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As of June 25, 2018, we’ve made some changes to the way our mortgage approvals work. You can read more about our Power Buyer ProcessTM.

Are you thinking about buying a home but you could use some funding for the down payment. A down payment assistance program might just be the answer you need.

Down payment assistance can be a helpful resource during your home buying process. Let’s discuss what down payment assistance is and a couple of different ways you might go about getting it in order to give you a leg up in buying your home.

Down Payment Assistance Basics

Down payment assistance occurs when part of your down payment is funded by the government – most commonly at the state or local level – by a nonprofit charitable organization or other public entity, by a labor union or even by an employer. Sometimes lenders have programs to provide a form of down payment assistance.

One requirement for using a grant or other type of down payment assistance is that the assistance must be available (via an application process) for the general public, not created just to help you.

Getting Help from Sellers

In the past, sellers were able to contribute to the buyer’s down payment through an intermediate service that kept an account for the buyer. This practice ended with a law change that took effect in 2008.

Just because the seller can’t help you with the down payment directly doesn’t mean you can’t negotiate with sellers for other items as part of the transaction. The seller can contribute to things like attorney fees, fees for real estate tax services and title insurance. They can also help pay for points paid up front to lower your interest rate and contribute to property taxes.

There are limits to how much a seller can contribute based on the type of loan you’re going with. Be sure to discuss these limits and your options with your Home Loan Expert.

Finding Down Payment Assistance

The following apply to traditional down payment assistance beyond seller concessions. Some programs may be available in your area if you know where to look.

Publicly Available Assistance and Grants

Some publicly available grants may have specific groups they’re aimed at and you’ll have to track these down, but if may be well worth your time. A good place to start is the Department of Housing and Urban Development. It has a curated list of programs available in each state. Where available, they also list programs that are unique to the city in which you’re looking to buy.

The 1% Down (but 3% Equity) Program

Quicken Loans has a grant program for well-qualified home buyers purchasing a single-unit primary residence, condo, planned unit development (PUD) or townhouse. You can to put 1% down and get a 2% equity grant from Quicken Loans.* Quicken Loans will stop taking applications for this program beginning January 31, 2018. You’ll need to meet the following qualifications:

  • In the majority of cases, you can’t make more than 100% of the median income in your area. Use this search engine to check your eligibility. If you live in an area that Freddie Mac considers underserved, these limits may not apply.
  • Your median FICO score must be 680 or higher.
  • For the best chance of approval, your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio should be no higher than 45%.

Those are the basics, but here’s some more detail on our 1% down program.

Are you ready to get started? You can get a complete preapproval online through Rocket Mortgage® by Quicken Loans®. If you’d prefer to give one of our Home Loan Experts a call, you can reach us at (800) 785-4788.

*The payment on a $200,000 30-year fixed-rate loan at 4.75% (5.289% APR) with an LTV of 97% is $1043.30, which includes a mortgage insurance payment of $95. Taxes and homeowners insurance are not included. Rates shown valid on publication date of 4/24/2017. Restrictions may apply.

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. What programs do you accept when it comes to down payment assistant programs/grants? I need to know as soon as possible

    1. Hi Jessica:

      There’s no one type of program that we accept. The key here is that the program has to be open to the public and not created to help you alone, but other than that, there are a wide variety of assistance programs and grants we accept. Check out this list of down payment assistance programs broken down by state and maintained by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. It’s a great starting point for what you’re looking for.

  2. Need help finding down payment for me to be able to finish the loan with Quicken to get my family in to the house we would live to have. Please provide me with some help soon.

    1. Hi Ira:

      We don’t offer down payment assistance programs of our own, but we do accept grants from local and state governmental agencies as well as organizations that provide homeownership assistance. You may also be able to apply for assistance through an employer or your union if you belong to one. The Department of Housing and Urban Development maintains a list of state and local government agencies that provide housing assistance. Hope this helps!

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