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How can Fannie Mae help homebuyers?

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The Fannie Mae Community Home Buyers Program lets first-time buyers with little cash obtain 95 percent financing. Borrowers may put down as little as 3 percent of their own money, with a 2 percent gift from family, a government program, or nonprofit agency, and obtain private mortgage insurance to protect the lender against default.

The Fannie Mae program is administered through participating lenders, and income limits vary by state. But the income restriction is waived when borrowers participate in the Fannie Neighbors program. Fannie Neighbors also has lower income requirements for borrowers who want to buy in designated central cities.

Fannie Mae’s new Start-Up Mortgage will assist buyers of all income levels with a 5 percent down payment. Applicants do not need a lot of income to qualify and can have less cash for closing than with traditional mortgages. Borrowers receive a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage with a first-year monthly payment that is lower than the standard fixed-rate loan.

Homebuyers who borrow under either program must attend a seminar on homeownership and the home buying process.

For a list of participating lenders, call Fannie Mae, the nation’s largest supplier of home mortgage funds at (800) 732-6643.

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