Learn 7 First-Time Homebuyer Programs and Grants

USDA loan


The United States Department of Agriculture also covers loans with no down payment. The catch is that you must purchase a rural home and meet specific income standards. Consider what is essential to you in a home and a location. For example, a USDA loan is probably not for you if you want something walkable in a more urban setting.

You may be eligible if you meet the following criteria:

  • You have a 640 credit score, though you may qualify with a lower score
  • You meet local income eligibility requirements
  • The home you’re buying is in a USDA-designated rural area

Local first-time buyer programs and grants

State and municipal governments offer a variety of first-time homebuyer incentives. For more information, contact your county’s housing authority and your state’s housing finance department. HUD’s directory of state-by-state homebuying programs is another helpful resource.


Pay close attention to the program’s conditions, including income limits, strict DTI ratio, and credit score guidelines. Some programs may also compel you to repay the help if you only stay in the home for a short time. Another factor to consider is tax recapture. This means that if you sell your property prematurely and earn a profit, some of the proceeds may be liable to taxes to compensate for the home purchase help you received initially.