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How Do I Qualify for Habitat for Humanity's Homeownership Program?

How Do I Qualify for Habitat for Humanity's Homeownership Program?

Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity proudly partners with low-to-moderate income homebuyers to purchase homes in the seven-county metro area. No matter where you are in your homeownership journey, we have the tools and guidance to help you succeed. But it can be tricky to know where to start. Read on for answers to common questions about our Homeownership Program and how to get started.

How do I know if I qualify for the Homeownership Program?

Our Homeownership Program provides education on the responsibilities of owning a home, financial guidance, an affordable TruePath Mortgage, and lots of home-buying options in the Twin Cities. Below are the general requirements for all of our programs:

  • You must have lived in Twin Cities seven-county metro area for the last 12 months.
  • You cannot have owned a home during the past three years (waived for U.S. military members and veterans).
  • Owners of manufactured homes are eligible.

Once you meet these general criteria, you can review the criteria specific to our Homeownership Program. There are a number of things we look at to help determine if you're ready for homeownership. Because at Twin Cities Habitat, we not only want to help you buy a home, we want you to be able to stay in your home for a long time.

Below are are answers to the most common questions we're asked about our Homeownership Program.

What are the income/credit requirements?

Your household’s gross income must be between Habitat’s minimum and maximum income levels, which you can see on our Homeownership Program criteria page under Income Guidelines. (The minimum gross income required is $42,000.) Gross income is the amount of money you earn before taxes and any other benefits are taken out of your paycheck. Your household number (or family size) includes anyone who will be living with you in your home. 

You must also have a credit score of 620 or higher. Those with a lower credit score or without a credit score may be accepted with alternative credit documentation. If you don't know your credit score, there are a number of ways to check your credit online for free.

Can I apply if I am not a U.S. citizen?

Yes, but you must have a legal residency status and live within the seven-county metro area for at least one year to apply to our program. The seven counties include Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington.

Do I have to be married or have children to be eligible?

No, your eligibility is not affected by whether you are married or not. Similarly, whether you have several children or none, you may still be eligible for the program.

Are there other requirements?

Below are a few more things we look at to determine if our Homeownership Program is the right next step for you.

  • Six months at current job with two years of continuous employment history for full-time jobs; two years at current position for part-time and self-employed workers
  • Minimum of two years since bankruptcy, with two years of re-established credit and no late payments or default
  • Less than $1,000 in non-medical collections; less than $3,000 if all collections are medical
  • No more than 13% of your gross monthly income dedicated to paying monthly debt
  • All judgements paid off

How do I get started?

1) We invite you to review the Homeownership Program's full criteria, including the income guidelines. Note that Twin Cities Habitat annually updates our Homeownership Program income requirements based on area market conditions.

2) Fill out our Eligibility Form! This is a simple form we use to confirm you meet the guidelines for any of our programs. After you complete the form, you will be emailed next steps. Those next steps may include an application to our Homeownership Program or other resources.

What if I'm not ready for homeownership?

That's okay! Some people aren't quite ready for our Homeownership Program, which is why we also offer a Financial Coaching Program. This program provides education on financial wellness and mortgage readiness, including how to improve your credit score, debt-to-income ratio, how much to save for home repairs, etc. After completing the Financial Coaching Program, most clients are then ready to join the Homeownership Program. 

Review the full criteria for our Financial Coaching Program and fill out the Eligibility Form to receive next steps.

First-time Homebuyer Guide

Purchasing a home is a big investment, and you may have many more questions about if you're ready or not. A good first step is to read through our comprehensive First-time Homebuyer Guide to help assess your situation and learn if homeownership is the right next step for you.

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