Washington, D.C., First-Time Home Buyer Programs of 2021

By NerdWallet 
Updated
Edited by Alex Richards

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Washington, D.C., is an expensive place to live, making homeownership feel out of reach for many first-time buyers. The District of Columbia’s Housing Finance Agency, or DCHFA, offers several programs designed to help.

First-time home buyers in Washington, D.C., may also benefit from the relaxed qualification requirements that some national loan programs offer. Explore all the options for buying your first home in America’s capital city.

National first-time home buyer programs

These mortgage products typically have low down payment or credit score requirements, and are offered by most lenders.

Conventional mortgage

Best for:

Low down payments, limited mortgage insurance premiums

What you need to know:

A conventional mortgage is a home loan that isn’t guaranteed or insured by the federal government. Conventional mortgages that conform to the requirements set forth by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac allow down payments as low as 3% for first-time buyers or lower-income home buyers. Unlike FHA loans, conventional loans allow borrowers to eventually cancel their mortgage insurance or avoid mortgage insurance altogether if they put at least 20% down.

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4.5

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500

Min. down payment 
3.5%

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4.0

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4.0

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620

Min. down payment 
1%

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5.0

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5.0

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Min. credit score 
620

Min. down payment 
3%

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Mortgage loans from our partners

New American Funding - PURCHASE logo
Check Rate

on New American Funding

New American Funding

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
New American Funding - PURCHASE logo

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score 
500

Min. down payment 
3.5%

Check Rate

on New American Funding

Better - PURCHASE logo
Check Rate

on Better

Better

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Better - PURCHASE logo

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score 
620

Min. down payment 
3%

Check Rate

on Better

NBKC - PURCHASE logo
Check Rate

on NBKC

NBKC

4.5

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NBKC - PURCHASE logo

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score 
620

Min. down payment 
3%

Check Rate

on NBKC