You might think that securing a mortgage is impossible. It’s true that many mortgage lenders require you to pay at least 20 percent of the full cost upfront, and failing to do so can incur further expenses against you. With most people in the United States living paycheck-to-paycheck, it’s simply not viable to buy property. But there are actually grants that help people purchase homes. These programs are called down payment assistance programs.


These programs, often abbreviated DPA programs, are responsible for helping a potential home buyer to receive low-interest loans or grants. These grants and loans help to cover the cost of a down payment when applying for a traditional mortgage, meaning that the borrower doesn’t have to save as much.


Over 2,000 DPA programs exist throughout the US. A lot of them are run by the county, city, and state governments. The programs’ exact qualifications depend on your location, but many of them offer potential home buyers thousands of dollars in assistance.


DPA programs come in four main categories.


The first category is for grants. These are lump sums of money that don’t need to be repaid. Essentially, a grant is a gift from an institution that allows you to make your down payment.


The second category is for a second mortgage that must be paid in tandem with your initial mortgage payment. The third is a second mortgage that has deferred payments. With this option, you still have to pay back the full amount, but you can postpone the time until you need to begin making payments.


The last type of program is a second mortgage that is forgiven once a certain amount of time goes by. Most involve loan forgiveness after five years, though some may use longer terms like fifteen or twenty years.


DPA programs are designed for first-time homeowners. You might also qualify even if you’ve owned a home before, as long as you haven’t owned a house within the prior three years. Some programs only offer assistance on homes in a predetermined area. You might also face income caps wherein if you make more than the maximum threshold, you won’t qualify.


Statistics show that a home buyer who uses a DPA program will save an average of 17,000 dollars.