Prospective homebuyers in Oklahoma have access to several in-state assistance programs.
OHFA 4Teachers / OHFA Shield
The Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) offers two mortgage programs that can make owning a home more affordable. OHFA 4Teachers is available to borrowers who have a current Oklahoma State Department of Education teaching certificate and who are currently under contract with any accredited Oklahoma public, private or parochial school. Meanwhile, the OHFA Shield program is available to:
- Borrowers who are either currently employed as a firefighter with a fire department for an Oklahoma municipality or represent a volunteer department as a volunteer firefighter.
- Borrowers who are currently employed in law enforcement by an Oklahoma municipality or serve as volunteer law enforcement officers or reserve law enforcement officers.
- Borrowers who are currently employed either as emergency medical technicians (EMTs) or as paramedics for an emergency medical services provider.
Both OHFA programs offer qualified first-time buyers a quarter-percent reduction off the daily published interest rates. However, to qualify for either program, a property can’t cost more than $276,100. Also, maximum income amounts apply per county and are based on family size. For government-backed loans, borrowers can’t have a debt-to-income ratio that is greater than 45%, or 50% for conventional loans. They also need a credit score of 640 or more.
OHFA Dream is a down payment assistance program that’s available for either conventional loans or loans insured by the federal government.
Eligible borrowers can receive either 3.5% or 4% of their total loan amount to put toward the down payment on a home. The buyer does not have to be a first-time homebuyer.
To qualify for down payment assistance with a government-backed loan, a borrower’s income can’t exceed a maximum limit. For 2019, that limit is $120,000 for every county in Oklahoma. To qualify for a government-backed loan, a property’s purchase price in Oklahoma also can’t exceed the current conforming loan limit of $314,827.
For conventional loans, a borrower’s income must not exceed 115% of the area median income (AMI) for their county. For 2019, AMIs in Oklahoma counties range from $75,325 to $93,265. A maximum loan limit of $453,100 also applies.
The OHFA Gold program is available to first-time homebuyers (exceptions apply in certain counties) and provides down payment assistance equal to 3.5% of the total loan amount. This program can be used together with OHFA 4Teachers and OHFA Shield.
Under the Gold program, the maximum purchase price for a home in all Oklahoma counties is $276,100. Maximum income limits also apply per county and are based on family size and whether the home is in a targeted or non-targeted area. For 2019, they range from $65,500 to $93,265.
Targeted areas are either:
- Census tracts in which 70% or more of the families earn income that is 80% or less of the statewide area median; or
- An area of chronic economic distress.
To learn more about the help OHFA offers to prospective homebuyers, go here.