Arkansas Mortgage and Refinance Rates
As of Saturday, July 24, 2021, current rates in Arkansas are 3.08% for a 30-year fixed, and 2.36% for a 15-year fixed.
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Arkansas mortgage overview
Arkansas has more than 3 million residents, and as of 2018, has an owner-occupied housing rate (meaning the household has at least one property owner living in it) of 65.7 percent. The median value of those homes is $123,300.
To help low- to moderate-income individuals and families purchase affordable homes, Arkansas operates the Arkansas Development Finance Authority (ADFA). In addition to receiving federal funds, the agency is primarily self-funded through loan earnings and investments.
First-time homebuyer programs in Arkansas
In Arkansas, qualifying first-time homebuyers have access to a variety of programs to help them through the buying process. There are also several state-sponsored homebuyer programs and down payment assistance initiatives for any homebuyer, regardless of first-time status.
Affordable Housing Program
An Affordable Housing Program is available to first-time homebuyers in Crawford County, Sebastian County and some areas in Oklahoma, offered through the Crawford-Sebastian Homeownership Center and the Crawford-Sebastian Community Development Council. Through the program, applicants can receive a $4,000 grant to help with the down payment and closing costs, with no repayment required if the homebuyer stays in the home for at least five years.
To qualify, the first-time homebuyer must meet the designated low-income guidelines, make a $500 investment, complete an eight-hour homebuyer counseling class and use Armstrong Bank for financing.
Jonesboro Homeownership Assistance Program
The Jonesboro Homeownership Assistance program is designed to help low- to moderate-income first-time homebuyers purchase homes within the city limits of Jonesboro, Arkansas. Through the program, applicants can receive a grant to help with the down payment and closing costs. Once approved, the funds are paid directly to the title company.
The home purchased must meet HUD Housing Quality Standards, and the household must meet the federal income guidelines. Applicants must complete a HUD-approved homebuyer education course, as well.
Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC)
Offered by the ADFA, the Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) program converts a portion of the mortgage interest the homeowner pays into a non-refundable federal tax credit. The MCC program is available to low- to moderate-income buyers, including first-time homebuyers, and is available for free to homebuyers who have an ADFA first mortgage. The maximum tax credit in a year is $2,000, and can be claimed for the life of the loan so long as the homeowner lives in the residence.
Borrowers must be a first-time homebuyer, a veteran or veteran’s spouse, or be purchasing a home in a targeted county (which includes Crawford County, Jefferson County and White County). The borrower must also work with an ADFA-approved lender, and minimum credit scores, household income limits and a home purchase price limit of $270,000 apply.
Arkansas mortgage refinancing
If you’re looking to refinance a home in Arkansas, you can choose to work with a private lender, a bank or a mortgage broker; the ADFA does not offer any programs specifically for refinancing. Refinancing an existing mortgage can be a way to get a lower interest rate and monthly payments, or pay off your mortgage faster.
You do not have to refinance through the same lender who holds your current mortgage, regardless of the lending institution. When you’re ready to refinance, identify your goals and shop around to make sure you’re getting the best possible rate and terms. Note that some homebuyer assistance programs may be void upon refinancing, so ask your lender before making your decision.