Minnesota First Time Home Buyer – 2020 Loan Programs
Are you a first time home buyer looking to purchase a home in Minnesota? 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 Minnesota.
Minnesota 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 a variety of people with credit issues (such as low credit scores and/or a recent bankruptcy, foreclosure, or short sale). Regardless of your situation, you may want to learn 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 Minnesota.
Minnesota Down Payment Assistance Programs
First time home buyers in Minnesota 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. If you would like some help checking your eligibility for down payment assistance, please fill out this form. We will match you with a mortgage lender that specializes in helping first time home buyers find down payment assistance.
Minnesota Housing Finance Agency – Statewide Programs
The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MHFA) offers two different options for down payment assistance with their Start Up Program. These programs are available throughout the entire state.
- Start Up – Monthly Payment Loan – The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency offers up to $15,000 in down payment assistance with their monthly payment loan. The loan is provided at the same interest rate as your first mortgage. To qualify for this program, you must be a first time home buyer. The maximum purchase price allowed is $200,000.
- Start Up – Deferred Payment Loan – The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency offers up to $10,000 as a deferred payment loan. This simply means that you do not have to make payments on it. To qualify for this program, you must be a first time home buyer. The maximum home price for the 11 county metro area is $307,300. For all other counties, it is $258,600.
To learn more about the Start Up program options, as well as the income limits, please visit the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency website.
Dakota County First Time Homebuyer Program
First time home buyers in Dakota County, MN may be eligible for up to $8,500 in assistance. This comes in the form of a zero percent interest loan.
- Be a first time home buyer.
- You can buy a new or existing home.
- The home must be used as your primary residence.
- You must contribute $1,000 or more towards the purchase.
To learn more about this program, please visit the Dakota County Community Development Agency website.
Coon Rapids Down Payment Assistance
The Coon Rapids Mortgage Assistance Foundation (CRMAF) offers up to $5,000 in down payment assistance to first time home buyers in Coon Rapids. The fund are provided as a deferred loan, and are not required to be paid back until the home is sold.
- Prior to closing, you must attend a homebuyer education course.
- The property must be owner occupied.
- 1-4 unit properties are eligible.
- Income is limited to 110% of the median area average.
To learn more about this program, please visit the City of Coon Rapids website.
Ramsey County FirstHOME Buyer Assistance
First time home buyers may be eligible to receive up to $10,000 in down payment assistance. The funds provided may be used towards your down payment and closing costs.
- The maximum purchase price is $240,000.
- Contribute at least $2,000 of your own money towards the purchase.
- Complete a homebuyer education course.
- Provide proof of that you have been consistently employed for at least 3 years.
- Your household income must meet the income limits (outlined below).
- 1 person household – $52,850
- 2 person household – $60,400
- 3 person household – $67,950
- 4 person household – $75,500
- 5 person household – $81,550
- 6 person household – $87,600
- 7 person household – $93,650
- 8 person household – $99,700
To learn more about this program, visit the official Ramsey County website.
Woodbury First-Time Home Ownership Program
Woodbury offers up to $25,000 in down payment assistance to first time home buyers. The funds are provided as a low-interest deferred loan.
- Be a first time home buyer (unless buying a foreclosed home, in which case you do not have to be a first time home buyer).
- The maximum purchase price allowed is $410,000.
- You must complete a homebuyer education course.
- The maximum DTI ratio allowed is 50%.
- Your household income must not exceed $95,000.
To learn more about this program, visit the NeighborWorks Home Partners website.
Three Rivers Community Action – Emerging Markets Gap Program
First time home buyers in Southeast Minnesota may be eligible to receive up to $18,500 in down payment assistance. The funding comes from the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund (GMHF), and the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MHFA). The funds are offered as a deferred loan, which means you do not have to make payments, and the loan does not have to be paid back until you sell the property.
- New and existing homes are eligible.
- The maximum purchase price allowed is $271,100.
- You must contribute at least $500 from your own funds. If you use an FHA loan, you are required to provide a 3.5% down payment from your own funds.
- You must complete a homebuyer education course.
- The property must be located in one of the following 20 counties: Blue Earth, Brown, Dodge, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, Le Sueur, Martin, Mower, Nicollet, Olmsted, Rice, Sibley, Steele, Wabasha, Waseca, Watonwan, and Winona.
- Your household income must be 80% or less than the area median average. You may view these income limits below.
Income Limits for Southern Minnesota
- 1 person household – $49,600
- 2 person household – $56,700
- 3 person household – $63,800
- 4 person household – $70,900
- 5 person household – $76,550
- 6 person household – $82,200
- 7 person household – $87,900
- 8 person household – $93,550
Income Limits for Olmstead and Dodge County
- 1 person household – $52,550
- 2 person household – $60,050
- 3 person household – $67,550
- 4 person household – $75,050
- 5 person household – $81,100
- 6 person household – $87,100
- 7 person household – $93,100
- 8 person household – $99,100
To learn more about this program, visit the Three Rivers Community Action website.
Get Matched with a Mortgage Lender
A mortgage lender can help you determine what mortgage programs you may qualify for, and also check your eligibility for down payment assistance. If you would like some help finding a mortgage lender, we can match you with a lender that offers first time home buyer loans in Minnesota.
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?
It is easy to find out what mortgage programs you may qualify for. We can match you with lender that offers free consultations, and they can help you get pre-approved (and also compare what options may be available to you). To have a mortgage lender contact you, request to be matched with a lender.