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New Jersey First-Time Home Buyer Programs of 2019

June 28, 2019
Finding the Right Mortgage, Mortgages
New Jersey First-Time Home Buyer Programs of 2018
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First-time home buyers in the Garden State looking for help in getting their homeownership dreams fulfilled can turn to the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency. The NJHMFA has assisted over 115,000 state residents in becoming homeowners in the past 50 years.

You may qualify for free money to apply to down payment and closing costs — and receive favorable fixed-interest-rate home loans.

National first-time home buyer programs

State assistance and loan programs aren’t the only resources you can tap into. Some municipalities offer housing assistance, especially for residents, and national funding sources should also be considered. Here are major programs that offer low- and no-down-payment programs.

Conventional mortgage

National program

Best for

Low down payment

Limited mortgage insurance premiums

What you need to know

First-time home buyers can get a conventional home loan with as little as 3% down if the mortgage meets requirements set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And if you put at least 20% down, you won’t have to pay mortgage insurance. Most lenders require a minimum credit score of 620 to qualify for a

 

FHA loans

National program

Best for

Low credit score

Low down payment

What you need to know

Mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration, or FHA, offer relaxed qualification requirements, especially when it comes to down payment and credit score. You can qualify for an FHA home loan with a credit score as low as 500, but you’ll need a 10% down payment. If your score is 580 or

 

VA loans

National program

Best for

Military

Low down payment

What you need to know

Guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, these mortgages are available to military members, veterans and surviving spouses. If you qualify, you’ll see benefits such as no minimum credit score and no down payment or mortgage insurance, but you'll likely have to pay a VA funding fee.

 

USDA loans

National program

Best for

Low down payment

Rural

What you need to know

The USDA home loan program encourages rural and suburban homeownership by offering zero-down-payment mortgages to lower-income buyers. Borrowers with nontraditional credit data, like rent or utility payments, can still apply, but those with a score of 640 or above will experience faster loan

 

NJHMFA highlights and eligibility requirements

You’re considered a first-time home buyer in the Garden State if you haven’t owned a home in the previous three years. The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency offers the following programs to help you put down roots.

» MORE: Tips for first-time home buyers

Highlights

  • 30-year fixed-interest-rate programs.
  • Government-insured loans.
  • Programs for buyers who are upgrading and downsizing, as well as first-timers.

Eligibility

  • Some programs have location, income and purchase price restrictions.
  • The home must be your primary residence.
  • If the house is a two- to four-unit home, one unit must be your primary residence.
  • You’ll need a credit score of 620 or higher.

Compare NJHMFA lenders














Min. credit score

Conventional, VA:
620

FHA: 580





Min. down payment

3.5%





Loan Types

Purchase, refinance, jumbo, fixed, ARM, FHA, VA, and USDA



Min. credit score

Conventional:
620

FHA, VA: 580





Min. down payment

3.0%





Loan Types

Purchase, refinance, jumbo, fixed, ARM, FHA, VA, and USDA



Min. credit score

Conventional:
n/a

FHA: n/a





Min. down payment

3.0%





Loan Types

Purchase, refinance, jumbo, fixed, ARM, FHA, VA, and USDA



» MORE: Compare the best NJHMFA mortgage lenders

NJHMFA first-time home buyer loan programs

Down Payment Assistance Program

State program

Best for

Down payment assistance

Closing cost assistance

What you need to know

This NJHMFA program offers $10,000 in closing cost and down payment assistance to first-time home buyers. That amount is offered as a 0% interest loan that is forgiven in five years. Specific county income and purchase price limits apply, and buyers must obtain financing through a NJHMFA loan

 

Police and Firemen’s Retirement System Mortgage Program

State program

Best for

First responders

What you need to know

If you are an active member of the New Jersey Police and Firemen’s Retirement System and have at least one year of service, you’re eligible for this 30-year fixed-rate loan program. The home’s purchase price must meet local purchase price limits.

Summary: 2019 NJHMFA first-time home buyer programs

  • Down payment assistance program for help with down payment and closing costs.
  • Police and Firemen’s Retirement System Mortgage Program for first responders.

For full details on any New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency program, visit the NJHMFA website.

You’ll find lenders that participate in NJHMFA programs. It’s always a good idea to shop around for a lender, as loan terms and interest rates will vary among lenders.

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