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4 First-time Homebuyer Mortgage Options

As a first-time homebuyer, there are several exciting and helpful lending products and programs to help you land your first home. The terms of these first-time home buyer mortgage options typically mean a lower down payment, but there are many different facets to them. Our credit counseling advice is to learn about them. Here is a closer look at some different lending options to choose from if you are a first-time homebuyer.

Learn more about first-time homebuyer mortgage options.

Learn more about first-time homebuyer mortgage options.

List of First-time Homebuyer Mortgage Options

Since many first-time homebuyers are young and have no home equity to use, there are many loan products out there that give a boost. Let’s learn about four first-time home buyer mortgage options.

1. FHA Loan

According to HUD.gov, “FHA loans have been helping people become homeowners since 1934.” These loans feature low down payments and closing costs, plus it has less stringent credit qualifications. You only need a 3.5% down payment. The loan is backed by the government, so the lender can make the deal sweeter than without that support. All of these features make it a great option for young buyers.

However, there are some restrictions on this program. There are certain requirements the property needs to meet. Borrowers must also pay mortgage insurance for a substantial part of the loan term.

2. FHA Section 203(k)

Are you looking for fixer uppers? In that case, the Section 203(k) rehabilitation program may be a good fit. This mortgage loan provides the renovation money as part of the mortgage loan. It also offers a low down payment- as low as 3%. You’ll need a detailed proposal for the work and meet a few other qualifications.

Zillow.com explains the two types of 203(k) loans:

“There are two main types of FHA 203k mortgage loans. The first is the regular or standard 203k, which is given for properties that need things like structural repairs, remodeling, a new garage, or landscaping; the second is the streamlined or limited 203k, which is given for energy conservation improvements, new roofing, new appliances, or non-structural repairs such as painting.”

3. USDA Loan

USDA loans are another great first-time homebuyer mortgage option. These are also backed by the government and focus on homes in rural areas. Bankrate.com says that there may be no down payment requirement. Borrowers with a credit score of 640 or higher will have an easier time moving through the process. There are also income limitations to this loan product and those vary based on where you live.

4. Other Local Grants and Programs

The last option may take a little research but can be well worth it in the end. Depending on where you live and the qualifications needed, there may be grants or first-time homebuyer programs available to help with the down payment or closing costs. Some programs offer classes and savings goals. You should check with your local Housing Agencies and non-profits in your area.

Finally, remember to talk with others who have gone through this process to learn about more resources and opportunities. Research banks and credit unions to compare packages and options. Be sure to ask them if they service the loan in the house or not, income requirements, if they offer their own mortgage + rehab loans, etc. This is the time to be thorough since your mortgage will be with you for a very long time.

If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today. 


Michelle is a regular contributor to Talking Cents. She has taken several financial courses on debt management and is ready to circulate what she has learned from them as well as lessons from her own life- family to DIY projects to student loan debt.

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