SC Housing Homebuyer Program
The South Carolina Housing Administration created homebuyer programs that make the dream of buying a home a reality. Offering up to $8,000 in forgivable financial assistance that can be used towards the down payment and/or closing costs on a new home purchase. Read more
- Up to $8,000 to be used towards the down payment
- DPA with a 0% interest rate and no monthly payments
- DPA in the form of a second lien with 10 or 20-year terms based on household income
- Income at or below 80% Area Median Income (AMI), the term is 10 years
- Income above 80% AMI, the term is 20 years. If the borrower(s) remain in the home for the full term, the lien is forgiven
- Be a first-time homebuyer (not having owned a property within the last 3 years)
- The maximum home price is $325,000
- Minimum 620 credit score
- Borrower must meet the qualifications for the first mortgage under SC Housing’s programs
- Must complete a homebuyer course
Palmetto Home Advantage
Palmetto Home Advantage offers conventional, FHA, VA, and USDA loan options for first-time, move-up, and repeat buyers with no first-time homebuyer requirements for new and existing homes across all 46 counties in South Carolina. The program offers forgivable down payment assistance of 0%, 3%, or 4% of the loan amount with no monthly payment.
- FHA loans are available on both single-family and two-unit owner-occupied properties
- FHA loans up 96.5% Loan-to-Value (LTV) FHA 203k LIMITED Loan – up to $35,000 in non-structural repairs
- VA and USDA loans with 100% financing
Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC)
The SC Mortgage Tax Credit is a Mortgage Credit Certificate (“MCC”) program administered by the South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority (SC Housing) that provides a federal income tax credit to qualified homebuyers of up to $2,000 per calendar year. It allows the homebuyer to reduce the amount of federal income taxes owed by allowing a federal income tax credit for interest paid on the mortgage loan.
National First-Time Homebuyer Loan Programs
- 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.
Statewide and Regional Programs
Buying a Home
Owning and Maintaining Your Home
Other South Carolina Resources