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Programs to Help First-Time and Other Qualified Homebuyers

Buying a home can mean paying thousands of dollars for a down payment and other expenses. Fortunately, there are programs for first-time and other qualified homebuyers available to help reduce expenses. If you’re wondering how you can afford to buy a house, this guide could help put homeownership within your reach.

Buying a home is an exciting time, but between the down payment, closing costs and other expenses, costs can add up quickly. Fortunately, there are programs available for homebuyers to help make these expenses more manageable.

To help you navigate your choices, we’ve outlined some of the most common down payment programs available to help first-time and other qualifying homebuyers.

Fannie Mae’s HomeReady® Mortgage Program1

This program makes homeownership a possibility for low- and middle-income Arizonans by offering down-payment options as low as 3% on conventional loans.

Ideal HomeReady Borrowers:

  • Have low to moderate income
  • Are first-time or repeat homebuyers
  • Have limited cash for down payment
  • Have a credit score above 620; borrowers with credit scores above 680 may get even better pricing

Freddie Mac’s Home Possible® Program2

Very similar to Fannie Mae’s program, the Home Possible program also gives homebuyers the ability to put as little as 3% down. It offers credit flexibilities for low-to-moderate income borrowers.

Ideal Home Possible Borrowers:

  • Borrowers desiring a low down-payment solution with flexible sources of funds
  • Very low- to low-income borrowers
  • First-time homebuyers, move-up borrowers and retirees

FHA Loans3

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan program approves borrowers with lower credit scores and accepts down payments below standard requirements.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Proof of employment and a steady income
  • FICO credit score of at least 500
  • Down payment of at least 3.5% of the home’s purchase price
  • Down payment of 10% if credit score is between 500 and 579
  • A debt-to-income ratio of less than 43%
  • The home must be the buyer’s primary residence
  • Buyer must move in within 60 days of closing
  • Can only be used on a home that meets the minimum property standards

VA Loans4

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loans are exclusively for homebuyers who serve or have served in the military. VA loans typically do not require a down payment or Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) and have limited closing costs.

USDA Loans5

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans are available on homes located in suburban or rural areas and can be available for qualified homebuyers with 100% financing.

Buying a home is a complicated and expensive process, but you don’t have to go it alone. At Desert Financial, our highly qualified and caring mortgage loan officers will help you find the loan that fits your finances and needs the best. Whether it’s an FHA, VA, USDA or conventional loan, we are here to help you every step of the way to becoming a homeowner.

Dreaming of buying your first home or moving to a new one?

Let us help you!


Mortgage loans are offered by Define Mortgage Solutions, LLC, NMLS ID #1761612, a subsidiary of Desert Financial Credit Union. BK#0949053

The material presented here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as financial, investment, or legal advice.