Home At Last™ FAQs
FAQs for Homebuyers
Is the interest rate higher if I use the down payment assistance?
Our rates vary depending on the amount of assistance provided and actually include a “below market rate” for our exclusive 0% assistance conventional loan for borrowers who have less than 20% down payment. In general, our rates tend to be slightly above market, but we encourage you to consult with your Home At Last™ approved lender to show you a comparison to determine what will actually benefit you the most. All Home At Last™ loans have a fixed interest rate for the entire 30-year term of the loan. Home At Last™ is committed to providing homebuyers with the programs, education and resources to make affordable homeownership a reality.
How much assistance do I qualify for?
Your Home At Last™ approved lender will determine the amount of assistance you qualify for, which varies depending on the loan type (FHA, VA, USDA, or Conventional) and other factors.
How do I apply for Home At Last™ programs?
For Down Payment Assistance and Mortgage Credit Certificates (MCC), your Home At Last™ approved lender will handle the entire process. There is NO separate application for the Down Payment Assistance and it doesn’t slow down closing. The MCC does require an application and supporting documents (e.g. tax returns), but your Home At Last™ approved lender handles the entire process for you. Working with an experienced Home At Last™ approved lender is highly recommended to ensure you receive the maximum program benefits available to you.
How do I raise my credit score?
We refer frequently to local non-profit agencies who are experts in providing credit counseling, budgeting, money management and tools to help raise your credit score, while simultaneously providing you with the resources and education that will lead you to confidently managing your finances. Many of our Home At Last™ approved lenders will provide a no-cost credit analysis and may provide guidance needed to raise your credit score.
Where does the assistance money come from and how does it work?
The Home At Last™ Down Payment Assistance program is not federally funded. Continuous funding is provided by pooling the loans into mortgage-backed securities through a public-private partnership model that includes George K. Baum & Company, serving as our investment banking partners and U.S. Bank, as Master Servicer of all loans. Your Home At Last™ approved lender will advance the down payment funds at closing and U.S. Bank will reimburse your lender after closing when the loan is purchased for servicing.
Can I work with any lender or real estate agent I want?
You must use a Home At Last™ approved lender – go to our direct referral page here to select a preferred loan officer or to view a complete list of participating lenders, click on this list. We love to give referrals to outstanding lenders. We highly recommend working with a Home At Last™ Certified real estate agent, but it is not required. You can connect with a preferred Certified agent, by clicking here.
I already have a home, can I purchase another one with Home At Last™ Down Payment Assistance?
Yes, you can! As long as the new property you are purchasing will be occupied as your primary residence, and you meet normal underwriting requirements for the type of loan you will be getting (FHA, VA, USDA, or Conventional).
Can Home At Last™ run out of funds?
The Home At Last™ Down Payment Assistance never runs out of funding! The Mortgage Credit Certificate program is funded through Private Activity Bonds, so funding is limited.
How much do I need to make to be able to qualify?
While we don’t have a minimum income requirement, you will be required to have sufficient repayment income to qualify for a suitable home, as well as meet other standard loan requirements. Home At Last™ loans are not subsidized, so if you have very low income, you may want to call USDA Rural Development at (775) 887-1222 to ask about the subsidized Direct loan program.
I already have my down payment saved up, so why should I use Home At Last™?
Great news! Home At Last™ always promotes responsible homeownership, so only use the program if it’s in your best interest to do so. Our program does not have an asset limit, so you are not required to use your own savings. Maintaining a healthy savings account, as well as a separate emergency fund, will help to provide years of enjoyable and stress-free homeownership. Many homebuyers choose to use the Home At Last™ down payment assistance to purchase their home, then use savings to make upgrades and other home improvements, which can increase the value of the home. Our exclusive 0% assistance Conventional loan is actually designed just for borrowers putting less than 20% down – it provides a below-market interest rate and up to 50% lower mortgage insurance premiums, plus you can get rid of the mortgage insurance once the loan-to-value reaches 78%! Now, that’s affordable homeownership!
Can Home At Last™ be paired with an FHA 203k or Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM)?
Yes, most definitely! The Home At Last™ approved lender you work with will need to be approved by U.S. Bank (streamline only), so please verify.
Does using Home At Last™ slow down my loan closing?
No! Our programs are integrated into the loan process, so it won’t slow down your closing. Working with a Home At Last™ approved lender ensures the closing process is seamless and timely.
Is there a waiting list?
No, there is no waiting list to use our Home At Last™ programs. The MCC program, which has limited funding, issues MCCs
FAQs (DPA) for Lenders & Realtors®
Home At Last™ Down Payment Assistance
New Second Loan Questions? Email HAL@NVRural.org
1. eHousing provides 5 documents- Partial Exemption Disclosure, Gift Letter, Commitment, Note, and Deed of Trust.
2. Mortgagee Clause for Nevada Rural Housing Authority, its Successors and/or Assigns (NRHA, isaoa), 3695 Desatoya Dr., Carson City, NV 89701.
3. No title insurance on second loan is required.
4. Title company inserts their name as Trustee on Deed of Trust at closing.
5. Lenders follow CFPB compliance requirements.
6. There is no cap on the recording fee for the second loan.
7. Assistance is forgiven on a prorated, monthly basis equal to 1/36 of the original assistance amount each month.
Are Non-Occupying Co-Borrowers permitted?
Do Non-Occupying Co-Borrowers need to complete the homebuyer education course?
What is the maximum debt-to-income ratio allowed with Home At Last?
50% DTI for FHA and Conventional loans with a minimum 680 FICO
45% DTI for FHA, VA and Conventional loans with a minimum 640 FICO
36% – Manual Underwrites (Refer to U.S. Bank Bulletin 2016-05)
Note: Follow agency (FHA, USDA, etc. guidelines, if lower)
Can Home At Last™ be paired with an FHA 203k or Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM)?
Yes, most definitely (203k streamline only)! You must be approved by US Bank to offer these loans through the Home At Last™ program.
FAQs (MCC) for Lenders & Realtors®
Home At Last™ Mortgage Credit Certificate
Is Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) and Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) taken into consideration?
Both should be taken into consideration for income purposes.
Who receives the MCC after closing?
The homebuyer who receives the IRS Form 1098 (Mortgage Interest Statement) at the end of the year receives the MCC.
Do Non-Occupying Co-Borrowers need to take the homebuyer education class?
Do we need to include the Non-Occupying Co-borrower’s income on the application?
No, only include income of persons intending to reside in the home AND who are liable (or who may be secondarily liable) for the loan.
Do borrowers need to be a first-time homebuyer to qualify for the MCC program?
Yes, in most cases. The MCC program is available to first-time homebuyers (those who have not owned a home within the last 3 years). The first-time homebuyer requirement is waived for qualified Veterans who will live in the home as their primary residence, and for borrowers purchasing homes located in designated targeted areas.
How do prospective borrowers apply for the MCC program?
As a Home At Last™ approved lender, you will obtain the MCC forms from our website, then complete the MCC application for your borrower and email to MCC@nvrural.org for processing and approval before closing their loan. If you’re not an approved lender, contact us to learn how to become a Home At Last™ approved lender.
Can a homebuyer apply for an MCC after they have closed on their mortgage?
No, unfortunately this must occur prior to closing on their mortgage.
Can a homebuyer refinance the loan and continue using the MCC?
Yes, to continue qualifying for the MCC Income Tax Reduction, the homebuyer must apply for Reissuance of the MCC each time they refinance.
Can the MCC be used with a construction loan?
No, the loan must be the permanent financing for the home.
Can the MCC be used with a loan to finance a manufactured home that is considered personal property?
No, but manufactured homes converted to real property are eligible.
Is a person that owns a manufactured home that is personal property (not converted to real property) considered a first-time homebuyer?
Maybe, please contact the Home At Last™ department to determine if your borrower is eligible.
Can the MCC be added on a loan to finance a home located in a planned unit development (PUD)?
Yes, the home can be an attached or detached unit in a PUD.
What is Anticipated Annual Income?
Anticipated Annual Income is defined as the gross income (w/no adjustments or deductions) the household anticipates it will receive in the 12-month period following the MCC commitment date.
Should the calculated MCC tax benefit be included in the Anticipated Annual Income?
No, the extra income resulting from the MCC is treated as a tax credit and should not be included when calculating the Anticipated Annual Income.
Do co-borrowers not intending to live in the home have to be included on the MCC application?
No, only household members intending to live in the home need to be included on the MCC application.
What is the turn-time once Home At Last™ receives a new MCC application?
The MCC Commitment will be issued within 24-48 hours from the time an application is received, if it is completed properly and no required information or documents are missing. All lenders are encouraged to submit MCC applications well in advance of closing in case additional information or documentation is required to approve the application.
Do lenders have reporting requirements to the IRS?
Yes, every year lenders are required to file IRS Form 8329 to the IRS, postmarked by January 31st. Nevada Rural Housing Authority’s Home At Last™ department will provide lenders with a list of the MCCs they closed and provide a pre-filled IRS Form as a courtesy.