the list price of the home as long as you commit to living in the property as your sole residence for at least 36 months.
Other Programs That Are Available
An energy-efficient mortgage, or EEM, is insured through the FHA or VA programs and is designed to help you make energy improvements to a new home. As described the Energy Star, “EEMs give borrowers the opportunity to finance cost-effective, energy-saving measures as part of a single mortgage and stretch debt-to-income qualifying ratios on loans thereby allowing borrowers to qualify for a larger loan amount and a better, more energy-efficient home.”
The Native American Veteran Direct Loan helps Native American veterans and their spouses purchase a home on federal trust lands. The main benefits of this program are that you won’t be required to make a down payment or take out PMI.
Aside from these federal government programs, you can always see what state and local programs are available for first homebuyers according to Bankrate. The best place to look for these programs is on your state’s or community’s website.