Complete Guide to NACA Home Mortgages for Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia Homeowners.

Understanding NACA Mortgages: Your Guide to Accessible Home Buying in DC, MD and VA

Unlock homeownership dreams with NACA's affordable mortgage programs in the DC area, even with low income. Learn how to overcome financial barriers.


Do you consider owning a home part of the American dream? You’re not alone! Unfortunately, if you’re an aspiring first time homebuyer in the Washington, DC, Maryland, Baltimore, and Northern Virginia areas with a low or moderate income, financial barriers can make this dream feel out of reach. NACA’s mission is to help you in your quest to own a property.

However, the truth is, even if you are not a first time home buyer, but have a property that you will sell prior to purchasing a new home, the appreciation of real estate values in the DC area including Northern Virginia, Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, and all areas in between — have seen rapid growth since 2019. So, for these homeowners who want to move to a new home for a variety of reasons, their options can be quite limited.

For example, if you were able to sell your home in a lower demand area of say Northern VA, the cost for another property in a nearby higher demand area could be well out of reach due to the rapid price appreciation that have increased prices in certain communities over others, sizeable down payment, closing costs and all the other aspects of traditional mortgage programs.

NACA could help those in the above circumstance realize their dream of moving to a certain area. Thus, although NACA favors those that fall into low-to-mid income categories, and are first-time homebuyers, it’s only official requirement is that no member of the household applying has any ownership of another property at the time of closing.

The good news is, the NACA (Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America) purchase program is working hard to remove these barriers by making affordable mortgages accessible to those with limited financial means. The first priority of NACA is to serve low to moderate income population purchasing their first home, but others may apply like the above the situation described for Northern VA.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore what NACA mortgages are, how they operate, and why they might be the game-changer you’ve been waiting for if you’re ready to purchase a home.

What/Who is NACA?

Founded in 1988, the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA) is a non-profit organization that aims to promote homeownership and economic justice through affordable mortgage solutions.

NACA was established with the aim of combating discriminatory lending practices that had led to a high rate of foreclosures in working-class neighborhoods across the United States including the DMV. It was founded by Bruce Marks, a union activist who recognized the need for a program that would provide equal access to loans for all potential buyers of a home, regardless of their financial history.

Does NACA Have Government Affiliations?

Yes, Department of Housing and Urban Development has declared NACA an approved non-profit organization. However, NACA is not a government entity. To note, NACA has a non-traditional role as a mortgage participant. It’s not technically a lender or just a broker. NACA holds a license as a mortgage broker but it underwrites it’s own loans in house unlike other brokers. The loans are fulfilled by partner banks. Confused? Don’t worry we’ll explain more, you can also check out our comprehensive guide to all things mortgages in the DC Area.

Government Building

Is NACA a Mortgage Lender?

The simple answer is once again, no. NACA partners with banks to fund the mortgages they underwrite with the largest lender being Bank of America, at around 65% or $15 Billion committed. Thus, although NACA underwrites and processes its own loan within it’s own structure, the loans close in the lenders name & the money comes from the lender..

Does NACA Have Multiple Housing Programs?

NACA Purchase Program

NACA offers several housing programs aimed at making buying a home more accessible. Their most popular program is the NACA Purchase Program, which provides potential homeowners with comprehensive counseling to help them navigate the home buying process and access the NACA mortgage. This is the program that offers the NACA Mortgage Product, which is what most people use NACA for, and is the main topic of this article. A NACA’s home purchase generally offers a mortgage at a below-market interest rate and no down payment, no closing costs, no PMI and no fees.

NACA Home Save Program

In addition to the Purchase Program, NACA also offers a Home Save Program for homeowners who are struggling with their existing mortgages. This program provides free, comprehensive NACA housing counselor to help homeowners avoid foreclosure and make their mortgage payments more affordable.

So Is NACA Educational or a Financial Organization?

The truth is, it’s a bit of both and definitely a bit confusing. As mentioned, NACA operates as a non-profit organization with it’s primary goal to help guide low to moderate-income families into home ownership. In this lens, it serves as an educational partner, with workshops and counselors that interact with homebuyers and help walk them through the home ownership journey.

However, the core component of it’s ability to assist communities and individuals into the actual role of home buyer is principally through it’s NACA Mortgage Product. The counselors, workshops and handbooks dictate what is needed to become eligible for a NACA qualified loan. These sets of items, rules, and finances are then checked on by the counselors who help the potential home owner move through the process and ideally become qualified. NACA qualification is almost akin to a lender offering a potential buyer, a pre-approval. The difference, is that NACA has very stringent policies, asks for much more information and takes much longer to make a decision.

a decision making image

Although there is some separation between counselors, NACA affiliated lawyers, and other vendors, it is important to not that the counselors main objective is to make sure that the potential NACA mortgage recipient can make their payments.

When you combine financial requirements including formulas to set priority levels and what type of home you can purchase as well as maximum mortgage amount – NACA becomes more of a financial organization going through checks and balances much like a mortgage broker would do.

NACA refers to themselves something as a correspondent lender due to the fact they do much more than traditional mortgage brokers but do not lend money themselves.

The Risks of NACA

A huge risk is the fact that not all counselors are rated the same. The mission sounds noble but if you have a counselor that is not willing to explain the ins and outs to you and help you identify necessary paperwork or give important information – then you will have a much lower chance receiving approval.

We believe it is important to understand that although most counselors are there to help and guide you, they are not soley educators. They are counselors that need to collect and/all documents needed for the underwriter to approve your NACA loan. At the end of the day, they are there to make sure you fulfill the requirements brought to them via NACA.

NACA Offices

NACA is not a small organization, it has a large network with offices spread all across the United States, making their services accessible to a wide range of individuals.

Each of these offices can be contacted directly for more information on the NACA program and how to get started. Directions to each office can be found on the NACA website. If you are interested in learning more after reading this article, we suggest checking out the website for full contact details where you get information about an upcoming homebuyer workshop and who to contact in your specific area.

NACA Offices

NACA Offices In DC, MD and VA

General advice when visiting or talking to your local NACA chapter is to pick up or ask for copies of all their material include NACA handbooks. These materials will go over everything you are going to need.

Thus, read and make sure you have a good knowledge of it before attending a workshop. When attending a local homebuyer workshop, be ready to take notes, and ask any many questions as you need because this is not a small task or undertaking.

Virginia NACA Location

NACA in Virginia is located in Richmond, VA at 1601 W Leigh Street, Richmond, V 23284. Their phone number is 631-370-6222 and the VA Mortgage Broker # is MC-5205.

Maryland NACA Location

In Maryland, NACA is located in Baltimore, MD at 11E Mt. Royal Avenue, Suite 101, Baltimore MD 21202. Their phone number is 410-783-0465. They have MD Mortgage Broker # of 87632.

Washington DC NACA Location

Lastly, in Washington, DC they also operate 1 NACA office at 7731 Alaska Avenue, Washington, DC 20012. Their phone number is 202-328-6333. Their DC Mortgage Broker # is 36491.

How Does NACA Purchase Program Work?

The NACA process begins with a homebuyer workshop where potential NACA mortgage recipients learn about the program and the home buying process. After this, they submit required documents and a NACA qualification form. Then, they go through a series of counseling sessions where they review their financial situation, set a budget, and work on any issues that might prevent them from qualifying for a mortgage and meeting NACA program requirements.

Once, they determine you are mortgage-ready, applicants work with a NACA affiliated realtor (note: you can choose an outside realtor – which we advise to diversify), and NACA affiliated lawyer to find a property and secure a mortgage. The entire process can take several months to a year or more, depending on the individual’s financial situation and the local housing market.

How NACA Mortgages Make Home Ownership Possible For More People

NACA mortgages are unique in several ways, making them an attractive option if your financial resources are limited. If you are interested in the NACA program, here’s an overview of how they work:

  1. No Down Payment:  To get a NACA mortgage, there is no down payment required. Typically down payment for homes can range from 5% – 20%, and those with lower income and less credit, typically would need the higher amount. Thus, eliminating the down payment becomes a big step in creating home ownership opportunities for home buyers who typically would not be able to afford it.
  2. Below-Market Interest Rates: NACA offers those that qualify interest rates that are lower than traditional 30-year, 20-year or 15-year traditional mortgage rates. In addition, to priority applicants, they receive an even better interest rate. Currently, NACA rates for priority members for 30-year mortgage stands at 6%, 20-year at 5.5%, and 15-year fixed at 5.75% (as of March 1st, 2024). For non-priority members the interest rates are as follows: 7% for 30-year fixed APR; 6.5% for 20-year fixed APR; 6.75% for 15-year fixed APR. In comparison, as of March 1st, 2024, 30-year fixed standard mortgage was set at 7.849%, 15-year at 6.86%, and 10-year at 7.724% in Maryland. Thus, NACA interest rates are a slight decrease versus traditional for non-priority, and much more lucrative for priority applicants.
  3. No Closing Costs: In addition to no down payment, and lower interest rates, NACA program doesn’t charge any closing costs. This can significantly reduce the upfront expenses associated with buying a home.
  4. No PMI Requirement: Typically if you pay a lower down payment on a home, you will be required to get PMI or Private Mortgage Insurance. This is an extra cost which NACA mortgages waves.
  5. Credit Counseling & Education: Understanding the buying process is something most don’t really know too much about especially first-time homebuyers. By producing requirements to have a NACA counselor part of the process, it allows the home buyer to understand more about the process and allows them to navigate the complexity with a professional who can help. It also ensures that all their paperwork, savings, inspections, and tons of other miscellaneous elements involved in purchasing a home are done correctly.
  6. Direct Lending: All NACA products are direct lending meaning NACA underwrites and processes it’s own loans. This means NACA can be more flexible in it’s terms and who it chooses to give it’s loans through.
  7. Credit Scores Not a Barrier: Although NACA does check credit, it does not make decisions based on an applicants credit score. Applicants who have bad credit, or other issues in their profile, and are asked to write LOE’s or Letters of Explanation, to give context on their financial issues. Most with non-ideal credit scores, can substitute a year of on-time monthly payments that are under your control. This includes debt and rent.

Couple Moving into a Home They Just Bought with NACA

NACA Requirements

Aspiring NACA homeowners should truly understand if they are eligible for NACA before going through a possible long process. Thus, if you interested in NACA, these are all things you should check mark and make sure you qualify for. :

  • Membership: Applicants must be members of NACA. This involves attending a buyer workshop and meeting with a NACA housing counselor.
  • Ability to Pay: Borrowers must demonstrate a stable income and the ability to afford their mortgage payments.
  • Payment Shock: This refers to the difference between a borrower’s current rent and their potential mortgage payment. NACA requires borrowers to save the equivalent of this difference every month for a specified period to demonstrate their ability to handle the potential increase in housing costs.
  • Financial Responsibility: While NACA does not have a minimum credit score requirement, they do review a borrower’s overall financial situation, including their payment history and outstanding debts. This usually means they will be reviewing an applicants last 12 months of payment history.
  • Primary Residence: Borrowers must commit to using the property as their primary residence for the entire NACA loan.
  • Participation: Borrowers are expected to participate in NACA’s counseling and education sessions. They must also abide by all NACA terms of membership, participation and eligibility.
  • No Other Ownership: No one in the family applying for the loan can have any sort of ownership interest in any property at the time of closing.
  • Community Service: As part of NACA’s commitment to community engagement and empowerment, all members are encouraged to contribute in a way that resonates with them. This could mean joining in NACA’s robust advocacy efforts, lending a hand at a local event, spreading the word about NACA’s programs, helping to boost voter registration via NACA’s website, or engaging in other community-focused activities. Your participation, in whatever form it takes, helps drive NACA’s mission forward..
  • Income Limitations: There are no income limitations to participate in the NACA program. It is designed to be accessible to low-to-moderate income individuals and families, but there is no maximum income limit. Keep in mind – this is a competitive program and they are focused on the mission of low and middle class first and foremost. However, those who make above the median income-level of a community, can still have a shot at NACA qualification if they are buying property in lower income neighborhoods.
  • Loan Limits: Follows area’s conforming loan limits: Standard: $766,550 & High-cost areas: $1,149,825.
  • DTI ratio (Debt to Income Ratio) & Mortgage Payment to Income Ratio: Max 40–43% of gross monthly income. Mortgage payment must be less than or equal to 31% of gross monthly income. Let’s look at an example to further illustrate this. If your income is $5,000 a month pre-tax, your debt would have to be less than $2150 a month. In addition, your mortgage payment would have to be equal or to less than $1550/month.
  • First-Time Homebuyers: The NACA program is not limited to first-time homebuyers, but it does prioritize individuals and families who are purchasing a home for the first time or who are buying in a low-to-moderate income area. You cannot qualify for NACA if you own any other property. You can also not be part of the membership assistance program if you are trying to buy a second home or investment property.
  • Multifamily “Loophole”:  There’s one unique scenario where the primary residence rule has some flexibility – when you’re purchasing a multi-family property. In this situation, you can reside in one unit and lease out the remaining ones. However, before you can qualify for this, NACA stipulates that you complete a landlord training course that they recognize. Additionally, you’re required to have at least two months’ worth of mortgage payments set aside in reserves. However, this could produce invaluable opportunities for those with low credit scores who want to get into Real Estate for passive income and wealth generation.
  • Eligible property types: Owner-occupied primary residences only (including multi-family with certain requirements).
  • NACA membership: $25/year. Volunteering for advocacy campaigns is required (mentioned in Community Service). NACA is a not-for-profit entity, and all NACA mortgage recipients are expected to be members in good standing.

These requirements are designed to ensure that borrowers can afford their mortgage payments and are committed to the process. By meeting these requirements, borrowers can take advantage of the benefits offered by the NACA program, including no down payment, no closing costs, and below-market interest rates.

Checklist for NACA Lending Programs

Steps to Getting a NACA Mortgage

Navigating the NACA program might seem daunting at first, but understanding the process can help you decide if it’s the right path for you. Here’s a step-by-step guide, infused with personal experiences and insights, to give you a real-world look at the journey:

  1. Attend a Homeownership Workshop: Kickstart your NACA journey by attending a workshop. It’s a treasure trove of information about homeownership and the NACA program. Workshops are held regularly and are available in various cities or virtually.
  2.  Meet with a Housing Counselor: Next, you’ll meet with a housing counselor who will review your income and debts to assess your readiness to purchase a home. If you’re not quite there yet, they’ll guide you on becoming NACA-qualified and monitor your progress. This is where you want to make sure you have your paperwork sorted and ready to go.
  3. Attend a Purchase Workshop: Once you’re NACA-qualified, you’ll attend a home purchase workshop to learn more about the home buying process. You’ll also be assigned an in-house real estate agent to help you find a home within your budget.
  4. Request a Qualification Letter: Found a house you love? Contact your housing counselor to request a qualification letter. This letter proves that you’re qualified to buy the home and is included with your purchase offer.
  5. Schedule a Home Inspection: Homes must be in good condition in order to be approved by NACA. You will have to use a NACA approved pest control business and a NACA approved home inspector to assess the property and send the results to NACA. If there are no issues, you will be able to get clearance, but if there are issues, it is required you remedy them prior to closing.
  6. Set Up a Meeting with Your Mortgage Lender: You will need to select a NACA approved mortgage lender, and schedule a meeting to successfully finish the NACA mortgage loan application. When you meet with the lender, they will review your employment, debt, credit, and income. This is done to ensure you still meet the eligibility requirements for a NACA loan. .
  7. Post-Purchase Assistance: Take advantage of NACA’s Membership Assistance Program (MAP) for additional homeownership, budgeting guidance, and hardship relief post-purchase.

Throughout this journey, you’ll be required to submit various documents including W-2s, paystubs, bank statements, government-issued ID, voter registration, rental history, payment history, tax returns, debt documentation, and a budget. The process may seem extensive, but it’s designed to ensure you’re financially prepared for homeownership.

NACA Approval High 5

Pros of NACA

NACA focuses on low to moderate income individuals and families. This can offer monthly mortgage payments to those who normally would not qualify, including those with bad credit. Here are some pros.

  1. Affordability:  With no down payment, below-market interest rates, and zero closing costs, NACA mortgages make homeownership more affordable and accessible for those with limited financial means.
  2. Supportive Services:  NACA members receive a range of supportive services. You can attend a NACA credit counseling session or work with a NACA professional at other educational events as part of membership assistance programs. They’re designed to help you not only navigate the home-buying process but achieve long-term financial stability.
  3. Community Impact:  By promoting homeownership and economic justice in undeserved communities, NACA is helping build stronger, more vibrant neighborhoods and empowering individuals and families to build wealth and achieve their dreams.
  4. Flexibility:  As a direct lender, NACA has more flexibility to work with borrowers who may not qualify for traditional mortgages due to credit or income issues. This flexibility can make all the difference when you’re working hard to achieve homeownership.

Cons of NACA

Despite these benefits, it’s also important to understand that the NACA program may not be the right fit for everyone.

  • NACA requires members to participate in advocacy efforts: This might include attending rallies, volunteering at NACA events, or writing letters to lawmakers. While this activism is part of NACA’s mission to promote affordable homeownership, it may not appeal to everyone.
  • NACA puts limits on what homes can be purchases: home must be inside a NACA coverage area and meet the maximum mortgage amount. The combined total of the purchase price and any repair escrow funds (funds set aside for repairs to be done post-closing) cannot surpass this approved limit. For 2023, the ceiling is set at $548,250 for a single-family home in most regions, and it goes up to $822,275 in areas with higher living costs. For multi-family properties, the limit is significantly higher. This could potentially constrain your choices, especially if you’re eyeing properties with a higher price tag or that require substantial repairs.
  • Priority Matters: NACA offers priority to those whose incomes are less than 100% of the MSA (metropolitan statistical average) in the location they are looking to move to. If you don’t meet that criteria, you are restricted to only buy homes in neighborhoods in the locality you choose that have median incomes 100% less than the MSA. Thus, having a higher income will limit your choices to developing and/or less desirable neighborhoods.
  • Certain income levels will disqualify you from best interest rates: Applicants must be under certain income levels ie the area’s median statistical income level. If you are not, you will not qualify for the lowest interest rates which can make NACA not worth it. If you want to make sure you get the best rates under NACA, you will have to
  • Drawback: Single-Property Ownership and Residence Mandate: One potential hurdle with the NACA program is the stipulation that, upon closing, the house you buy using the NACA mortgage should be your sole property. What’s more, it’s not just about ownership; the property has to serve as your primary dwelling too. To ensure compliance with this rule, NACA secures a lien against the home. Although this doesn’t bar you from selling your home, refinancing your mortgage, or even acquiring additional properties after the closing, the primary residence condition remains. This might restrict your flexibility, particularly if your life circumstances shift or if you’re exploring opportunities in real estate investment.
  • Educational or Financial: With it’s organization functioning as a non-profit but licensed as a mortgage broker, NACA’s setup of counselors as educators you can trust can come into question. It is documented that not all counselors as the same, and those homeowners who come into the program thinking of it only as an educational non-profit can be quick to look at a counselor as a instructor or professor vs a mortgage broker. Although, the counselor position does more than an average mortgage broker, sticking with the wrong counselor can have negative affects on individuals chances of being qualified for NACA & many would say the line between education and financial officer needs to be shaded in darker.
  • Stringent Criteria: Unlike traditional mortgage brokers or lenders who can get you pre-qualified in a day or two. NACA is a much more complex process which can take significant more time in finding a home.

NACA Program Reviews

Based on various Reddit stories and Yelp reviews, people have mixed feelings about the NACA program. Some praise it for its mission and the opportunities it provides, especially for low-to-moderate-income families. They appreciate the financial benefits, like the no down payment and no closing costs options, and the below-market interest rate.

However, others find the process to be lengthy and complex. Some complained about the amount of paperwork involved and the time it takes to get through the process. Despite these complaints, many agree that if you’re patient and organized, the benefits of the program are worth it.

It is worthy to note that while writing this article, we have uncovered that giving positive reviews to NACA counts towards their member participation requirement. This could absolutely skew reviews. Thus, it is important to talk to those who have actually been through it. As seen above, we have found many who had a great experience. Out of the 6 people we contacted about NACA (who we know were applicants), 4 had positive things to say about the process. The other 2 did not complete the application process due to “too much red tape and bureaucracy.”

NACA Success Stories

Even if NACA encourages its members to leave reviews as part of their duties requirement, one cannot take away from some of the inspiring testimonials left on sites like Yelp and Reddit.

For example, one Reddit user shared their experience with the NACA program, stating that they were able to purchase their first home despite having a low credit score. They praised the program for its comprehensive counseling and the financial benefits it offers.

Another NACA member shared their story on Yelp, stating that they were able to avoid foreclosure thanks to the NACA Home Save Program. They expressed gratitude for the support and guidance they received from their NACA counselor throughout the process.

Navigating NACA Home Loan Process

Tips on Navigating the NACA Program

Now that we been through the bulk of the NACA program. If you think this is the program for you, let’s go over tips we have received from former applicants that have received NACA acceptance.

Here are a few tips to help you navigate the process:

  1. Be Prepared: The NACA process is thorough and can be time-consuming. Be prepared to provide detailed financial information and to spend time on counseling and education sessions.
  2. Be Patient: The process may take longer than a traditional mortgage process. But remember, the end goal is homeownership.
  3. Stay Organized: Keep all your documents in order. This will make the process smoother and help you keep track of where you are in the process.
  4. Take Advantage of Counseling: NACA offers comprehensive counseling throughout the process. Take advantage of this resource to help you navigate the home buying process.
  5. Don’t Be Afraid to Change Counselors: NACA counselors are a huge part of the reason people succeed or fail in the program, and if you have a counselor that is not giving you correct information, you need to change that counselor quickly. Do not think of counselors as teachers on your side, it is important to know that they are not all created equally and you have the right to have a counselor that provides you with the best information and resources.
  6. Participate in Advocacy: As a NACA member, you’re required to participate in advocacy efforts. This can be a great way to give back to your community and support NACA’s mission of affordable homes.
  7. Keep Communication Lines Open: Regular communication with your NACA counselor can help you stay on top of the process and address any issues that arise.

The NACA program offers a unique pathway to home ownership for those who may not qualify for traditional mortgages. Despite the lengthy process, the mandatory involvement in the organization, and stringent rules, we find the financial benefits and comprehensive counseling can make it a worthwhile option for many first-time buyers.

Remember, the path to home ownership is a journey, and it’s important to find the right program that fits your needs and circumstances, so don’t stop reading just yet.

Is NACA for Everyone?

The NACA program is not for everyone. It requires patience, organization, and a willingness to participate in advocacy efforts. However, for those who are willing to put in the time, effort and who have situations or circumstances that could prevent them from traditional programs, it can offer a path to homeownership that might otherwise be out of reach.

However, the NAC program doesn’t give those with income that is over the 100% median of the the MSA for the location they are interested in the same benefits as those who are under. For those that make enough money, they can get stuck with higher interest rates barely under traditional, and a lower selection of homes due to being forced to only look in specific underdeveloped neighborhoods. It also is not something for those who already have a home and don’t plan on selling it. For investors, the opportunities are limited to multi-family plays, but again, many stringent regulations apply.

Remember, NACA still does require you to have money set aside. It may not be for a down payment, but you need money for things like home insurance, advanced property tax payments, security deposit, earnest money deposit, and a home inspection by an approved company. NACA also requires that you have between 1 to 6 months of mortgage payments saved in an account to offset the risk of a life event like losing a job, divorce or other situation causing you to miss mortgage payments or default on your loan.

NACA vs. Traditional Mortgages

When considering the NACA program, it’s important to compare it to traditional mortgages. Traditional mortgages typically require a down payment, closing costs, and are heavily reliant on credit scores. This can make it difficult for low-to-moderate income individuals or those with poor credit to qualify. However, Government funded loans can at times help assist & there are other programs that specific for Veterans Affairs.

For those who have financial income above the priority limits, these alternative programs could be a better overall deal.

Washington DC Mortgage Options Outside NACA

Exploring Home Loan Alternatives in DC, MD, and VA

If you’re on the hunt for home loan options beyond NACA, you’ve got a wealth of possibilities! A variety of programs offer flexible qualifications, low or even no down payments, and home purchase assistance. Let’s delve into these alternatives:

  • First-time Homebuyer Programs: These programs, typically offered by state governments and housing authorities, are designed with first-time homebuyers in mind. They provide low-rate mortgages or down payment assistance, and are usually available to buyers who haven’t owned their primary residence in the past three years.
  •  FHA Loans: Insured by the Federal Housing Administration, these loans are similar to NACA loans in terms of flexible credit requirements. However, they do require a down payment and come with certain fees. If your credit score is as low as 500, you could qualify for an FHA loan if you can manage a 10% down payment. If your score is 580 or higher, the down payment requirement drops to 3.5%.
  • VA Loans: These loans, insured by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, have no down payment, income, or geographic requirements, much like NACA. Eligibility, however, is limited to active-duty service members, veterans, or their eligible spouses. While there’s no minimum credit score, many lenders prefer a score of 620. VA borrowers do pay an upfront funding fee and may have additional lender fees.
  •  USDA Loans: Guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, these mortgages require no down payment, much like NACA loans. To qualify, though, you’ll need to meet specific income restrictions and purchase a home in a designated rural area. Most lenders prefer a credit score of 640 or higher for USDA loans.
  •  Down Payment Assistance Programs: Many state governments and local organizations offer down payment assistance in addition to first-time homebuyer programs. This help can come in various forms, such as a grant, a no-payment forgivable loan, or a traditional second mortgage.

Alternative Home Loan Programs in Washington DC:

If you’re based in Washington, DC, and seeking alternatives to NACA, there are several local programs and loans that can make homeownership more attainable. Here are a few options worth considering:

  • DC Open Doors: This program, run by the DC Housing Finance Agency, offers down payment assistance and competitive interest rates for first-time homebuyers in the District. You don’t have to be a first-time homebuyer to qualify, but the home must be your primary residence.
  • Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP): This DC-based program provides interest-free loans and closing cost assistance to qualified applicants, making it easier to secure a home in the District. It’s particularly beneficial for low- and moderate-income individuals and families.
  • Employer-Assisted Housing Program (EAHP): If you’re a DC government employee, this program could be a great fit. It offers down payment assistance and a deferred loan for first-time homebuyers who are current full-time District government employees.
  • Negotiated Employee Affordable Home Purchase Program (NEAHP): Another option for DC government employees, the NEAHP provides assistance to government employees who are members of a union that has completed a collective bargaining agreement with the District.
  • DC Housing Finance Agency (DCHFA) Programs: The DCHFA offers several programs, including the Single Family Residential Rehabilitation Program (SFRRP), which provides loans to homeowners to make necessary repairs and improvements.

Alternative Home Loan Programs in Maryland:

  • Maryland Mortgage Program (MMP): The MMP provides fixed-rate home loans and down payment assistance to first-time homebuyers and repeat buyers. The program also offers special loan products for military veterans and those buying in targeted areas.
  • Partner Match Programs: MMP works with various partners, including employers and community organizations, to provide additional down payment assistance to homebuyers.
  • You’ve Earned It Initiative: This initiative, part of the MMP, offers discounted mortgage rates and down payment assistance for qualified buyers with student debt.

Alternative Home Loan Programs in Virginia:

  •  Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) Loans: VHDA offers a variety of affordable home loans for first-time buyers, including FHA, VA, and USDA loans, as well as conventional loans.
  •  Down Payment Assistance Grant: VHDA provides eligible first-time homebuyers with funds for down payment and closing costs. The best part? If you qualify, you won’t need to repay this grant.
  •  Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC): This program can save first-time homebuyers thousands of dollars by reducing the amount of federal income tax they owe.
  •  VHDA Plus Second Mortgage: This program provides a second mortgage to cover the down payment and closing costs, allowing you to finance up to 100% of the home’s value.

Remember, in some scenarios, you can mix and match multiple programs to boost your buying power and significantly cut the cost of homeownership. So, whether you’re in DC, MD, or VA, rest assured that you have a host of alternatives to consider alongside NACA.

The Impact of NACA

The impact of NACA on communities and individuals across the country has been significant. Since its inception, NACA has helped thousands of individuals and families achieve their dream of homeownership.

Bonus: A Verified Timeline of Receiving a NACA Loan

We received a rundown of a client that used the NACA process to obtain the NACA mortgage. This has been verified by ONE Street and is an accurate representation of the timeline and dates

6/21/2023 – Attended NACA Homebuyers Workshop in DC: Received NACA ID and membership. Uploaded documents to the portal, including tax returns, bank statements, and more. Beverly advises being well-prepared with all necessary documents for a smoother process.

07/05/2023 – First Meeting with Mortgage Counselor: Discussed budget and tasks. Calculated monthly mortgage and payment shock savings. Beverly recommends ensuring clear communication with the counselor and understanding the financial requirements.

08/21/2023 – Second Meeting with Counselor: Completed tasks for underwriting qualification. Beverly suggests staying organized and proactive in completing tasks to avoid delays.

10/1/2023 – NACA application submitted to underwriter. Qualified by 10/16/2023. Beverly highlights the importance of patience during the underwriting process and being responsive to requests for additional information.

10/31/2023 – Started home search with ONE Street agent. Used home search tool to find eligible homes. Beverly advises leveraging technology and professional assistance for a more efficient home search process.

12/10/2023 – First Offer Sent: Offer not accepted initially but later secured a home. Beverly emphasizes the resilience needed in the home buying journey and the importance of not giving up after initial setbacks.

12/19/2023 – Signed mortgage documents and negotiated updates with the sellers. Beverly recommends thorough review of all documents and clear communication with all parties involved.

01/22/2024 – Closed: Used NACA-appointed attorney, final rate 5.85%, final sale price $460,000 in Metro DC Area. Beverly shares that despite the challenges, the NACA program was a valuable resource that helped her achieve homeownership.


Final Thoughts

The path to homeownership is different for everyone. For some, a traditional mortgage might be the best option. For others, the NACA program might be a better fit.

The NACA program is not a quick fix or an easy solution. It requires time, effort, and a commitment to the process.

For more information about the NACA program or to start your homeownership journey, visit the NACA website.

Before entering any program, it is to your benefit to get advice from local experts. At ONE Street, we have made a company out of a philosophy of empowerment and education.

Why ONE Street Puts Relationships Over Transactions

We really love the idea that NACA offers a lot of counseling and advice, However, we believe that should be done, because buyers require more than just someone opening doors.

Knowledge for us is about sharing and being the resource for our community. Relationships over transactions. Thus, if you are interested in NACA, or 100’s of other programs that you may qualify for, it’s time to speak with one of our ONE Street local expert agents who specialize in programs.

With over, 2,350+ 5-star reviews, we’re the highest client rated company in our arena, and unlike NACA we never force reviews. Our reviews are earned through hard work, honesty and transparency.



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