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How to Buy a House with the National Homebuyers Fund

How to Buy a House with the National Homebuyers Fund

Wondering how to buy a house with help from the National Homebuyers Fund? It’s easier than you think! From down payment assistance to mortgage credit certificates, the National Homebuyers Fund has made it easy to buy a house with low income! To make things even easier, we’ve assembled all the information you need into one helpful guide!

Looking for other low income home buyer options? Click here!

What is the National Homebuyer’s Fund?

The National Homebuyers Fund (NHF) is a non-profit corporation that helps make homeownership more accessible across the United States. They’ve helped more than 35,000 Americans purchase their first home by providing more than $300 million in down payment assistance and $6 billion in loan financing since 2002!

How does the NHF help low income home buyers?

The National Homebuyers Fund offers several different programs to assist home buyers. These include two down payment assistance programs, a mortgage credit certificate program and energy efficiency financing. Obviously, some of these are more applicable to low income buyers than others.

How can I get help with my down payment from NHF? 

The National Homebuyers Fund divides their down payment assistance programs into two separate programs, called NHF Sapphire and GSFA Platinum.

NHF Sapphire is a grant for up to 5% of the mortgage loan amount. The funds can be used to help with your down payment or closing costs. Since it’s a grant, it does not have to be repaid!

This program is available in multiple states and can be applied to FHA, VA and USDA loans. You must be a low or moderate income earner in order to qualify for this grant. There are generous credit score and debt-to-income ratio requirements for this program but I was not able to find specifics on those. However, the maximum income limits can be found on the NHF website. 

Unfortunately, the website also indicates that this program is not available in all states. I have reached out to National Homebuyers Fund to confirm which states are eligible to participate in this program.

GSFA Platinum is a California-specific grant program that provides up to 5% of the mortgage loan amount. Just like NHF Sapphire, this program can be used toward your down payment or closing costs.

However, there are some big differences between this program and the more-accessible Sapphire program. For example, GSFA Platinum can be applied to conventional loans and refinances! However, it’s only available in the state of California. You are required to have a 640 credit score and a maximum 45% debt-to-income ratio to qualify.

What else does the National Homebuyers Fund do?

The rest of the NHF’s programs are restricted to California residents. If you live in California, NHF can also assist you with a mortgage credit certificate and energy efficiency financing.

GSFA Mortgage Credit Certificates entitle the recipient to a tax credit rate that may help the home-buyer qualify for the initial loan.

The tax credit continues every year as long as you reside in the home and continue to pay interest on the original mortgage. If you refinance, you will need to apply for a re-issuance of the MCC or the benefits will end. According to the NHF website, “an MCC is an IRS tax credit that reduces the federal tax liability of a qualified borrower, thus having the effect of subsidizing the monthly mortgage payment.”

Because the credit basically reduces your tax burden and increases your net earnings, it can help you qualify for a loan in the first place. Thus, this program is usually for first time home buyers.

The MCC program is available in 44 California counties. It can be applied to multiple loan types and can be combined with down payment assistance programs.

GSFA Residential Energy Retrofit provides low-interest financing for residential properties in 44 California counties. The maximum loan amount is $50,000 and all funds must be used for energy efficiency upgrades. Depending on what work is completed, you may also be eligible for up to $6,500 in rebates from your utility provider!

There is a 6.5% fixed interest rate for this program and the loan must be repaid within 15 years. There are no equity, income or appraisal requirements.

Looking for more ways to save money and get free stuff? We can help with that!

Nicole is the owner and lead researcher for Low Income Relief. She has over 20 years of professional research and writing experience, and she has been solely dedicated to investigating low income topics for the last 10 years. Nicole started Low Income Relief after a personal experience with poverty. When her husband was medically discharged from the US Army, their family experienced tremendous financial hardship. Nicole was able to gather help from multiple community agencies and move into a nearby low income housing unit in just two weeks! Since then, Nicole has been dedicated to helping low income families in crisis. She regularly spends hundreds of hours combing through countless resources to make sure that Low Income Relief has the most comprehensive and complete resource directories on the internet today. Prior to starting Low Income Relief, Nicole worked as a novelist, journalist, ghostwriter and content creator. Her work has been featured in various print and online publications, including USA Today, The Daily Herald, The Chronicle and more. Her work has also been featured by Google for Publishers and other leading industry publications.

Christine Murphy

Thursday 23rd of September 2021

I'm on disability. I've lived in my home over ten years. My landlord health is failing and he offer to sell me my home for a lil bit of nothing if I can pay 7000 downpayment and closing cost. Can someone please help me with my downpayment. Thank you Jefferson City MO.


Monday 29th of November 2021

Low Income Relief is an information service and does not provide cash or items directly. You will need to search our website for information about organizations that can help you meet those needs. Sorry! I hope this helps