What Does It Take to Qualify for Down Payment Assistance?

June 10, 2016 | by Katie Claflin

Categories: First Time Buyer, Homeownership

It may be easier than you think! There are several misconceptions about down payment assistance programs, including the belief that programs are only available for first-time home buyers and that programs aren’t available in your community.

But the truth is there are many programs available, so you may be eligible for assistance without even realizing it.

Down Payment Resource recently created a blog post to combat these misconceptions by outlining the six basic criteria required by most down payment assistance programs. Below we have addressed each of these qualifications in depth to help you determine if you qualify for a down payment grant from TSAHC.

Home Buyer Criteria
  1. Income and Financial Requirements. You must meet certain income, credit and debt requirements to qualify for TSAHC’s down payment assistance. We have created a short, four-question eligibility quiz to help you determine if you meet our income requirements, which can vary depending on your profession, household size and county. The last page of the quiz will also direct you to our credit score and debt requirements.
  2. Profession. TSAHC’s Homes for Texas Heroes program provides down payment assistance specifically to teachers, police officers, fire fighters, EMS personnel, corrections officers, and veterans.  However, you don’t have to fall into one of these categories to qualify for down payment assistance. We offer another program, the Home Sweet Texas Loan Program, that is not profession-specific, so you can still qualify if you meet certain income requirements. 
  3. First-Time Home Buyer Status. You do not have to be a first- time home buyer—defined as anyone who has not owned a home in the past three years—to receive down payment assistance through TSAHC. If you are a first-time home buyer, however, you can also qualify for a special income tax credit program known as a Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC). Our MCC program can be combined with our down payment assistance and can save you up to $2,000 on your income taxes each year. Click here to learn more.
Home Criteria
  1. Primary Residence. TSAHC requires that you live in the home you are buying as your primary residence. That means you can’t use our program to purchase a second home or a rental property.
  2. Sales Price of the Home. The home that you buy cannot exceed certain purchase price limits. The limits are set based on a percentage of the median home price in each county, which means that the purchase prices are higher in counties where homes are more expensive.
  3. Location of the Home. TSAHC’s down payment programs are statewide, so you can use our programs to purchase a home anywhere in Texas.  

Want to know more? TSAHC is hosting webinars every Wednesday in June specifically on the home buying process. You’ll learn the 10 steps to buying a home and receive a tutorial on our down payment assistance and MCC programs.  Click here to register.

On the House blog posts are meant to provide general information on various housing-related issues, research and programs. We are not liable for any errors or inaccuracies in the information provided by blog sources. Furthermore, this blog is not legal advice and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney.


Laura Ross

Hi James Michael, TSAHC has several programs available to help individuals and families purchase a home.  To learn more, contact our Homeownership Team at 877-508-4611.

Laura Ross

Hi Andrea, TSAHC has several down payment assistance program options available to help individuals and families purchase a home.  To learn more, contact our Homeownership Team at 877-508-4611.

James Michael Smith jr

Trying to get a home

Andrea Hinton

I’m looking for a home to purchase without no money down

Laura Ross

Hi Joseph, to learn more about TSAHC’s homeownership programs, contact our homeownership team at 877-508-4611.

Joseph Hyde

Looking to try and buy our first home. Without a down payment can you direct me in the right direction

Cynthia Dewgard

Hi I’m in the process of purchasing a home and one in to find out is there any programs that I can apply for to regards to assisting in the down payment of my first home.

Laura Ross

Hi Jennifer, Manufactured housing has different requirements depending on the loan type being used for the mortgage loan. Most loan types require the manufactured home to be new and moved to the land (permanent location) directly from the manufacturer. The loan will also require the title to the land to be included in the mortgage loan. Please contact one of our approved lenders for more details on the guidelines for either an FHA or USDA manufactured home mortgage loan. A list of loan officers you can contact about TSAHC’s programs can be found here: http://www.tsahc.org/homebuyers-renters/lenders

Laura Ross

Hi Phyllis, if the property is located in Texas and will serve as your primary residence, and you meet the income and credit score requirements, you would qualify for the TSAHC’s down payment assistance program. To learn more, take our eligibility quiz at http://www.tsahc.org/homebuyers-renters/eligibility-quiz.

Jennifer Saavedra

Hi . My name is Jennifer . I’m curious if your program offers down payment assistance for mobile homes ? I have found a mobile home , I’d like to place on my fathers property . I checked to see if I qualify for the program and i do . I appreciate any information you have .

Jennifer Saavedra


I inherited a my parents’ with my brother and niece but I have not lived in the residence since the 1980’s. Will I qualify for the program? Thank you.

Laura Ross

Hi Diana, As long as your friend will be a Texas resident and the home will be her primary residence, then she would be eligible to apply for the program.


I have a friend moving to Texas.  Does she have already be an established Texas resident to apply?

Laura Ross

Hi Norma, While reserves are not a requirement to qualify for TSAHC assistance, they are needed in order to qualify for the mortgage loan. The amount of required reserves varies depending on the type of mortgage loan you are applying for.


My Loan Officer is questioning what reserves we have in the bank both checking and savings in order to input information in the automated portal system.  Is this a requirement for the Down Payment Assistance?
We have provided tax returns, and our credit scores and DTI are in check.  We took eligibility quiz and it directed us to our Lender, but they are asking for info on reserves…..

Laura Ross

Hi Ryan, Certain loan types under TSAHC’s DPA program can be used to purchase a mobile home. For more information,  contact TSAHC’s homeownership team at 877-508-4611.

Ryan Smith

I’m inquiring about downpayment assistance for mobile homes?

Laura Ross

Hi Karla,  Incomes from both jobs would be included when determining eligibility.

Karla Alexander

HI, I was wondering if I have two jobs would both be included in the over all total income or is one just used as a primary income?

Laura Ross

Hi Jesse, only the qualifying income of the mortgagor is used to determine eligibility for TSAHC’s DPA program. Therefore, you do not need to include your husband’s income to determine eligibility if you are the only one applying for the mortgage loan. If you have any further questions, our homeownership team can assist you at 877-508-4611.

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