THDA is a Great Choice for First-time Homebuyers

For first-time homebuyers, one of the greatest obstacles in the homeownership process is saving the money to cover the downpayment and closing costs. The Great Choice Loan Program provides qualified Tennesseans up to 4% downpayment assistance to be used with FHA, VA, USDA-Rural Development and uninsured conventional loans.

“The decision to purchase a home is an exciting, but often intimidating, process. Learning the ins and outs of finding and financing a home can be overwhelming.”

That’s why the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) offers homebuyer education opportunities to walk you through the process. In fact, THDA believes so deeply in homebuyer education that participation in an approved homebuyer education course is a mandatory requirement for THDA’s Great Choice Plus loans.

  • Are you ready to own a home?
  • Types of loans, including FHA, VA, USDA-Rural Development and uninsured conventional
  • THDA’s Mortgage Loan Programs (Great Choice and Great Choice Plus)
  • Downpayment and closing costs associated with buying a home
  • First steps in the homebuying process

How does Great Choice work?

The Great Choice Loan Program offers 30-year, fixed rate mortgages to qualified first-time, repeat and military veteran homebuyers. Great Choice is used in conjunction with FHA, VA, USDA-RD and uninsured conventional loans. Borrowers must meet the minimum qualifications: satisfactory credit history, income that does not exceed the maximum income limits and a home whose purchase price does not exceed the maximum acquisition price limits. Additionally, all homebuyers must participate in a THDA-approved homebuyer education course.

  • Click here to register for an approved online homebuyer education course.

How do I qualify for a Great Choice loan?

The following list outlines the minimum qualifications needed for the Great Choice Mortgage Program:

  1. Satisfactory credit history. THDA currently requires a 640 credit score. To find out your credit score, contact one of our approved lenders in your area. If your score is lower than 640, our homebuyer education counselors can help you with strategies to raise your credit score.
  2. Household income not above maximum limits. Great Choice Loans are designed for low to moderate income Tennesseans. Income limits are based on the size of your household and county in which you will be purchasing your home. To see a list of maximum income limits by county, please click here.
  3. Purchase Price of home not above maximum limits. The Great Choice Loan Program is meant for modest homes, therefore maximum purchase price limits are in place and vary by county. To see a list of maximum purchase price limits by county, please click here.

How do I Get Started?

THDA encourages the following action steps depending on your level of familiarity with the homebuying process:

1- Homebuyer Education Course: For those just starting out on the homeownership journey, THDA recommends you take a homebuyer education course. For THDA loans providing downpayment assistance, homebuyer education is a requirement. Courses are offered in two formats – classroom style and online. The online course includes one personal session with a homebuyer education trainer by telephone. Both formats are offered through approved THDA educators and counselors and cover the following

  • Steps to homeownership
  • Clarify common, but confusing, mortgage concepts like title insurance and PMI
  • Outline various mortgage types, including THDA’s Great Choice Loan Program
  • Develop an understanding of budgeting and credit scores
  • Connect you with a trainer who can act as a resource throughout the homeownership process
  • Have fees that vary depending on the course. Some courses are free or have a nominal charge of $25 to cover materials. An online course is $99.

Click here to register for an approved online homebuyer education course.

Not Sure? Call Us! First-time homebuyers more familiar with homeownership, but who wish to know more about the Great Choice Loan Program, are encouraged to contact us or call us at (615) 213-1468.