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Struggling to afford closing or down payment costs?

Help is available

By Macie Carney

Mississippi Home Corporation’s mission is to enhance Mississippi ‘s long-term economic viability by financing safe, decent and affordable housing and helping working families build wealth. We understand that finding cash for down payment and closing costs is difficult when trying to buy a home. Another obstacle for many homebuyers is past credit issues or not meeting the credit needed to buy your dream home. MHC offers programs that will provide cash assistance at closing, a way to reduce your federal tax liability and homebuyer education classes to improve your credit. 

There are two programs that offer down payment/closing cost assistance: Smart Solution and MRB7 (Mortgage Revenue Bond). The MRB7 program offers a $7,000 down payment toward the purchase of your home, and the Smart Solution program offers a 3.5 percent down payment toward the purchase. 

To qualify for MRB7, you must be a first-time buyer (or someone who hasn’t owned in three years), credit qualify with a lender and fall within the income guidelines for the county in which you are buying a home. 

To qualify for Smart Solution, you don’t have to be first-time buyer, but you must have a minimum 640 credit score and a max household income of $95,000. 

To use MHC programs, you must work with a participating lender. I always recommend taking the program information with you when you meet with your lender so they know you are interested in these programs. They will help you decide which program is best for you. The first thing you need to do is talk with a lender. Your lender will look at your income and a multitude of other things to determine how much house you can afford. To find an MHC participating lender, simply visit 

Before contacting, be sure to check your eligibility with income limits. Buying your home is a big deal, and you want to make sure you will be able to afford it and maintain a mortgage. 

Now the fun part begins — house shopping! Contact a real estate professional or search on your own for a home that fits within your pre-approved limits and MHC’s purchase-price limits. Your real estate professional will obtain a sales contract that your lender must have before they can reserve assistance with MHC for your loan. Return to your lender, who will review your complete credit history, verify your income and guide you through the rest of the loan process. Your lender will contact MHC for you and be your contact throughout the closing process. Buying a home can be overwhelming, but having the right tools can help it go smoothly. We at MHC stand ready to help you achieve your dream of homeownership. 

Macie Carney is assistant vice president of marketing for Mississippi Home Corporation. Reach her at (601) 718-4616 or 

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