Are You a First Time Home Buyer in New Mexico?

Here are the mortgage programs available to first-time homebuyers in your state.

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Many Americans feel ready to buy a home long before their finances have caught up. Thankfully, residents of New Mexico can get some extra help to match their money with their plans.

The New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority (MFA) is a quasi-governmental agency that helps low- to moderate-income residents find affordable, quality housing. In partnership with various lenders, realtors, non-profit organizations, local governments, tribal communities and developers across the state, MFA manages an average of $4 billion in assets every year.

In addition to the programs offered by MFA, you should consider a number of nationwide mortgage programs when buying a home for the first time. Let’s begin with those.

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Nationwide first-time homebuyer programs

A “conventional” mortgage sourced through the private market has pretty demanding requirements, including a credit score of at least 620 and a typical down payment of 5%.

That’s easier said than done for many first-time buyers, so you may want to look into one of these nonconventional mortgages offered through the federal government.

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

FHA loans

FHA loans were created by the Federal Housing Administration, which is a division of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, to help more Americans become homeowners.

These loans typically have less stringent requirements. You’ll need a minimum credit score of 580 and a 3.5% down payment, but if you’re able to put down more upfront, you could be eligible with a credit score as low as 500.

The FHA's Loan Requirements Explained.

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

See Guide

VA loans

These loans were created thanks to an act passed by Congress in 1944 to help veterans secure homes. As a result, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) can guarantee or insure home loans made to veterans by various lending institutions.

Active service members, veterans and some surviving military spouses can all qualify for a VA loan. There are fees associated — notably a sizable funding fee — but they are also exempt from down payment and mortgage insurance obligations.

USDA loans

USDA loans are for lower-income rural and suburban Americans and are guaranteed by the United States Department of Agriculture. Like VA loans, these loans don’t require a down payment or private mortgage insurance.

With a USDA home loan, you’ll have to pay a few fees: an upfront 1% guarantee fee and an annual 0.35% fee. But the total cost still ends up less than the amount you’d pay in mortgage insurance on another type of loan.

These loans aren’t meant for most households: They have a strict income limit. 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, but the thresholds may be higher if you live in a county with a steeper-than-average cost of living. The USDA’s website has the exact figures for each region.

First-time homebuyer New Mexico requirements

MFA helps homebuyers by offering mortgages with competitive interest rates and money they can put toward their down payment and closing costs. To qualify, you’ll need to meet the income and purchase price limits for your area of New Mexico.

All participants must also take part in homebuyer counseling through MFA's online program, eHome American, or through an approved counseling agency.

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

First-time homebuyer grants and programs in New Mexico

Infographic on programs for first-time-home-buyers in New Mexico

Whether you need a little help with your down payment, or just better interest rates on a home loan, you’ll work with one of MFA’s participating lenders to figure out what program works best for you.

FirstHome

FirstHome is a mortgage for first-time buyers who have low to moderate incomes. MFA defines a first-time buyer as anyone who hasn’t owned and occupied a home as their primary residence over the last three years.

It’s compatible with FHA, VA, USDA and HFA Preferred Conventional mortgages. To qualify, you’ll have to contribute at least $500 of your own funds and have a minimum credit score of 620. The income and purchase price guidelines vary by household size and location.

You can use FirstHome on its own or in concert with FirstDown, MFA’s down payment assistance program.

FirstDown

FirstDown is a fixed-rate second mortgage that can help first-time homebuyers cover their down payment and closing costs.

When you use the FirstHome program, you can qualify for a second loan of up to $8,000 that features an extended repayment term and an affordable interest rate.

The credit score and income requirements for FirstDown are the same as with FirstHome, and you’ll also have to attend homebuyer counseling.

The Mortgage Underwriting Process Explained

A walkthrough of proven steps to getting a mortgage approval — and on time.

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HomeNow

HomeNow is a second loan for low-income first-time homebuyers who have qualified for a FirstHome mortgage. You’ll have to fall below 80% of your area’s median income.

You could borrow up to 8% of the home’s purchase price or $8,000 (whichever is lower) to help cover your down payment and closing costs.

You’ll have to contribute at least $500 of your own funds to use this program. However, the loan has a 0% interest rate and is non-amortizing. If you meet MFA’s requirements, your loan will be totally forgiven after 10 years.

NextHome

NextHome offers both a primary mortgage and a second one of up to 3% of your first loan, which you can use to cover your down payment and closing costs.

It’s available to both first-time and repeat homebuyers. There are no monthly payments, and the loan may be forgiven if you meet certain requirements from MFA.

Borrowers must meet income and purchase price limits. Currently, the household income limit is $91,000 and the purchase price limit is $340,000. The minimum credit score requirement is 620, and you’ll have to contribute at least $500 of your own funds. Finally, you’ll have to plan to occupy the home as your primary residence within 60 days of closing.

This assistance program is compatible with FHA, VA, USDA and HFA Preferred Conventional mortgage loans.

The Best Lenders for First-Time Homebuyers

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Next steps

Now you know what programs are out there to help — but where do you even start?

Well, your credit store is crucial if you want to qualify for any of these options. The site Credit Sesame can help you find out your score for free.

Is your score not exactly up to MFA’s standards? There are some great options out there, like Self credit repair, that will help you get the score you need to qualify.

With your score in hand, your next step is to gather the essential documents you need to demonstrate that you’ve got a steady income.

Once you’re all set, it’s time to get pre-approved for a mortgage so you can start house hunting.

Support for new homebuyers in other states

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