HomeNow Down Payment Assistance Program
How It Works
The HomeNow Program provides down payment and closing cost assistance in the form of a grant to eligible borrowers. Montana CDC established HomeNow as part of its mission to provide hardworking Montanans with access to resources that build long-term financial security.
How Do My Borrowers Qualify?
- Qualify for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage through Fannie Mae’s HomeReady conventional loan program.
- Have income within the established HomeReady income limits. Check Fannie Mae’s income eligibility map to see if the property the borrower is purchasing is located in a low-income census tract. There is NO INCOME LIMIT for borrowers purchasing home in low-income census tracts.
- Have a minimum 680 credit score.
- Be purchasing an owner-occupied, primary residence in Montana.
- Assistance amount can be 3%, 4%, or 5% of the total loan amount.
FHA, VA, or RD Loan
- Qualify for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage through FHA, VA, or USDA Rural Development (RD).
- Have incomes within the established limits: FHA and VA or RD.
- Have a minimum 640 credit score.
- Occupy the property as a primary residence in Montana.
- Assistance amount can be 3.5%, 4.25% or 5% of the total loan amount.
- For more details, please see the Conventional Program Summary or Government Program Summary.
- Participating lenders can log in to the portal at www.homenowgift.org to see daily rates and additional program materials. You can also see details for the most recent program changes in the right sidebar above.
Am I A Qualified Lender?
- Lenders must be approved by U.S. Bank to participate in the HomeNow program.
- Third party origination is not allowed.
- Interested lenders should contact Jason Kiely, Director of HomeNow, at 406‐532‐5726 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- General and market-specific participating lender badges are located in the right-hand column of this page in .pdf format
- Digital and high-resolution logos and badges are available by request
- Lenders interested in additional marketing materials should contact Libby Addington, Director of Communications, at 406-532-5714 or email@example.com
We have funded HomeNow through a combination of fundraising and earned revenue from other programs. The gift money comes directly from Montana CDC.
We only specify a back-end ratio (45% DTI). Lenders should go by the first loan program for any front-end ratios.
No. We funded the program according to the anticipated need in the state. If we see demand increase, we will adjust program funding to meet the new level of need.
No, the gift funds are treated just like a gift from a family member, so there are no tax implications for the borrower.
We have no end date for HomeNow.
For a conventional loan, we use the Fannie Mae HomeReady income eligibility map (https://homeready-eligibility.fanniemae.com/homeready/). In low-income census tracts THERE IS NO INCOME LIMIT. In all other census tracts, income is capped at 100% of AMI. For FHA/VA, income is capped at 115% of AMI by county regardless of household size. For RD, the lender goes by established RD income limits. In all cases, we are looking at borrower’s income only, not household income.
Because it’s a gift and not a loan, there is no application required. The lender will review the borrower’s information to determine whether they qualify for HomeNow.
Yes. The easiest program to combine with is the Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC).
For a conventional loan, the borrower can choose 3%, 4%, or 5% of the TOTAL LOAN AMOUNT, not the purchase price. For an FHA/VA/RD loan, the borrower can choose 3.5%, 4.25%, 5% of the TOTAL LOAN AMOUNT, not the purchase price.
For conventional loans, homebuyer education classes ARE required. We don’t require homebuyer education classes for FHA/VA/RD, but we do strongly recommend them.
There is no minimum length of occupancy required. Borrowers can sell or refinance whenever they need with no recapture.
We do not set an asset cap for borrowers.
No, HomeNow is not limited to first-time homebuyers.
Borrowers must have a credit score of 680 or better for conventional and 640 or better for an FHA/VA/RD loan.
Yes, additional funding fees total $646.50 at closing.
Lenders should lock their rates 10-15 days before the loan closes. This means the lender will need to float the rate for approximately two weeks.