North Carolina First-Time Home Buyer Programs of 2020

NerdWalletApril 13, 2020
North Carolina First-Time Home Buyer Programs of 2018

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

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 of up to 5% of the loan amount. Even better: Borrowers don't 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.


  • Available for credit scores as low as 640.

  • Get up to 5% down payment assistance on an FHA, VA or USDA loan, and up to 3% down payment assistance on a conventional loan.

  • 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.

  • Sales price limits depend on loan type.


  • Must not exceed income limits.

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

  • Home buyer education may be required.

  • Mortgage insurance will be 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.

The program requires you to take a homeownership education course. The lender will help you enroll.

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.

More from NerdWallet

We want to hear from you and encourage a lively discussion among our users. Please help us keep our site clean and safe by following our posting guidelines, and avoid disclosing personal or sensitive information such as bank account or phone numbers. Any comments posted under NerdWallet’s official account are not reviewed or endorsed by representatives of financial institutions affiliated with the reviewed products, unless explicitly stated otherwise.