Idaho First-Time Home Buyer Programs of 2020

NerdWalletSeptember 15, 2020
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If buying a first home feels like a stretch, you might benefit from a first-time home buyer program offered nationally or within the state of Idaho. A variety of loan and grant programs are available to put homeownership within reach for residents of the Gem State.

National first-time home buyer programs

Offered by most lenders, these nationally available loans have low down payment requirements, which makes qualifying easier for many first-time buyers.

Idaho Housing first-time home buyer programs

The Idaho Housing and Finance Association offers purchase and refinance loans through a network of approved lenders for first-time and repeat home buyers, as well as down payment and closing costs assistance. The association’s home buyer tax credit program is available statewide to first-time buyers and repeat buyers in specific counties. In Idaho, you’re considered a first-time buyer if you haven’t owned a primary residence in at least three years.

Idaho Housing highlights and eligibility requirements


  • Offers competitive interest rates for purchase and refinance mortgages.

  • Down payment and closing cost assistance available.

  • Some loan programs have reduced mortgage insurance requirements.

  • Tax credit program is open to repeat home buyers in targeted counties and first-time buyers in all counties.


  • Meet income and purchase price limits in your county.

  • Have a minimum credit score of 620 (this requirement is higher for some programs).

  • Complete a home buyer education course. One of the partners in a couple must complete the course if both are first-time home buyers.

  • Work with a lender approved by the Idaho Housing and Finance Association.

Your next step

You can read more about Idaho home buyer programs and check your eligibility by filling out a form on Idaho Housing's website. To apply, you’ll need to work through a participating lender. After searching by location or for a specific company, you can start shopping. For more information on how to weigh options, see our tips for finding the best mortgage lender.

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