The normal 20 percent down payment is a financial hurdle for low-income homebuyers. Even if you pre-qualify for a specific loan amount, you may not have enough saved up to pay the initial outlay. Unknown to many, there are non-burdensome programs available for eligible borrowers. For over 35 years now, the REI Down Payment Assistance has been providing assistance to Oklahoma homebuyers. To date, over 5,500 low-income individuals and families have become homeowners through the REI GIFT100 program.
What is the REI GIFT100?
The REI GIFT100 is a home down payment assistance program established by the Rural Enterprises of Oklahoma Inc, or simply, REI Oklahoma. With this organization’s goal of economic development, REI GIFT 100 was created to help low-income homebuyers afford the initial cost of a home purchase. It provides housing opportunities to those who need it most, hence, becoming stakeholders of the community.
How does the REI Down Payment Assistance work?
REI Oklahoma partners with lenders throughout the state, offering guidance to would-be homeowners. Funds are provided to help homebuyers afford down payment and closing costs. The whole process takes the same amount of time to process a traditional mortgage loan.
What makes it different from other mortgage loans?
The REI GIFT100 is not a loan. It is a true gift for the borrower, who will not be required to pay it back upon sale or refinance of the home.
How much assistance can a homebuyer receive?
Depending on the lender, the fund is equal to 3.5% or 5% of the total first mortgage loan amount.
What are the terms of this program?
- The REI Gift100 is offered on different loan products such as FHA, VA, Rural Housing Guaranteed Loan, and rate/term refinance on any of these loans. Amortization is a fixed rate loan for 30 years.
- Funds will be used up to 100% of the borrower’s cash requirements, including down payment, closing costs, and mortgage loan fees. For refinancing, funds must be used to pay the principal first mortgage loan.
- REI will release the funds on the closing day.
- Additional down payment subsidy is allowed for Freddie Mac Loans: extra 2% for very low-income purchases (VLIP), less than 50% AMI and an extra 0.5% for low-income purchases (LIP), less than 80% AMI.
If the borrower is not a first-time homebuyer, will he/she still be eligible?
REI GIFT100 is not limited to first-time homebuyers. Any low-income borrower can apply as long as:
- The credit score must not be lower than 640.
- The debt to income ratio (DTI) must not exceed 45% when underwritten through AUS
- Maximum alternative credit score (Fico) is 36% with 2 months PITI reserves after closing
- Qualifying income must not exceed FHA and VA limits, or must be based on the guidelines set by the Rural Development Loans.
- Non-occupying co-borrowers are not permitted
- All sources of stable income must be disclosed, and the spouse/joint occupants must provide an explanation if they are not included on the loan (no income, bad credit score)
- The fund will be used to purchase a primary owner-occupied residence in the state of Oklahoma
What types of property can be purchased with the REI GIFT100?
The fund can be used for 1 unit or 2 unit homes including condominiums and PUDs. Co-ops and manufactured homes are not permitted. There should also be no liens, second mortgages, and deed restrictions filed against the property.
Are homebuyer classes required?
There are guidelines for the First Mortgage Program, and homebuyer education is recommended, but not required.
How can I apply?
Prepare to submit initial documents such as a pre-closing checklist, loan application, purchase contract, and signed underwriter 1008 or transmittal form. Visit reidownpayment.org or call 800-658-2823 for more information.
Looking for a home in Oklahoma? With REI GIFT100 program, homeownership is just a few steps away. Let us assist you. Call or email today.