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2022 Oklahoma First-Time Homebuyer Programs

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Buying your first home can be challenging, especially when it comes to saving for a down payment and getting the right loan. Thankfully, there are programs available for first-time homebuyers which can offer financial assistance for a down payment as well as interest rate reductions on your mortgage. These programs often require the buyer to meet income limits and live in the home for a certain period of time. Here’s a look at some of the first-time homebuyer programs in Oklahoma and what they require.

Oklahoma statewide and local first-time homebuyer programs

There are many different first-time homebuyer programs available in Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) programs are statewide, while other programs are limited to specific localities, but each can provide eligible buyers with educational resources and financial assistance for their down payment, closing costs and more. OHFA 4 Teachers is specifically for Oklahoma teachers, and OHFA Shield is for first responders.

Program nameAssistance amountAssistance typeWhere it’s available
OHFA GoldUp to 3.5% of the total loan or note amount of the first mortgageGrant along with first mortgageStatewide
OHFA 4 TeachersUp to 3.5% of the total loan or note amount of the first mortgageGrant along with first mortgage, and also 0.25% lower interest rate than for other OHFA Gold productsStatewide
OHFA SHIELDUp to 3.5% of the total loan amountGrant along with first mortgage, and also 0.25% lower interest rate than for other OHFA Gold productsStatewide
OHFA DREAMUp to 3.5% of the total loan amount of the first mortgage*GrantStatewide
City of Tulsa HOME Funds ProgramUp to $5,000Second mortgageTulsa
Midwest City Homebuyer Assistance ProgramUp to $5,000Deferred loan (forgiven after five years if requirements are met)Midwest City

*The DREAM program is not limited to first-time homebuyers, though the property will still need to be used as a primary residence.

What to know about different types of down payment assistance

When it comes to getting down payment assistance in Oklahoma, first-time homebuyers can take advantage of many different programs. Some types of down payment assistance involve grants that are funded at the time of closing, while others may be offered in the form of forgivable loans.

  • With a forgivable loan, borrowers will typically be required to live in the home — and use it as a primary residence — for a minimum amount of time in order for the loan to be forgiven. If the borrower moves out, sells the home, etc. before that time has passed, they are often required to pay back the down payment assistance they were given. In many cases, this is not prorated, meaning that even if the buyer lives in the home for most of the minimum time period, they are still required to pay back the full assistance amount.
  • When it comes to grants, however, these may or may not require the buyer to stay in the home for a minimum amount of time. When it comes to the Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) programs, eligible homebuyers are offered down payment assistance in the form of a grant at closing. While they are required to move into the home within 60 days, there is no minimum time period they have to maintain that home as a primary residence.

How Oklahoma first-time homebuyer programs work

The process of applying (and qualifying) for a first-time homebuyer program in Oklahoma depends on whether you’re considering statewide or local down payment assistance. In general, though, this process begins with applying for a mortgage loan through an eligible lender, according to their underwriting requirements. You’ll then apply for down payment assistance and, if approved, receive those funds at the time of closing.

  1. Apply for a mortgage loan through an approved lender.In order to take advantage of Oklahoma first-time homebuyer programs, you’ll first need to qualify for an eligible mortgage loan. This means applying and getting approved according to the lender’s requirements.
  2. Provide documents to your lender for OHFA for program approval.Once the approved lender submits the required documents, OHFA will review them and either approve or deny you for down payment assistance. If approved, OHFA will issue a Down Payment Assistance Letter.
  3. Close on the home.Once all necessary steps are completed, you can close on your new house. Your down payment assistance letter will be executed at closing, and you’ll be expected to provide the remaining down payment to your lender at this time.
  4. Move into your new home.Most down payment assistance programs require you to move into your new home within 60 days, and that it be used as a principal residence.
  5. Stay in the home, if required.Some down payment assistance programs are offered as a forgivable loan, and require that you live in the home for a minimum amount of time before the loan is forgiven. If you move or sell the property before that time, you may be required to repay the full assistance amount. Other programs, however, do not have a minimum residency requirement, and you will not have to repay the loan if you later move or refinance.

Oklahoma first-time homebuyer program requirements

Here’s a look at what’s required from borrowers when applying for the OHFA and local down payment assistance programs, including minimum credit scores and maximum debt-to-income (DTI) ratios. These limits are in addition to any requirements imposed by the lenders themselves.

Program name Credit score minimumDTI ratio maximumMaximum income limitHow long you have to live in home
OHFA Gold68045%Varies by county, ranging from $68,387 (1-2 person household) to $118,020 (3+ person household)No requirement noted
OHFA 4 Teachers64045% to 50%, depending on credit scoreVaries by location and family size, not specifically statedNo requirement noted
OHFA SHIELD64045%Varies by location and family size, not specifically statedNo requirement
OHFA DREAM68045%$150,000No requirement noted
City of Tulsa HOME Funds programNot specified43%Between $39,050 (1-person household) and $73,600 (8-person household)No requirement noted
Midwest City Homebuyers Assistance programVaries by lenderVaries by lenderBetween $41,000 (1-person household) and $77,300 (8-person household)Five years


In order to qualify for many first-time homebuyer programs, borrowers are required to meet certain income limits according to their location and/or family size. If one’s household income exceeds this limit, they typically won’t qualify for one of these down payment or closing cost assistance programs.

Many of these income limits are set as a multiplier of that fiscal year’s median family income. You can see the most up-to-date numbers by exploring the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s median income family lookup tool.

National first-time homebuyer programs

In order to qualify for a first-time homebuyer program in Oklahoma, buyers will typically need to first qualify for one of the national mortgage programs below. While these mortgage loans aren’t exclusive to first-time homebuyers, they are an important step in qualifying for one of the Oklahoma state first-time homebuyer programs.

Conventional loans. Conventional loans are offered by a variety of lenders, such as banks and other financial institutions. These loans are not government-backed, though conforming conventional loans do meet Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac requirements. Even though these are generally more affordable than FHA loans, it can be more difficult to qualify for one. The Fannie Mae HomeReady® and Freddie Mac Home Possible® programs offer mortgage insurance premiums lower than FHA loans for qualified buyers.

FHA loans. FHA loans are offered by traditional lenders but are insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). This added security enables lenders to offer these loans with a down payment as low as 3.5% for eligible borrowers who meet credit score and income requirements. While these loans may be easier to obtain than conventional loans, they may have higher interest rates.

VA loans. VA loans are available to eligible active duty and veteran service members. They are offered by conventional lenders and backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), allowing for zero-down payment loans to those who qualify. These loans may have competitive interest rates, as well, but generally have stricter rules regarding appraisals and closing costs.

USDA loans. For buyers interested in purchasing a home in a rural area, a USDA loan may be an option. These are backed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and also allow for a 0% down payment, though borrowers will need to meet income and credit requirements, as well as purchase a qualifying home in an eligible area.

FAQs about Oklahoma’s first-time homebuyer programs

Who qualifies as a first-time homebuyer in Oklahoma?

In order to qualify for many of Oklahoma’s first-time homebuyer programs and get access to down payment and closing cost assistance, buyers will need to meet certain criteria. According to the FHA, a first-time homebuyer is defined as someone who has no ownership interest in another principal residence, and hasn’t for the preceding three years.

Can I qualify for down payment assistance in Oklahoma?

Depending on the Oklahoma down payment assistance program you choose, you’ll need to meet eligibility requirements involving first-time homebuyer status, credit score, income, family size and property purchase price.

How much of a down payment do I need to buy a house in Oklahoma?

The down payment you’ll be required to make on a home purchase depends on your credit score and the type of mortgage loan you choose: a conventional loan may require between 5% and 20% while an FHA loan could be as low as 3.5%, and a USDA or VA loan can require no down payment. Many of the Oklahoma down payment assistance programs offer as much as 3.5% toward eligible buyers’ down payment obligation.

Home price trends in Oklahoma’s major metro areas

The higher the cost of a home, the more buyers can expect their monthly mortgage payment to be (all other factors equal). With rising median home prices in Oklahoma’s major metro areas, this means that buyers may find themselves facing not only higher monthly payments, but also higher down payment requirements.

For example, median home prices in Oklahoma County, where state capital Oklahoma City is located, rose 16.5% year over year from fourth quarter 2021 to 2021, to $200,321, according to data from the National Association of Realtors. This translates to an average monthly mortgage payment of $768, up from $636 the previous year. In Tulsa County, prices were up 17.5% year over year, to $205,364, with monthly mortgage payments up to $787 from $647.


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