One of the challenges in buying a house, if you are a low income earner is when, looking at the purchase price, you realize you need help. 

It is followed by the need to locate aid resources to assist you in the entire home buying process, particularly about financing.

Fortunately, first time buyers or repeat buyers who want to expand their homeownership opportunities can benefit from the National Homebuyers Fund. NHF grants and loans are often not repaid. Therefore, if you qualify for help, it is equivalent to receiving free money.

old style house with a plaque "for sale" in the foreground

National Homebuyers Fund

The National Homebuyers Fund (NHF) is a not-for-profit public benefit organization founded in 2002 with the mission of stimulating and expanding homeownership options and strengthening communities across the United States.

The National Home Buyers Fund strengthens communities nationwide. It has been a leader in developing innovative financial assistance programs that address the unique needs of first time buyers and homeowners.

Its mission is to be known as an exceptional supplier of creative, adaptable, and financially responsible housing solutions that address the country’s affordable housing needs.

In fact, it has assisted more than 45,500 individuals and families in purchasing a house over the past two decades, providing over $387.7 million in down payment assistance programs.

NHF Assistance Programs

The National Homebuyers Fund grants assistance programs to citizens of the United States, especially for low income and moderate income earners. Individuals in all 50 states may apply for NHF help with down payment and closing charges.

  • NHF Down Payment Assistance Programs

Its main offering is the NHF down payment assistance.

The down payment assistance recognizes that one significant obstacle facing national home buyers is raising the finances necessary to satisfy the down payment and closing costs related to a mortgage loan.

To address the problem, NHF offers down payment assistance and closing cost assistance (DPA) of up to 5 percent of the mortgage loan amount.

The down payment assistance is also divided further into two types: sapphire and platinum.

NHF Sapphire is a grant of up to 5 percent of the total amount of the mortgage loan. The cash may be utilized to assist with the down payment or closing costs associated with your property.

The GSFA Platinum is similar, the only difference is that it is a state-specific grant program available only in California.

Take note that because it is a grant, does not need to be paid back. This program is offered in a number of states and may be used in conjunction with FHA, VA, and USDA loans.

  • Second Mortgage Loan

Apart from a subsidy with a maximum of 5 percent of the final loan amount, national home buyers may also get a zero-interest grant or forgivable loan that is forgiven after three years. Typically, this second mortgage loan is sufficient to meet your down payment or closing costs.

If you adhere to the program’s rules, you will not be required to pay any principal or interest on forgivable loans. Primarily, you must remain in the residence for the whole three years required for the debt to be repaid.

miniature house on a desk with documents and a mumps statuette

Other Assistance Programs

California residents, as the sole eligible borrowers, may also qualify for other NHF programs, such as financing for energy efficiency home upgrades, obtaining a Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC), and receiving extra down payment assistance.

These other NHF assistance programs are reserved for California residents only primarily because it is sponsored by Golden State Financing Authority (GFSA) and only managed by the National Homebuyers Fund (NHF).

GSFA is a public entity and agency that enables the national homebuyers of California to get mortgage finance, down payment assistance, and mortgage credit certificates.

  • Financing Programs for Energy Efficiency

The Energy Efficiency Financing programs by GFSA make it simple and cheap for qualifying residential and business people in California to finance a broad array of energy efficiency solutions.

The payment assistance programs are made possible through collaboration with other groups that can provide NHF funds.

  • Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC)

Mortgage Credit Certificates from the GSFA entitle the receiver to a tax credit rate that may assist the homebuyer in qualifying for a loan.

MCCs are a kind of federal tax credit provided to low-income borrowers. They are normally reserved for first-time home purchasers. This credit reduces the amount of federal taxes you owe for the year.

However, an MCC is only beneficial if you have paid a significant amount of interest. If your interest payments are minimal, an MCC may not be as beneficial.

  • Additional NHF Down Payment Assistance Programs

The GSFA DPA Programs give up to 7 percent of the loan amount in down payment assistance and closing cost assistance to borrowers acquiring or refinancing a home in the state of California.

man with the paperwork

Qualification for the National Homebuyers Fund

To be eligible borrowers for a grant or loan from the National Homebuyers Fund, a few basic requirements must be met.

To achieve loan financing through NHF assistance funds, the requirements are not strict and encourage low income earners to maximize the opportunity to get an NHF loan.

  • Income limits

To begin, you do not have to be a first time buyer to qualify. Additionally, the income requirements are lower, given that the program is aimed at both low income and moderate income persons.

  • Credit Report

The FICO score minimum and maximum debt-to-income ratio are both flexible. The minimum credit score is 640 and the highest acceptable debt-to-income ratio is 45 percent.

Assistance is available for both conventional mortgage loans, FHA loans, VA loans, and USDA loans.

With these application qualifications for the NHF down payment assistance programs, it’s vital to keep in mind that you must deal with a participating mortgage lender.

If you are not eligible for an NHF grant, or if you need extra aid to support one, there are alternative programs available to assist house purchasers.

Limitations of NHF

Bear in mind that you must live in the house for a minimum of three years with NHF assistance. Therefore, if you want to relocate shortly after purchasing or refinancing your house with NFH money, you may need to repay those funds.

Additionally, the aid is now limited to property purchases, not refinances. Also, only a small percentage of participating lenders provide NHF help. As a result, your options will be limited when looking for the best interest rates.


With the presence of the National HomeBuyers Fund in the United States, home buyers do not need to worry so much about a home purchase.

Anchored by its goal to strengthen communities nationwide by providing homebuyer assistance through grants, people do not need to worry about loan balance anymore. It is essentially free money!

The down payment assistance programs are offered to all 50 states.

Given its lenient qualification requirements, the future looks bright for people who aspire to be homeowners as soon as they need or want to be.


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