11+ Best Missouri First-Time homebuyer Programs of 2022

When you’re looking to buy your first home, the mortgage and loan process can feel intimidating. Thankfully, the Show-Me State of Missouri has a few homebuyer programs to choose from to make buying a first home more accessible. 

Through the first-time homebuyer programs in Missouri, you can enjoy several benefits designed to help make purchasing your first home a breeze. Here’s everything you need to know if you’re thinking about applying for first time homebuyer loans in Missouri–and the best first-time homebuyer programs in the state. 

What is a homebuyers program? 

A homebuyer’s program is a program implemented by a mortgage loan company designed to help eligible people purchase a home when they would otherwise face financial obstacles or disadvantages through conventional loan or mortgage programs. This might include first-time buyers, veterans, or lower-income families. 

Some homebuyer programs are guaranteed by the federal government, allowing the participating lender to compensate you with much better interest rates than if you were simply purchasing a home through conventional loans

If you’re thinking of purchasing your first home–whether you’re relocating to The Bahamas, moving to Nebraska, or buying a home in Missouri–using a first-time homebuyer program may be just what you need to finally make your dream home a reality.

How can first-time homebuyer programs help? 

A first-time homebuyer program can vary between the type of program and the company offering the program. However, in general, first-time homebuyer programs allow eligible persons to obtain a loan with better terms than they would otherwise be able to receive. This can include a lower minimum down payment or better interest rates. 

This is usually because the mortgage lender wants to be able to do business with younger folk purchasing their home for the first time who lack the credit history or financial documentation to support a conventional loan.

First-time homebuyer assistance programs improve buyers’ chances of owning homes in particular geographic areas, or help borrowers in certain professions (like first responders, active-duty military and veterans, or educators).  

Some first-time homebuyer programs are also implemented with the assistance of various government agencies in order to provide Americans purchasing a home for the first time the best economic opportunity to do so in a competitive and difficult real estate market.

State housing authorities create homebuyer programs that combine closing cost and down payment assistance programs with mortgages that have favorable interest rates, with some states even offering tax credits you can use on your federal tax return. 

It’s usually much easier to get pre-approved for a first-time homebuyer program compared to a conventional loan. Even better, these programs include a lower minimum down payment and more flexible documentation to determine your interest rate. 

The Best Missouri First-Time homebuyer Programs in 2022

ProgramMin. Credit Score
FHA Loans500-580Learn More
USDA620Learn More
MHDC First Place Loan Program Not listedLearn More
First Responder Home Loan ProgramsVariesLearn More
MHDC First Place Loan Program with Cash AssistanceNot listedLearn More
VA LoansVariesLearn More
MHDC Next Steps Loan Program Not listedLearn More
Chenoa Down Payment
Assistance
600-640Learn More
HomeReady Program Missouri 620Learn More
MHDC Next Steps Loan Program with Cash AssistanceNot listedLearn More
Mortgage Credit Certificate Not listedLearn More

The Home Loan Expert 

While The Home Loan Expert doesn’t offer specific first-time homebuyer programs, we help first-time homebuyers find their dream home with our wide variety of affordable loan options. Boasting a seamless online experience and a plethora of options for mortgages and home loans, we have the entire mortgage loan process contained under one roof, allowing us to quickly and efficiently close your loan.

We understand that the process can be a little bit overwhelming, so we offer same-day pre-approvals you can rely on through our 5-Minute Loan Approval* application. Ensuring that the process is as personal as it is professional, we always work to put the customer and the community first. 

Loans & Services:

  • Adjustable-Rate Mortgages
  • Bank Statement Mortgages
  • Cash-Out Refinance
  • Conventional Loans
  • Debt Consolidation
  • FHA Loans
  • First Responder Loan Program
  • Fixed-Rate Loans
  • Home Purchase Loan
  • Jumbo Home Loans
  • Union Loans
  • USDA Loans
  • VA Loans
  • Zero Dollar
  • No Income Verification Loans

Pros: 

  • Personalized and hands-on service
  • Best in class closing costs
  • Variety of loan and mortgage options
  • Robust down payment assistance options
  • Access to the newest mortgage loan products and in-house underwriting

Cons: 

  • Given the number of loan choices available, some prior homework might be necessary in order to zero in on the best loan for you. 

Minimum down payment: Options available with down payments as low as 3%

Start the approval process at The Home Loan Expert today!

Federal Housing Administration Loans 

FHA Loans are loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). They offer various advantages over conventional loans for individuals with lower credit scores. FHA loans allow individuals who would otherwise fail to qualify for a mortgage to receive one since the loan is guaranteed by a government agency. 

FHA loans often also require lower down payments and better interest rates relative to comparable conventional loans. Criteria for applying for a Federal Housing Administration Loan might include:

  • A minimum down payment of 3.5%, though a lower credit score may require a larger down payment
  • A credit score of at least 550, though these vary by lender 
  • Less debt than 50% of your pre-tax annual income, though again this varies by lender
  • The property being purchased or refinanced must meet the Federal Housing Administration’s minimum property requirements
  • Mortgage insurance, including an upfront mortgage insurance payment

If you fulfill the financial eligibility criteria, you can obtain an FHA loan through approved FHA lenders such as The Home Loan Expert, which offers excellent benefits such as $0 down payments.

Best for: Individuals looking to purchase a home with a lower credit score

MHDC First Place Loan Program 

The MHDC First Place Loan Program is implemented with the assistance of the Missouri Housing Development Commission. The program offers loans with lower than market interest rates, and all loans provided through the MHDC First Place Loan Program are 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages. Plus, they’re offered with identical rates no matter which certified lender you use. 

To be eligibility for the MHDC First Place Loan Program, you must:

  • Be either a first-time homebuyer or a veteran within 25 years of leaving active service
  • Have a good credit history
  • Have an annual income within set limits determined by the neighborhood in which you are purchasing a home
  • Be a resident of the state of Missouri 

While not one of the requirements, prospective applicants of the MHDC First Place Loan Program may want to keep their house for at least nine years; otherwise, a recapture tax may be applied upon sale.

Best for: First-time and veteran homebuyers with good credit looking for lower than market interest rates who intend on keeping their purchased home for 9+ years.

First Responder Home Loan Programs

First Responder Home Loan Programs are designed to help first responders purchase a home with loans offering better terms and interest rates as compared to conventional loans. 

The best program for first responders in Missouri is offered through The Home Loan Expert. They promise a hassle-free process for first responders with competitive interest rates, rebates, and down payment assistance.

Criteria for applying for a First Responders Home Loan include:

  • Work as a first responder, such as a firefighter, police officer, medical emergency personnel, nurse, and more
  • Additional criteria is available through consultation

Best for: First responders looking to purchase a new home

MHDC First Place Loan Program with Cash Assistance

MHDC First Place Loans with Cash Assistance are offered through the Missouri Housing Development Commission and are intended to help buyers who may not be able to afford closing costs or down payments. 

While these loans have slightly higher interest rates compared to Non-Assistance MHDC First Place Loans, they provide 4% of the loan amount to clients in order to support them with the upfront finances of purchasing a house. 

The guidelines to keep in mind for applying to the MHDC First Place Loan Program with Cash Assistance include:

  • Be either a first-time homebuyer or a veteran within 25 years of leaving active service
  • Have a good credit history
  • Have an annual income within set limits determined by the neighborhood in which you are purchasing a home
  • Be a resident of the state of Missouri 

While not a requirement, prospective applicants of the MHDC First Place Loan Program may want to keep their house for at least nine years;otherwise, a recapture tax may be applied upon sale.

Best for: First-time and veteran homebuyers with good credit who need some help with affording closing costs and down payments.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

USDA Loans are offered through the U.S Department of Agriculture to help promote USDA rural development in rural areas across the United States. USDA Loans can take the form of guaranteed conventional loans through a private lender, or directly through the USDA. 

USDA Loans typically require no down payment and very little interest, making them a financially great option for first-time homebuyers looking to purchase property in a rural area. 

Criteria for applying for a Federal Housing Administration Loan include:

  • Be either an American citizen, a national, or a qualified alien
  • Plan to reside in the purchased property
  • Earn less than 115% of the medial household income in the county where the property is being purchased
  • Be purchasing a property in a rural area as defined by the USDA

While many certified lenders do offer USDA Loans, the best lender, financially speaking, to go through for your USDA Loan is The Home Loan Expert. The Home Loan Expert offers zero down payments and low fixed interest rates and accepts credit scores as low as 620.

Best for: Low- to medium-income individuals or households looking to purchase a property in a rural area

MHDC Next Steps Loan Program 

Another program offered through the Missouri Housing Development Commission, MHDC Next Steps Loans are primarily intended for first-time or veteran homebuyers with an income level exceeding the threshold of the MHDC’s First Place Loan Program. 

If you’re in construction or real estate, for instance, this is a great option for you. These loans can be issued as with FHA, VA, RD, or conventional loans, though mortgage rates may be higher depending on the type of loan received.

Criteria for applying to the MHDC Next Steps Loan Program include:

  • Be either a first-time homebuyer or a veteran within 25 years of leaving active service
  • Have a good credit history
  • Have an annual income within set limits determined by the neighborhood in which you are purchasing a home
  • Be a resident of the state of Missouri 

Best for: First-time and veteran homebuyers with good credit with a higher income level

MHDC Next Steps Loan Program with Cash Assistance

The MHDC Next Steps Loan Program with Cash Assistance offers a nice source of commission by giving the option of a second mortgage on top of your first mortgage under the MHDC Next Steps Loan Program for 4% of your first mortgage in order to help you pay down payments and closing costs. This second mortgage will be forgiven so long as you stay in the purchased home for at least ten years.

Criteria for applying to the MHDC Next Steps Loan Program include:

  • Be either a first-time homebuyer or a veteran within 25 years of leaving active service
  • Have a good credit history
  • Have an annual income within set limits determined by the neighborhood in which you are purchasing a home
  • Be a resident of the state of Missouri 

Best for: First-time and veteran homebuyers with good credit and a higher income level looking for help paying down payments and closing costs

U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs 

VA Loans are administered in partnership with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, which provides veterans with unique financial benefits and advantages through the VA Loan Program. This is done in recognition of their service and sacrifice for the country and in order to help make sure veterans are able to afford housing after serving. 

VA Loans are guaranteed in part by the United States Government, allowing lenders to offer veterans better interest rates and loan terms. VA Loans also don’t require down payments and can be used by veterans over their entire lifetime.

Criteria for applying for a U.S Department of Veteran Affairs Loan include:

  • Be a U.S. Veteran, service member, National Guard member, or Reserve member
  • Satisfy certain service requirements, which vary depending on when you served

Hero Loan is a VA mortgage lender servicing active duty military, veterans, and their families. As a direct-endorsed VA Lender, Hero Loan can close VA Loans in as little as 14 days—compared to most lenders that take up to 60 days. They underwrite all VA Loans in house, meaning they offer lower mortgage rates and no upfront or out of pocket costs—including the appraisal. 

And you can apply for your Hero Loan using their 5-Minute Loan Approval* application process online. 

Best for: U.S. veterans, service members, National Guard members, or Reserve members looking to purchase a home

Mortgage Credit Certificate 

Mortgage Credit Certificates are issued by state and local Housing Finance Agencies with the intention of helping lower-income families and individuals better afford a new home. 

Mortgage Credit Certificates are a tax credit issued to eligible persons equal to between 10 and 50 percent of that household’s mortgage, plus the interest rate. 

Criteria for applying for a Mortgage Credit Certificate include:

  • File taxes in the United States
  • Earn no more than the statewide or area median income where you live

Best for: Lower-income families looking for a bit more help in affording a mortgage

Chenoa Down Payment Assistance Program

The Chenoa Down Payment Assistance program is administered by the Chenoa Fund, a federally-chartered government agency owned by the Cedar Band of Paiutes. The Fund provides up to 5% down payment assistance to eligible homebuyers as well as up to 18 months of post-purchase counseling.

Criteria for applying for Chenoa Down Payment Assistance is available upon consultation with Chenoa Fund customer service representatives.

Best for: Members of minority groups looking to purchase a new home

HomeReady Program Missouri 

The HomeReady Mortgage Program is administered by Fannie Mae, an independent agency chartered by Congress. The program offers mortgages for low-income individuals or families that may require assistance to afford down payments. 

Criteria for applying for the HomeReady Program includes:

  • Income below median income of where you live
  • A credit score of at least 620, though credit score requirements vary on the lender
  • homebuyer must reside in purchased home
  • Must be purchasing either a single-family home, condominium, townhouse, or planned unit development
  • Homeownership counseling for first-time buyers

Best for: Low-income families with good credit purchasing a residential home

Conclusion: What is the Best Missouri First-Time Homebuyer Program of 2022?

The best of the first-time homebuyer programs include FHA loans, First Responder Home Loans, USDA Loans, and VA Loans. If you can qualify for any of these loans, then you can be sure that you’re getting one of the best possible interest rates and loan terms for first-time buyers.

All of these loans are available through The Home Loan Expert. This friendly company boasts an abundance of experience in helping new homebuyers like yourself achieve their real estate dreams. 

The online tools offered are combined with their excellent customer service, a focus on client satisfaction, unwavering community action, and commitment to serving their neighbors. You simply can’t go wrong with having The Home Loan Expert on your side. 

To learn more about how they can help you get the home of your dreams, get started with your 5-Minute Loan Approval* application today!

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