Start Up for First-Time Homebuyers
Start Up is a statewide mortgage program for eligible first-time homebuyers, available through participating lenders. Start Up offers
Step Up for Repeat Homebuyers and Homeowners
Step Up is our statewide program for repeat home buyers or current homeowners to purchase or refinance a home. Step Up offers:
All Other Counties
Down Payment and Closing Cost Loans
Monthly Payment Loan:
- Available with Start or Step Up
- Up to $17,000
- Fully amortized over 10 years
- Interest rate equal to the first mortgage rate
- Additional eligibility requirements apply.
Deferred Payment Loans:
- Available with Start Up only
- Up to $12,500 with Deferred Payment Loan or $15,000 with Deferred Payment Loan Plus
- Interest-free deferred loan for the length of first mortgage term
- Repayment of the full loan balance is required (a balloon payment) when:
- The borrower moves
- The home is sold
- The first mortgage loan is refinanced (unless refinancing with our Step Up Program)
- The first mortgage loan is paid off (prior to or at the end of the loan term)
Conventional Loan Options
Minnesota Housing offers several HFA conventional mortgage products that must be layered with one of our Mortgage Loan Programs, offering the reduction or elimination of mortgage insurance (MI) costs with options available up to 97% LTV.
Buying a Home
Owning and Maintaining Your Home
Other Minnesota Resources
National First-Time Homebuyer Loans
- FHA Loans – FHA home loans are very popular with first-time homebuyers cause they require a 580 credit score with just a 3.5% down payment. Debt-to-income ratios up to 50% are allowed making them perfect for low-income borrowers.
- Conventional Loans – Conventional loans require a 620 credit score and a 5% to 20% down payment. If you put 20% or more down, mortgage insurance will not be required.
- USDA Loans – USDA mortgage loans are for low-to-median income borrowers buying a home located in a USDA-eligible rural area. They provide 100% financing with a 620 or higher credit score. Mortgage insurance is required but the rate is the lowest of any type of mortgage program available.
- VA Loans – Veterans of the U.S. military may be eligible for a VA home loan. No down payment or mortgage insurance is required and veterans with a 580 to 620 credit score are eligible.
- HomeReady and Home Possible Loans – Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae created the HomeReady and Home Possible loan programs for low-income first-time homebuyers whose income does not exceed 100% of the area median income requiring just a 3% down payment and a 620 credit score.