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Down Payment Assistance Programs

written by: Marce•edited by: Laurie Patsalides•updated: 6/29/2011

Are you a first time home buyer looking for assistance on putting a down payment on a home? There are many programs available that can help you with a down payment as well as closing costs! Read this article for more information.

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    If you are a first time home buyer, you may be stressing about how you will be able to afford closing costs and a down payment on a house. The amount of closing costs is dependent on the cost of the house you choose. A hefty down payment will not only decrease your principal but it will also lower your monthly mortgage payments.

    The problem lies in that not everyone has savings laying around to put down on a house. This is why down payment assistance programs exist. If a high monthly mortgage payment is the only reason why you can't buy a home, you may be eligible for financial assistance as long as you can verify your need for it.


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    Types of Programs Available

    There are different types of down payment assistance programs available. Charity down payment assistance provides individuals who are financially in need with closing costs and down payment. They raise money throughout the year especially for the reason of helping individuals buy a house.

    Grants sometimes come from the government to help citizens buy a home. While it is difficult to gain acceptance, if approved you can expect to receive financial assistance that will make it much easier to buy a house.

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    Your Responsibility in Financial Assistance

    Since both of these types of programs are given as either charity or a grant, the good news is that if you receive down payment assistance, you will not have to pay it back. Many programs call their down payment assistance a gift, which means that the money you receive is yours to use on the purchase of your new home.

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    Applying for Down Payment Assistance

    As you probably have guessed, approval by these programs is not easy. The organization will look over your finances and determine if you are unable to pay for closing costs and a down payment. They will also consider if you will be able to afford the home after purchasing it.

    These programs are mainly to help you get through the expense of buying a home, not helping you once you already own it. If you don't believe you will be able to keep up with mortgage payments, you may want to consider a house that is not as expensive or wait until you are in a better financial situation.

    Finally, don't rely on only one program. Learn about all of the different down payment assistance programs available and apply to each one. It's a lengthy process but it will be worth it if it means the ability to purchase your very own home.

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    Where to Find Down Payment Assistance Programs

    FHA has grants available that help low income, single parent and minority families buy a home. They have a few available with different eligibility requirements so review those stipulations before you take the time to apply.

    AmeriDream has a charity that helps low to moderate income level families purchase a home.

    American Dream Down Payment Assistance is a directory website that allows you to choose your state to see available programs.