Chapel Hill - Carrboro - Hillsborough

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Getting money

Bank of America

Bank of America offers teachers, police officers, hospital employees, firefighters, and university employees a special mortgage program. One needs no or little downpayment, with some downpayment or closing costs covered by a gift or other source. Eligible individuals also receive flexible credit guidelines, where only a favorable 12-month payment history on four monthly bills may be needed, as well as special interest rate discounts. Bank of America also offers step-by-step guidance through the entire process of home financing, a free home-buying estimate, and free and discounted banking services with a funded mortgage loan.

For more information call Tanya Riemer at (919) 493-0189 or email her at

Fannie Mae

Fannie Mae recently helped launch the Triangle Smart Commute Initiative, which gives homeowners the opportunity to qualify for a mortgage with the help of savings from using public transportation. By eliminating the potentially high costs of owning and maintaining a vehicle, individuals will have more money to spend on housing. Homebuyers who choose a home within a quarter-mile of a public bus stop are eligible. Participating lenders add the savings from public transportation to the homebuyers' income, which can increase their buying power. Savings include $200 per month for single wage earners and $250 per month for dual wage earners. Depending on income eligibility buyers may be able to pay downpayments as low as $500. To determine eligibility and to apply for a mortgage contact one of the following participating organizations.

  • Visit their website:
  • Allied Home Mortgage Capital Corp. (877) 655-8700
  • Central Carolina Bank (919) 932-2735
  • Countrywide Home Loans (919) 873-1974 ext. 222
  • RBC Centura (919) 788-6306 (Beth Watkins) or (919) 788-5440 (David Watson)

State Employees Credit Union

State Employees Credit Union offers its members who have not owned a home in the past three years finance up to 100% of the purchase price of a home under The First Time Homebuyer's Mortgage. Members must have the closing costs in a savings account and have worked at their current job at least one full year. There are strict guidelines for the program and limited funds.

SECU also offers The Homestead Mortgage. With this option full-cost financing is available for members seeking a "starter" home but lacking resources for downpayment and closing costs. Limited funds are available to first time homebuyers for 100% of the purchase price and up to $1500 for closing costs. SECU also offers a STAR mortgage program. Like the Homestead mortgage program it allows for 100% financing and $1500 for closing costs. The program is only available to newly hired or relocated state employees (within the past 12 months). None of these programs require private mortgage insurance.

To qualify for any of the programs, customers must be members of the State Employees Credit Union.

For more information call (919) 962-9191 or visit their website:

The Self-Help Credit Union

The Self-Help Credit Union is the state's largest community development lender, specializing in home loans for low and moderate income families that help them build wealth through home ownership. Self-Help makes more than 300 home loans at fair and reasonable terms for borrowers from seven branches statewide, including one in Durham.

For more information on home loans call (919) 956-4400 or visit their website:

Self-Help, in partnership with several Durham institutions, is also providing affordable housing through the Walltown Homeownership Program. This program rehabilitates homes in Walltown, transforming them into three bedroom homes with modern amenities for prices in the low $100s. Self-Help also seeks downpayment assistance and other subsidies for Walltown buyers.

For more information on the Walltown Homeownership Program call Anthony Scott at (919) 956-4427.

USDA Rural Development Program

The USDA Rural Development program offers Rural Development Home Loans to assist eligible households in obtaining housing in rural areas. Rural Development guarantees loans from mortgage lending agencies to moderate income families. There are two types of loans based on income level. Both types can be up to 100% of the appraised value of the home and are 30 year fixed. The fee to the Rural Development is less than 2%. Applicants generally must have fairly good credit.

For more information call (919) 873-2060 or visit the North Carolina USDA website and click on Housing and Community Facilities from the top blue line.

Mechanics and Farmers Bank

Mechanics and Farmers Bank has programs to offer affordable housing loans for those with low to moderate income and first time homebuyers. They offer flexible underwriting. They prequalify for maximum home buying purchases. Mechanics and Farmers Bank offers downpayment assistance and zero downpayment options as well as pre-purchase counseling sessions to prepare borrowers for homeownership. They require lower out of pocket expenses and lower income requirements than many banks.

For more information call James Stroud at (919) 687-7803 or email

Wachovia Bank

Wachovia offers a range of mortgage opportunities for families with low to moderate income. They offer Affordable Home Mortgage loans for those that can afford a downpayment but need flexibility in monthly payments. Wachovia also offers Community Partnership Mortgage loans for those with limited funds saved for a downpayment and need to finance the entire amount required for purchase. Wachovia also provides My Community Mortgage loans for people who can afford the first month's mortgage payment and are interested in stable monthly payments but need assistance with the downpayment.

For more information call Lou Kinney at (919) 968-1798 or visit their website:

The HUD American Dream Downpayment Program

The HUD American Dream Downpayment Program seeks to help lower income first time homebuyers in purchasing single family homes. The program provides downpayment, closing costs and rehabilitation assistance to eligible families. The amount of assistance cannot exceed $10,000 or 6% of the purchase price of the home, whichever is greater. To be eligible individuals must be first time homebuyers and must not have incomes exceeding 80% of the area median income.

For more information please call Tara Fikes of Orange County Housing and Community Development at (919) 245-2490 or visit the HUD website.

The Women's Center

The Women's Center has a program designed to help 20 low- to middle-income families build wealth, acquire assets, and obtain financial literacy education. Participants accepted into the program will have up to 18 months to save $1000, and during that time they will receive free financial counseling and attend home ownership workshops. At the end of the program they will receive a $2000 match to be used as a down payment on a first home in Orange County.

To apply for this Individual Development Accounts (IDA) Program, please contact Robin Koull at (919) 968-4610 or

Farmers Home Loan

The objective of this program is to assist eligible households in obtaining adequate dwellings for their own use in rural areas with loans made by eligible lenders and guaranteed by Rural Development. Currently, the rural areas in Orange County that qualify for this program include the followings Triangle Multiple Listing Service areas: 207, 209, 211-216 and 224. There is no maximum loan amount and there are two loan types, depending on income levels. The loans are 30 year fixed and the fee to Rural Development is 2% of the loan amount.

For more information, contact the USDA in Hillsborough, (919) 732-9388, extension 4.

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Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce Foundation for a Sustainable Community