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If you’re a first-time homebuyer in Mississippi, you could be eligible for assistance through the Mississippi Home Corporation (MHC). The state housing finance authority can connect you with mortgage programs and down payment assistance that can help with the upfront costs of buying a home. It also has special programs for certain types of borrowers.
In addition, there are national homebuying programs designed to help first-time buyers, too. Here’s a look at what the agency and others have to offer.
Mississippi first-time homebuyer loan programs
Mississippi Home Corporation’s (MHC) Smart6 program offers 30-year mortgages at competitive rates and lower mortgage insurance premiums. The loan options include Freddie Mac (up to 97 percent financing), FHA, VA and USDA mortgages, which can be combined with down payment assistance funds.
Smart 6 is for first-time and repeat homebuyers buying a home in the state, either a single-family home, condominium, townhome or duplex. Manufactured homes are also allowed with an FHA loan. Other eligibility requirements include a household income of no more than $122,000.
MHC Mortgage Revenue Bond 7
MHC’s Mortgage Revenue Bond 7 (MRB7) program also comes with a competitive interest rate and down payment assistance but is geared toward first-time homebuyers, veterans or those who are planning on purchasing a home in a specially designated target area. You’ll need to meet certain criteria, including credit score minimums, based on the loan you choose: Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, FHA, VA or USDA.
Like the Smart6 program, you’ll need to be within income limits, but these differ based on the county. There are also purchase price limits: If the home is in a target area, the limit is $332,000; in a non-target area, it’s $275,000.
Mississippi down payment assistance
As with most first-time homebuyer programs, MHC’s mortgages and down payment assistance are combined: As long as you meet the qualifying requirements for the mortgage, you’ll be eligible for the assistance.
MHC Smart Solution Second
If you’re borrowing a mortgage through MHC’s Smart6 program, you can take advantage of the Smart Solution Second down payment assistance, which offers help up to $6,000 as a second mortgage at zero percent interest.
MHC MRB7 down payment assistance
Through MHC’s MRB7 program, borrowers can receive up to $7,000 in a deferred, zero-interest loan to help cover closing costs and the down payment. This loan is forgivable after 10 years.
MHC Housing Assistance for Teachers
MHC’s Housing Assistance for Teachers (HAT) program offers a grant to eligible teachers, up to $6,000, for the down payment and closing costs. The grant is available to teachers educating in what the state has identified as “critical shortage areas”: Special Education, Mathematics, Foreign Language and Science. The grant will be forgiven so long as the teacher meets the program’s requirements, which include:
- Teaching for at least three years in a critical shortage school district
- Buying a home in the county where the district is located
In addition, teachers will need to contribute at least 1 percent of their own funds towards the down payment and have at least one month’s reserves.
Other Mississippi homebuyer assistance programs
Mortgage credit certificate (MCC)
First-time homebuyers in Mississippi can lower their federal income taxes through a mortgage credit certificate (MCC). The MCC is a tax credit of as much as 40 percent of your annual mortgage interest, up to $2,000 a year. The idea is that the credit can help you qualify for a mortgage and make homeownership more affordable for you overall.
In addition to being a first-time homebuyer, you’ll also need to meet household income limits, which vary based on county and purchase price limits.
The City of Jackson Homebuyer Assistance Program
If you want to live in Jackson, and you meet the requirements, such as having an income at or below 80 percent of the median area income (AMI), you may qualify for a second mortgage of up to $`15,000 or even more, with no monthly payments and a 0 percent interest rate and a portion of the loan is forgiven each year until it clears. To qualify, you must complete a homeownership education training course. The downside? The purchase price of your next home must be $156,000 or lower, so finding the right fit may take some time.
The MHC, working in conjunction with the Board of Supervisors from Coahoma, Tunica, and Washington counties offers a competitive rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage through the proceeds of the sale of Mortgage Revenue Bonds. The program also offers a $7,000 grant and a $7,000 forgivable loan, for total assistance of $14,000 to help borrowers with upfront costs associated with their home purchase. This program goes through April 30, 2026.
Other first-time homebuyer loan programs
First-time homebuyers in Mississippi have other options besides state-level assistance, including government loan programs. These include FHA, VA or USDA loans.
- FHA loans: This government-ensured option works well for first-time homebuyers who don’t have money for a large down payment or much of a credit history. You only need 3.5 percent of the purchase price, and lenders may allow a credit score of 580 to qualify for an FHA mortgage.
- VA loans: For qualifying service members, veterans or eligible spouses, this mortgage guaranteed by the Department of Veteran Affairs doesn’t require a down payment or a minimum credit score.
- USDA loans: Like VA loans, there is no down payment required, and you may only need a credit score of 640 to qualify with USDA-approved lenders. USDA loans help first-time homebuyers purchase a home in designated rural areas in Mississippi. Check here to see if your property is eligible for this mortgage.
Conventional loans are also available to first-time homebuyers in Mississippi, some for as little as 3 percent down. Head to Bankrate’s first-time homebuyer loans and programs guide to learn more.
When you’re ready to buy your first home, consider starting with the Mississippi Home Corporation to learn about the agency’s affordable mortgage options and the specific requirements of each.
If you like what you see, you can connect with a participating mortgage lender in your area to determine the next steps.
Whichever type of financing you ultimately choose, be sure to research mortgage rates and offers to ensure you find the best rate and terms available, and take advantage of any first-time homebuying grants or national mortgage programs, like an FHA, VA or USDA loan.