North Carolina First-Time Home Buyer Programs of 2020

NerdWalletOctober 2, 2020
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Good news for first-time home buyers and repeat buyers in North Carolina: The state offers a loan program that comes with down payment assistance.

The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, or NCHFA, has a program called NC Home Advantage Mortgage, which combines affordable, fixed-rate loans with down payment assistance. Even better: Borrowers may not have to pay back the down payment help if they own the home long enough.

National first-time home buyer programs

NCHFA highlights and eligibility requirements

If you live in North Carolina, NCHFA programs offer unique benefits that could help you buy a house sooner.


  • Get up to 5% down payment assistance.

  • Choose among conventional, FHA, VA or USDA mortgages from NCHFA participating lenders.

  • Depending on loan type, buy a house, town house, condominium, duplex or new manufactured home.


  • Requires a minimum credit score of 640.

  • Borrower income and sales price must be within program limits.

  • Overall debt-to-income ratio has to be 43% or less.

  • Home buyer education may be required.

  • Mortgage insurance is required when a down payment is less than 20%.

Compare NCHFA Lenders

NCHFA first-time home buyer loan programs

Summary: 2020 NCHFA first-time home buyer programs

  • NC Home Advantage Mortgage for up to 5% down payment assistance for eligible first-time and repeat buyers.

  • NC 1st Home Advantage Down Payment for $8,000 in down payment assistance to eligible first-time home buyers and military veterans.

  • Community Partners Loan Pool for a down payment assistance loan of up to 20% of the sales price.

  • Self-Help Loan Pool for a mortgage with a 0% interest rate.

  • Mortgage Credit Certificate for an annual federal tax credit of up to $2,000 for eligible first-time home buyers and military veterans.

Visit the NCHFA's information page for the NC Home Advantage Mortgage. This page has a link to a lender lookup tool and a way to find a real estate agent who has worked with program participants in the past.

If you're interested in the Community Partners Loan Pool, visit NCHFA's community partners page and select "Community Partners Loan Pool" without selecting a county (leave that pull-down set to "Any"). You'll see a list of partners and the counties they serve. If you're interested in the Self-Help Loan Pool, visit NCHFA's community partners page and select your county and the "Self-Help Loan Pool" program to see what's available.

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