Fifth Third’s Down Payment Assistance Program helps those in need achieve homeownership. Read more about the changes to DPA from Fifth Third.
Down payments: A barrier to homeownership
Homeownership is a cornerstone of the American dream, and it's an aspiring goal for many Americans today because it provides financial security, safety and a sense of pride. In a survey conducted by U.S. Mortgage Insurers, 7 out of 10 respondents viewed owning a home as a sense of financial security and stability. But the path to homeownership can be challenging.
One of the biggest obstacles to homeownership is saving for a down payment. There's still a perception that 20% down is needed to purchase a home. Nearly half of those surveyed believed 20% down or more is required to qualify for a mortgage. However, according to the Washington Post, the median down payment for first-time homebuyers in 2019 was 6%. Regardless of the "right" percentage, putting money down for a down payment is a significant hurdle that many Americans struggle with today.
NeighborWorks 2021 Housing and Financial Capability survey revealed most non-owners have too much debt or cannot afford a down payment. Still, many Americans are interested in guidance and information on homeownership.
Despite the barriers, there’s hope for aspiring homeowners in the form of resources and assistance. One of those resources, that Realtors and consumers can leverage is Fifth Third's Down Payment Assistance Program.
What is Down Payment Assistance?
Fifth Third's Down Payment Assistance (DPA) Program provides up to $3,600 toward a down payment or closing costs—no payback required. The money may also be combined with other down payment assistance programs.
For aspiring homeowners, this is a game-changer. It can help relieve some of the financial burdens of saving for a down payment and help people who may otherwise not have the opportunity, purchase a home faster. For Realtors, it's an opportunity to help meet the needs of prospective buyers and widen their client base. It's truly a win-win.
Since 2016, Fifth Third has offered a total of $14.9 million in down payment assistance. For 2021, Fifth Third aims to provide $5 million in aid to low or moderate-income homebuyers as part of its overall Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) commitment of $2.8 billion. The program offers $3,600, allowing the Bank to assist more people who fit within the program's criteria.
How DPA works
To qualify for DPA, a homeowner must meet the low to moderate-income income limit threshold based on the qualifying income on the FFIEC website, and the property must be in a low or moderate-income census track. DPA is offered to aspiring homeowners within the Bank's 11-state footprint: MI, IN, IL, KY, TN, OH, WV, NC, GA, FL, SC.
Creating opportunities for all
Relators can leverage Fifth Third's DPA by working with Fifth Third's Mortgage Loan Officers (MLO) to find properties for sale in the low or moderate-income census track requirements set by the FFIEC.
By working together, Relators and MLOs can find buyers who are candidates for DPA and get them funding to purchase a home within the census track guidelines.
DPA helps to put the dream of homeownership within reach—and now for more people. It lowers the barriers for aspiring homebuyers and creates opportunities to build stronger, better communities.