Down Payment Assistance and Partner Match Programs

Ladder against a wallComing up with the money for a down payment and other upfront costs is often the largest hurdle facing first-time homebuyers. Even with certain mortgages that require low down payments, these expenses will still usually total several thousand dollars.

The Maryland Mortgage Program provides help in the form of Down Payment Assistance, as well as a range of Partner Match programs from employers, developers and community organizations that can help you cover these down payment and closing costs.  These programs may make it possible for first-time homebuyers to afford a mortgage when they would not be able to do so the conventional way.a

How Down Payment Assistance & Partner Match Programs Help You

Down Payment Assistance and Partner Match Programs may be used for things like down payment, closing costs, prepaid/escrow expenses and a home inspection performed by a qualified home inspector, and may be available in the form of zero-interest deferred loans, forgivable loans, or outright cash grants:

  • Zero-interest deferred loans are due upon sale or transfer of the property or if the first  mortgage is refinanced or paid in full, and do not accrue interest over time (if you borrow $5,000 now to help with your down payment, you would repay  $5,000 when due – perhaps as far away as 30 years if that is how long you are making payments on the primary mortgage);
  • Forgivable loans are (in most cases) loans that diminish over time, based on you continuing to make payments on your primary mortgage and staying in your home for a pre-determined period.  In a typical case, a loan of $2,500 would drop $500 each year for five years, so that if you lived in your home for this period, you would not have to pay it back at all.  However, if you had decided to move after 2 years, you would be required to pay back $1,500 (the original $2,500 loan less $500 for each year you stayed).  NOTE - DHCD does not offer forgivable loans. These may only be available through certain Partner Match Programs.
  • A cash grant is provided by some Partner Organizations, and does not require you to ever pay back the money.  NOTE - DHCD does not offer grants.  These may only be available through certain Partner Match Programs.

MMP's Down Payment Assistance Program

The Maryland Mortgage Program features Down Payment Assistance (DPA), which is an additional loan available to anyone who is eligible for an MMP mortgage, and which helps borrowers put together a suitable down payment on their home. This loan, which can be up to $8,500 is a zero percent deferred loan, which means that you only ever pay back the principal (there’s no interest) after you complete all payments on the main MMP mortgage, or if you refinance, sell or otherwise vacate the home.

Partner Match Programs

The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has partnered with a range of organizations that can provide you with additional funds (sometimes grants, sometimes loans) to help you purchase your first home, and which will be matched by the Maryland Mortgage Program up to $3,500 (as a zero-interest deferred loan - some conditions may apply). These partner organizations include:

Typically, contributions from these organizations range from $1,000 to $5,000 each, and may be combined with each other and with DHCD’s Down Payment Assistance loans where eligibility requirements are met. Many borrowers are able to take advantage of at least one of these programs. Go to our Partner Directory to search for participating organizations.

Special Information for State of Maryland Employees

Further Assistance from Local Governments

In addition to DHCD’s Down Payment Assistance and Partner Match programs, many local governments throughout Maryland offer additional support to purchase a home in their community.  These local governments often work with employers and community organizations to provide local partner assistance beyond state programs already described above.  This assistance can be combined with DHCD's Down Payment Assistance and Partner Match Programs to help you with upfront homeownership costs.

Check with your local city or county housing agency for more information, or ask your Lender to help you identify what assistance may be available to you.