Chicago-based mortgage lender Guaranteed Rate launched a new program this week that will provide up to $8,000 in assistance to potential first-time homebuyers from underserved communities.
The initiative, called the Special Purpose Credit Program, aims to help homebuyers with down payments, deposit minimums, and move-in repair and maintenance costs.
“This program helps tear down these barriers and open more doors to the houses, neighborhoods, and lifestyles of our customers’ dreams, an investment that will help build a foundation for generations to come,” Kasey Marty, executive vice president of secondary marketing at Guaranteed Rate, said in a statement.
Among some of the benefits the initiative claims to offer are a minimum of $5,000 for down payment and closing cost assistance and up to an additional 1% of the sales price — or $3,000 — for a maximum of $8,000 in homebuyer assistance.
The program includes provisions for “improved” pricing for nontraditional credit loans, a title insurance credit applicable to certain properties and will remove the requirement for area median incomes, according to a statement from Guaranteed Rate.
In addition, the company will offer zero- and low-down-payment options to expand access to VA, USDA, HomeOne, HomeReady, Home Possible loans and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs).
First-time homebuyers in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Memphis, and Philadelphia currently have access to this program. Buyers who qualify in these metro areas can use the assistance to purchase a house anywhere in the U.S., however.
“For many properties, a mortgage payment is not too much different than monthly rent; the difference being who benefits from home equity as it builds,” Marty said.
Guaranteed Rate specializes in streamlined loan applications and closing windows through its AI-generated task list and personalized mortgage dashboard, MyAccount, for which the company was featured among HousingWire’s 2022 Tech100 Mortgage Honorees. The platform provides a secure way to upload sensitive documents and automates underwriting.
The company has more than 850 branches across the country, serving customers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Its total loan volume amounted to $116 billion in 2021.
Guaranteed Rate renewed its contract with translation company TransPerfect on Tuesday to provide homebuyers with Spanish-speaking agents and other resources.