Minnesota First-Time Home Buyer Programs of 2020

NerdWalletJanuary 2, 2020
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It’s getting harder to be a first-time home buyer. With mortgage rates and home prices heading higher, the goal of homeownership may feel like it’s slipping out of reach.

But as a first-time home buyer in Minnesota, you can take advantage of loan programs specifically designed to make getting a mortgage more affordable.

Learn more about first-time home buyer programs in Minnesota and across the country, and discover what it takes to qualify.

National first-time home buyer programs

Loans that make it easier for first-timers to buy a home exist in all 50 states. No matter where you live, ask potential lenders about mortgage options to overcome limited income, low credit scores or lack of a down payment.

Minnesota first-time home buyer loan programs

As a first-time home buyer, you may benefit from loan programs offered by the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, or Minnesota Housing. If you’re eligible for these programs, you’ll also have access to down payment and closing cost assistance. Minnesota Housing defines a first-time home buyer as anyone who hasn’t owned a home in the past three years; however, certain programs are available to repeat buyers as well.

Minnesota Housing highlights and eligibility requirements


  • Minimum credit score as low as 640

  • Low down payment and fees

  • Up to $15,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance

  • Options for low-cost or no mortgage insurance


  • Income limits that vary by household size and location

  • Maximum purchase price of $306,000 for metro areas

  • Home buyer education course may be required

  • Must contribute $1,000 to get down payment assistance

Your next step

If you think one of these Minnesota first-time home buyer programs meets your needs, contact participating lenders. They’ll help you figure out if you qualify and calculate how much assistance you can get.

You’ll also want to make plans to attend an approved home buyer education course, which is required for first-time home buyers before closing.

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