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.
A house is the biggest purchase many people ever make. If you’ve never applied for a home loan before, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. That’s why the Tennessee Housing Development Agency, or THDA, created a program to help first-time home buyers through the process.
Some nationally available loan programs may also reduce barriers to homeownership, thanks to relaxed eligibility requirements. Keep reading to learn more about first-time home buyer programs available in the Volunteer State and beyond.
National first-time home buyer loans
THDA highlights and eligibility requirements
THDA programs are available to Tennesseans who haven’t owned a home before, as well as repeat buyers who haven’t lived in a home they own for at least three years or who are buying a home in an area designated as economically disadvantaged. Active-duty service members, veterans and spouses are also eligible.
If you want to buy a house but worry you won’t qualify for a mortgage, the THDA Great Choice Home Loan program can help by providing down payment and closing cost assistance.
Includes government-backed and conventional loan options.
Great Choice mortgage payments help fund programs for the elderly, people with disabilities and the homeless.
30-year, fixed-interest-rate loans.
Loans and assistance programs available through lenders across Tennessee.
Borrower must be a Tennessean with a minimum credit score of 640.
Borrowers must meet income and loan requirements.
Borrowers must complete home buyer education course to get down payment assistance.
Property must not exceed purchase price limits, which vary by county.
» MORE: Tips for first-time home buyers
Compare THDA lenders
THDA first-time home buyer loan programs
Summary: 2020 THDA first-time home buyer programs
Great Choice loan for help with down payment and closing costs.
Homeownership for the Brave for reduced interest rates and low down payments for active-duty service members, veterans and reservists.
Great Choice Plus for down payment and closing costs assistance.
Hardest Hit Fund for help with down payment and closing costs for buyers in designated ZIP codes.
Now that you’re more familiar with the basics of loan programs for first-time home buyers in Tennessee, it’s time to dive into the specifics. Know that THDA doesn’t review applications or lend money; it relies on a network of lenders that may have additional borrower requirements. Your next step is to talk to a THDA-approved lender to find out exactly what it takes to get qualified.
For full details on the programs listed above, visit the THDA website.
More from NerdWallet: