Many financial institutions that offer home loans now offer affordable mortgage options and first time buyer loans. These loans are designed to help borrowers who don't have a lot of money for a down payment or who have blemished credit get approved for loans. Most private lenders still require at least 3-5% down to approve a loan. There are also federal mortgage insurance programs, such as that offered by the Federal Housing Authority, that have low-down payment options. While these programs have done a lot to help people achieve their dream of homeownership, interest rates on low-down payment loans or loans for those with less than perfect credit tend to be higher than conventional loans. A good source of information on first time buyer loans is the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development's Web site. Search for the guide "100 Questions and Answers About Buying a New Home."
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