NIFA offers a variety of programs that include government and conventional loan products. All first mortgage loans have a fixed rate 30-year term. There are no prepayment penalties and all of our first mortgage loans are assumable subject to certain requirements. There are maximum household income and purchase price limits.
The First Home Grant Program is for buyers with a total household income that does not exceed 50% of the Area Median Income (AMI). The Program provides first mortgage financing and grant funds for down payment and/or closing cost assistance. The grant amount is $5,000 per household and is not required to be paid back. There is a limited amount of funding and the funds will be allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Buyers using this program must meet NIFA's first-time homebuyer requirement described in the Eligibility section.
Your loan type options include a Conventional-insured loan, FHA-insured loan, USDA Rural Development-guaranteed loan and VA-guaranteed loan. If your downpayment is 20% or more and you qualify for a conventional loan, mortgage insurance is not required. Click here for current First Home Grant Program interest rates.
Use our interactive map to determine the income limit for your purchase area. Map colors represent counties with the same income limits.
The interactive map can be used to search for income eligibility in two ways:
Participating Lenders are responsible for loans meeting program eligibility requirements, agency underwriting guidelines, secondary market guidelines and Master Servicer guidelines. The following loan products are available:
All NIFA loans are subject to credit underwriting overlays. Overlays include minimum credit scores, maximum debt-to-income (DTI) ratios and loan reserves. There may be a difference depending on the type of loan.
Conventional Loans - The minimum credit score requirement for conventional loans is 640 with a maximum total DTI ratio of 45%. If the borrower's credit score is 660 and above, NIFA will allow a maximum total DTI of 50%. If manual underwriting guidelines are used to approve the loan, the minimum credit score and maximum DTI varies depending on the type of loan. If the borrower does not have a credit score, non-traditional credit sources may be used subject to certain restrictions. Reserves are required for manual underwrites.
Government Loans - The minimum credit score requirement for government loans is 640 with a maximum total DTI ratio of 45%. If the borrower's credit score is 660 and above, NIFA will allow a maximum total DTI ratio of 50%. If manual underwriting guidelines are used to approve the loan, the minimum credit score and maximum DTI varies depending on the type of loan. If the borrower does not have a credit score, non-traditional credit sources may be used subject to certain restrictions. Reserves are required for manual underwrites.
NIFA requires all occupying borrowers who are responsible for repaying the loan to complete an approved homebuyer education class prior to closing. Knowledge is power! We believe it is in the best interest of first-time buyers to complete an approved class before shopping for a home.
Click here for a list of approved online classes.
NIFA loans have a potential IRS federal recapture tax that remains in effect for 9 years from closing. The potential recapture tax may apply if all of the following events occur:
For example, if the home is sold five years after closing for a gain but the borrower's adjusted gross income is below the IRS maximum limit, there is no recapture tax. Additionally, if the home is sold at a loss eight years after closing and the borrower's adjusted gross income exceeds the IRS maximum limit, there is no recapture tax.
The maximum recapture tax amount is 6.25% of the loan amount. Participating Lenders are required to provide a Potential Recapture Tax Notice at the time of loan application and at closing. If the home is sold before the end of 9 years, the borrower is responsible for completing IRS Form 8828 and to include it with their federal tax return whether they owe a recapture tax amount or not.
NIFA started a recapture tax reimbursement policy for all loans closed on and after June 1, 2004. Since that time, we have received 7 claims for reimbursement. To qualify for reimbursement, the borrower needs to submit the following information to the NIFA office no later than July 15th of the calendar year following the year in which the home was sold: