Louisiana First Time Home Buyer – 2020 Loan Programs
Are you a first time home buyer looking to purchase a home in Louisiana? On this page you can learn about the different types of mortgage programs that are available to first time home buyers. You may also view the different down payment assistance programs that are currently being offered in Louisiana.
Louisiana First Time Home Buyer Loans
Below are some mortgage programs that are available to first time home buyers.
Types of Mortgages:
- Conventional Loans – Conventional loans offer the best loan terms to borrowers with good or excellent credit, as well as those who can afford to place a larger down payment. If you are able to put 20% or more down, you will be able to avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI). However, conventional loans also offer low down payment options, such as programs that only require 3% down.
- FHA Loans – FHA loans are a good option for borrowers who may not be able to qualify for a conventional loan. The qualification requirements for FHA loans are much more lenient than conventional loans. This includes options for home buyers with credit scores as low as 500 (in order to qualify for a 3.5% down payment, you must have a credit score of at least 580).
- USDA Loans – USDA loans provide home buyers the opportunity to purchase a rural home without any down payment. These loans are intended for borrowers with low-to-moderate income. In addition to not requiring any money down, you can also finance the closing costs into the loan. This means you can essentially buy a home with no money out of pocket!
- VA Loans – Active duty military members and veterans can apply for a VA loan which allows you to buy your first home without any down payment. These loans are not available to the general public, but exclusively to military/veterans.
- Jumbo Loans – Any mortgage that does not meet the conforming loan limits is a jumbo loan. You can lookup the 2020 conforming loan limits for your county using this conforming loan limits lookup tool. If you want to buy a more expensive home, and have the income to qualify, jumbo lenders offer loan amounts up to $5,000,000.
- Non-Prime Loans – If you do not qualify for any of the above types of loans, you may consider a non-prime or non-qm loan. These programs are especially helpful to self-employed borrowers, and people with a variety of credit issues (such as low credit scores or a recent bankruptcy). Regardless of your situation, you may consider learning more about non-prime loans if you do not qualify for any of the other types of mortgages featured above.
These are some of the options that are available to first time home buyers. If you would like to get pre-approved for a mortgage, we can help match you with a lender that offers first time home buyer loans in Louisiana.
Louisiana Down Payment Assistance Programs
First time home buyers in Louisiana may be eligible to receive down payment assistance. This includes programs offered throughout the entire state, as well as several locally offered programs. You can learn more about these programs below.
Market Rate GNMA Program
The Louisiana Housing Corporation offers the Market Rate GNMA Program. This is a down payment assistance program for first time home buyers and repeat buyers alike. The programs offers up to 4% in down payment assistance.
- The home must be located in Louisiana.
- A credit score of 640 or higher is required.
- Your income must not exceed the limits for your parish. You can view the income limits here.
- The program is for single family residences only.
- Your mortgage must be a 30 year fixed.
You can learn more about this program on the Louisiana Housing Corporation website.
Jefferson Parish Down Payment Assistance Grant
The Jefferson Parish Housing Authority offers a grant for first time home buyers. In order to qualify for assistance, you must meet all of the program requirements.
- The property must be located in Jefferson Parish.
- Complete a homebuyer education course.
- Occupy the home as your primary residence.
- The purchase price must not exceed $181,000 for an existing home, or $228,000 for new construction.
- You must meet the current income limits.
To learn more about this program, visit the official website for Jefferson Parish.
LPTFA First Time Home Buyers Program
The Lafayette Public Trust Finance Authority offers a down payment assistance loan of up to $8,000 to first time home buyers. The funds are provided as a second mortgage with an interest rate of 5%.
- The home must be located in Lafayette Parish.
- The maximum purchase price (for a new or existing home) is $316,177.
- Complete a first time home buyers training program (education course).
- You must meet the income limits. For 1-2 persons in your household, the combined income must not exceed $84,480. For 3 or more persons in your household, your total household income must not exceed $98,560.
To learn more about this program, please visit the Lafayette Public Trust Finance Authority website.
Shreveport Home Buyers Assistance Program Participation Initiative (HAPPI)
The Shreveport Home Buyers Assistance Program Participation Initiative (HAPPI) is an incredible home buying program, offering up to 20% in down payment assistance. In order to qualify for the assistance, you must meet all of the program requirements.
- Be a first time home buyer (or have not owned any real estate in the last 3 years).
- Complete a homebuyers education class in order to be eligible.
- The property must be your primary residence (no investment properties allowed).
- Your household income must be under 80% of the average median income.
- 1 person – $31,750
- 2 person – $36,250
- 3 person – $40,800
- 4 person – $45,300
- 5 person – $48,950
- 6 person – $52,550
- 7 person – $56,200
- 8 person – $59,800
To learn more about this program, visit the Shreveport Community Development website.
Lake Charles Down Payment Assistance Program
The city of Lake Charles Community Development Division first time home buyer DPA offers up to $10,000 in assistance for qualifying applications. In order to qualify, you must meet the program requirements.
- The home you purchase must be located within the city limits of Lake Charles.
- You must complete a homebuyer education course.
- You can not have more than $5,000 in savings.
- Your mortgage payment must not exceed 35% of your income.
- You must meet the income limits, which are outlined below.
- 1 person – $30,450
- 2 persons – $34,800
- 3 persons – $39,150
- 4 persons – $43,500
- 5 persons – $47,000
- 6 persons – $50,450
- 7 persons – $53,950
- 8 persons – $57,400
To learn more about this program, visit the city of Lake Charles website.
Louisiana First Time Home Buyer Tax Credits
The Mortgage Credit Certification (MCC) tax credit provides you an opportunity to reduce your tax bill, as well as enhance your home loan application by reducing your debt-to-income ratios. How this works, is you can deduct up to $2,000 off your federal tax bill each year. The MCC allows up to 35% of your annual interest to be eliminated (with the cap being at $2,000). Some great news, is this can be used in addition to standard mortgage interest deductions!
Are You Eligible for Down Payment Assistance?
A mortgage specialist can help you check your eligibility for down payment assistance. If you would like to receive some help checking what down payment assistance programs you may be eligible for, fill out this form. We will match you with a mortgage lender that can help you see if you qualify for any down payment assistance.
First Time Home Buyer Questions
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about first time home buyer loans:
How much do I need for a down payment?
The minimum down payment requirement will depend on the type of mortgage program. USDA and VA loans do not require any down payment. FHA loans only require a 3.5% down payment (and allow down payment assistance to be used). Conventional loans typically require either 3% or 5% down. The minimum down payment for a non-prime loan is usually at least 10% (or higher).
What is the maximum loan amount that I can qualify for?
The amount that you will be allowed to borrow will depend mostly on your income, as well as the particular type of loan you are interested in. There are maximum loan limits for each type of mortgage program which are set at the county level. Conforming loan limits are the maximum loan amounts allowed for conventional mortgages. FHA loans have their own loan limits. This is not necessarily how much you can borrow though, but the maximum amount allowed in your location. The amount that you can personal qualify for will be based upon your income, and how much debt you have. For most loans, your monthly mortgage payment, along with your monthly debts may not exceed 43% of your income.
Can I buy a home without a real estate agent?
It depends on your state and the type of loan program. For some states, you must use an agent. In other states, you are not required to use a real estate agent for many loan program, such as conventional mortgages. However, some loan types require that you use a real estate agent regardless of your location, such as USDA loans.
Are there mortgage loan options for borrowers with bad credit?
Yes, both FHA loans and non-prime loans are available to borrowers with lower credit score, and other credit challenges. The minimum credit score required for an FHA loan is 500. For non-prime loans, there are lenders that allow a borrower to have a credit score even below 500. Non-prime loans also do not have any waiting periods after a bankruptcy.
Can I buy a home if I owe tax debt?
For government-backed loans, such as FHA, VA, and USDA loans, you can buy a home with tax debt as long as you have made a payment plan with the IRS, and are not behind on the payments. Any federal debt must be in good standing in order to get a government-based mortgage. If your tax debts have moved into the status of a tax lien, this will prevent you from getting a home loan until it is resolved.
Can I buy a home if I have student loans?
As long as you are not delinquent on the student loan payments, and the monthly payments do not cause excessive debt-to-income ratios, you can still get a mortgage.
Can I buy a home without my spouse?
A common question is if you can buy a house without your wife or husband. The short answer is yes. There are numerous reasons someone may want to exclude their spouse from a mortgage application, such as lower credit, lack of job history or income, or one spouse having excessive debt that could prevent an approval. You may be able to qualify and get a home loan without your spouse.
How do I find out if I qualify for a mortgage?
A loan representative can help you determine what mortgage programs you may qualify for, and also check your eligibility for down payment assistance. If you would like to receive a free consultation, we can help match you with a mortgage lender that offers first time home buyer loans in Louisiana.