Utah First-Time Homebuyer Programs
Planning on buying your first home in Utah? If so, you may be interested in the special programs the state offers. Utah works with designated lenders to provide homebuyer financial help in the form of mortgage loans with low interest rates and longer repayment terms. Some programs can even pay some, if not all, of your down payment.
In this guide, we’ll cover:
- Utah first-time homebuyer programs
- Eligibility for Utah assistance
- HomeFit mortgages
- Individual Development Account
- Down Payment Assistance (DPA)
- Utah Housing Corporation assistance programs
- National first-time homebuyer programs
Utah first-time homebuyer programs
Utah has several companies that offer assistance to first-time homebuyers. These include the nonprofit Community Development Corporation of Utah (CDCU), which, since 1990, has helped more 4,000 homebuyers buy a home.
The AAA Fair Credit Foundation can also help Utah residents. It focuses on helping Utah residents get their finances on track with special programs in education and counseling, and it helps potential homeowners develop financial management plans.
Finally, the Utah Housing Corporation provides affordable mortgage loans to borrowers with low-to-moderate incomes who are looking to buy a new home.
Eligibility for Utah assistance
Each homebuyer assistance program in Utah has its own eligibility requirements. But all will want to know your credit score, income level and purchase price limits, and will also require you to take a homebuyer education course. To learn more about what each program requires, read the descriptions below.
- Purchase price assistance divided between two loans, a conventional loan at 80% and second mortgage at 20%
- No mortgage insurance requirement
- No prepayment penalty
- Credit score of 620 or higher
- Credit history of one year or more
- Debt-to-income ratio of no more than 43%
- Two years of employment history
- Buyers contribute at least 2% of closing costs (1% from own funds; rest can be gifted)
- Some savings in reserve even after contributing to closing costs
To apply for a HomeFit mortgage, you’ll first need to go over your financial situation with an adviser to determine whether the program is a good fit. Contact the Community Development Corporation here for more information.
Individual Development Account (IDA)
- Savings plan that gives you $3 for every $1 saved in your IDA account
- Current Utah resident
- 18 years of age or older
- No more than $10,000 in net assets, excluding one house and one car
- Income maximum is dependent on household, e.g., $24,120 for one member and $49,200 for four members
- Complete 8 hours of financial training, as well as asset-specific training
- Must save for at least 12 months but no more than 36
- Minimum monthly deposits must be at least $15 up to $62.50
To set up an Individual Development Account, you will need to work with the AAA Fair Credit Foundation. Fill out this questionnaire to see if you qualify. If you do, you’ll need to take an all-day educational course on managing your finances before applying for the program.
Down Payment Assistance (DPA)
- Down payment assistance loans that vary with each homebuyer
- Deferred payments
- No interest payments
- No required credit score
- Borrower contribution required
- Not eligible if you live in Sandy, West Jordan, South Jordan and West Valley City
- First-time homebuyers must not have owned a property in the past three years
- Income-dependent, based on household size
- Income cannot exceed 80% of area median
- Debt-to-income ratio of no more than 45%
- Must be primary residence
The Community Development Corporation of Utah administers the down payment assistance program on behalf of Salt Lake County, Salt Lake City and Taylorsville. To apply, complete this application and provide required documents. CDCU may contact you for more information before the application can be fully processed. After that you can expect a decision within five business days.
Utah Housing Corporation assistance programs
UHC is a public corporation that offers help through participating lenders for homeowners looking for lower-cost mortgages and loans that will let them borrow a portion of their down payment or closing costs.
Down payment assistance
To qualify for down payment help, homebuyers first need to qualify for a first-mortgage loan with the UHC. Assistance is also available for second mortgages through the Down Payment Second Mortgage Assistance Program.
This loan comes with the lowest UHC interest rate and is for first-time homebuyers who have a credit score of 660 or more. Income limits depend on both county and household size.
This loan has a higher interest rate and is intended for both first-time buyers and homebuyers who have owned a home before. Credit scores need to be 660 or higher. The loans carry no limits on purchase price but are income-dependent, based on the county.
According to the UHC website, this mortgage typically provides the lowest mortgage payment for anyone who uses the UHC homeownership loan program. You will need a credit score of 700 or more. No purchase price limits, but annual income limits apply.
If you are recovering from credit issues in the past, you may want to consider this option. You’ll need a credit score of 620 or higher. Purchase price and income limits apply.
National first-time homebuyer programs
If Utah doesn’t offer the kind of homebuying assistance you need, consider one of the programs available nationwide. The Federal Home Loan Bank can help with down payments and closing costs in some states, while the the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development program can help lower-income residents looking to buy in rural neighborhoods. Other national programs are available from Habitat for Humanity, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). For more information, visit LendingTree.com’s general guide to first-time homebuyer programs.