FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions about HDF’s programs
Got a question about HDF’s programs or services? We’ve answered some our your frequently asked questions (FAQs) below.
If you can’t see the answer to your question, please don’t hesitate to contact us, or get in touch using the information in the sidebar.
Who's eligible for the First Time Homebuyer program (FTHB)?
Our counseling and lending program is available to income-qualified first-time homebuyers who are purchasing a home within HDF’s service area.
Income eligibility is based on the income of all adults who will live in the new home whether or not they are the borrowers. A first-time homebuyer is someone who is buying a home for the first time or who has not owned a home at any time in the last three years.
Can I apply for a grant instead of a loan?
No, All HDF products are loans that must be paid back. Some products require monthly payments, while others are deferred and only due when you sell or transfer the property, or refinance your first mortgage.
Is 100% financing available?
No. First time homebuyers should expect to contribute some money to the home purchase. Depending on the loan products chosen, a borrower may need to contribute to the down payment; inspections, closing costs etc. and will be required to have funds remaining in savings after closing. HDF SmartMove funds are used for up to 20% of the purchase price while a first mortgage lending partner can lend up to the remaining 80%. Generally, borrowers should expect to contribute at least 1-3% of the purchase price.
Where can I buy a home through the FTHB program?
Using HDF’s SmartMove product, you can purchase a home anywhere in Connecticut or in selected counties of New York State. To view a map of our current service area, please click here for Connecticut and here for New York.
What types of properties can I purchase?
As a first time homebuyer, the property you purchase must be your primary residence. You can purchase a single family home; a home with 1-4 residential units, a townhouse, or a condominium. HDF does not provide financing for mobile homes or co-ops.
I've already put in an offer on a house. Can I still use HDF?
Yes. HDF will make every effort to work with you, even with a more aggressive timeline.
You will still need to complete the homeownership counseling and education process. In the case that your offer is not accepted, or you choose not to continue with the purchase, please continue the process with HDF. The next time you put in an offer, so you will be ahead of the process as you continue to move forward.
How do I apply for the FTHB program?
The FTHB program has 2 components: counseling and lending. All HDF loan borrowers must complete the counseling requirements. A borrower who submits the required documents will be assigned a counselor/adviser. They will determine eligibility & readiness and provide guidance on the loan application.
Click here to go to our FTHB page. Here you will find our Orientation Video as well as instructions on how to apply to our FTHB program.
I can't come to your offices for counseling or education. Can I still apply to the FTHB program?
Yes!You can work remotely with your homeownership adviser. Just register on HDFCompass and choose the remote counseling option. You can complete counseling and homebuyer education classes without ever setting foot in one of our offices.
For your convenience, HDF also has partnerships with a number of local housing counseling agencies. If you prefer, you can complete counseling and education with an HDF partner and still use HDF’s lending services.
How long does your process take?
The length of the process largely depends on how quickly you can respond to our process requirements.
You must complete the counseling process before you can apply for lending products. Your file is not assigned to a counselor until your HDF Compass profile is complete and all documents are submitted. Once that is done, your counselor will assess your eligibility and readiness and you will be contacted within 10 days for an appointment.
Homebuyer Education is required prior to closing (8 hour Homebuyer class, Landlord class, etc.) and your schedule will determine when to complete it.
The loan application & lending process begins once the counseling process is completed. The lending process is usually completed in 30 days.
Can I apply for more than one program?
Yes. Most HDF borrowers use our SmartMove loan product. This can be combined with many of our other products, depending on your situation and eligibility.
Once you’ve created a profile on our online customer portal, you’ll schedule your first counseling session. Your homeownership counselor will let you know for which programs you might qualify and whether would benefit from layering loan products in your financing structure.
What does my credit score have to be?
HDF is not credit score driven. We do require that collections & judgements be paid & that you are currently paying accounts on-time. The HDF loan committee pays close attention to credit payment patterns and your written explanations for negative activity. The 1st mortgage lender may have a minimum or maximum required score, separate from HDF’s evaluation.
How do I pay for a credit report?
You can pay online by using our convenient payment portal. Please click here to access information and payment instructions.