Programs for first-time homebuyers in Utah

Utah Housing Corp’s loans can be used to buy a home anywhere in Utah. You’ll work with one of the organization’s participating lenders to determine which loan and payment assistance programs best suit your needs.

You’ll first have to qualify for a conventional, VA or FHA mortgage loan through your lender. To do so, you’ll have to meet the standard credit score and debt ratio requirements of your loan type.

Because these programs are intended for lower-income households, you’ll have to fall under UHC’s income limit of $8,900 per month (or $12,500 in Summit county). The home will also have to serve as your primary residence.

More: Get a free credit score and credit monitoring from Credit Sesame.

FirstHome Loan

This first-time homebuyer loan program has UHC’s lowest interest rates on offer. It’s made for first-time buyers with credit scores of 660 or higher who also fall at or below the income and purchase price limits.

Everyone in your household over the age of 18 counts toward the annual income limit.

HomeAgain Loan

This mortgage program is designed for repeat homebuyers and first-time buyers who don’t qualify for the FirstHome program.

You’ll still need a 660 credit score or higher and fall within UHC’s qualifying income bracket, but there is no purchase price limit with HomeAgain.

The Mortgage Underwriting Process Explained

A walkthrough of proven steps to getting a mortgage approval.

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Score Loan

The Score program makes it possible for borrowers who have a less-than-stellar credit history to secure a home loan. You’ll only need a credit score of 620 to qualify.

The purchase price and annual income limits apply with this mortgage program as well. You’ll also have to complete a homebuyer education course within 180 days of your loan closing.

NoMI Loan

The NoMI mortgage program offers a loan without mortgage insurance, resulting in the lowest monthly payments of any UHC homeownership program.

You’ll need a credit score of 700 or higher and you’ll need to fall within the set income limits, but there are no purchase price limits with NoMI. And as with the Score program, you’ll also have to participate in a homebuyer education course within 180 days of your loan closing.

Down Payment Assistance

If you’ve qualified for one of UHC’s mortgage loans, you may also be eligible for down payment and closing cost assistance. Your participating lender will help you determine how much aid you can access.

Depending on your situation, you may be able to borrow your entire minimum down payment as well as a portion of your closing costs through a UHC 30-year fixed rate second mortgage.

The Best Lenders for First-Time Homebuyers

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Nationwide first-time homebuyer programs

Getting a “conventional” mortgage through the private market can be tough.

You’ll often need a credit score of about 620 and a down payment of at least 5% to qualify. Plus, if you don’t put down at least 20% of the purchase price, you’ll have to pay extra each month for mortgage insurance.

More: Use these savings accounts to build up your down payment.

That’s why many first-timer buyers will prefer to use one of these government-run, nonconventional mortgage options.

FHA loans

In 1934, the government introduced Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans to encourage homeownership across the country. At the time, only about 40% of American households owned their homes. Since its creation, the FHA has insured more than 46 million mortgages.

FHA loans are easier to obtain than conventional mortgages. The minimum credit score is typically 580, but if you provide a larger down payment, you could qualify with a score as low as 500.

The minimum down payment with an FHA loan is 3.5%, though if you put down less than 10%, you’ll have to pay a mortgage insurance premium as well. That can quickly add to the overall cost of your monthly payments.

The FHA's Loan Requirements Explained.

A walkthrough of how to meet the FHA's requirements.

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VA loans

These loans were introduced by Congress in 1944 to increase benefits to veterans. The act allowed the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to guarantee or insure home, farm and business loans made to veterans by lending institutions.

VA loans are available to active service members, veterans and some surviving military spouses. While they don’t require a down payment or mortgage insurance, borrowers will be required to pay a considerable funding fee to get started.

USDA loans

USDA loans also require no down payment and no private mortgage insurance. Guaranteed by the United States Department of Agriculture, they help lower-income rural and suburban Americans become homeowners.

These loans do require you to pay an upfront 1% guarantee fee and an annual 0.35% fee. But when compared to the amount you’ll pay in mortgage insurance with other types of loans, you’ll probably still come out ahead with the USDA.

That said, you may simply make too much money to qualify for a USDA loan. The current income limits in most parts of the U.S. are $86,850 for one- to four-member households and $114,650 for five- to eight-member households, though the limits may be higher if you live in a county with an above-average cost of living. The USDA’s website can tell you the limits in your area.

Next steps

Now that you know your options, it’s time to prepare for actually submitting an application.

First, you’ll need to make sure your credit score is in good enough shape to qualify for the program of your choice. The website Credit Sesame can help you find out your current score for free.

If your credit isn’t quite there, don’t despair. You can try contacting an organisation like Self credit repair to help you get the score you need.

Once you’re confident in your score, you can start gathering the documents you’ll need to prove you’ve got solid assets and income.

Then you’ll finally be ready to get pre-approved for a mortgage and start shopping for your first Utah home.

State-Level First-Time Homebuyer Programs
Arizona Department of Housing (ADOH)
Arkansas Development Finance Authority (ADFA)
California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA)
Colorado Housing and Finance Agency (CHFA)
Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA)
Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA)
Florida Housing Finance Corp. (Florida Housing)
Georgia Dream
Hawaii Housing and Finance Development Corporation (HHFDC)
Idaho Housing and Finance Association
Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA)
Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA)
Iowa Finance Authority (IFA)
Kansas Housing Resources Corporation
Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC)
Louisiana Housing Corporation (LHC)
MassHousing (Massachusetts)
Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA)
Minnesota Housing
Missouri Housing Development Commission (MHDC)
Montana Board of Housing (MBOH)
Nebraska Investment Finance Authority (NIFA)
Nevada Housing Division
New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority (MFA)
State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA)
North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA)
Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA)
Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency (OHFA)
Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS)
Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA)
South Dakota Housing Development Authority (SDHDA)
Tennessee Housing Development Authority (THDA)
Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA)
Utah Housing Corp
Virginia Housing
Washington State Housing Finance Commission (WSHFC)
Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA)
Wyoming Community Development Authority (WCDA)

About the Author

Sigrid Forberg

Sigrid Forberg

Staff Writer

Sigrid is a staff writer with MoneyWise. Before joining the team, she worked for a B2B publication in the hardware and home improvement industry and ran an internal employee magazine for the federal government. As a graduate of the Carleton University Journalism program, she takes pride in telling informative, engaging and compelling stories.

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