Down Payment Assistance and More in Missouri

Are you ready to or considering taking the plunge  and buy your first home, you have discovered the top resource for learning what  great options are available to you as a First Time Home Buyers. Down payment assistance, first time home buyer mortgage programs, low subsidized interest rates, zero down payment mortgage programs, low to no down payment programs, how to purchase a home with ZERO money out of your pocket,  how to purchase as a cash buyer, how to get your home offers to the top of the offers stack, get sellers to pay for your closing costs, lock in a rate now and then go home shopping, how to have the seller help to get your interest rate much lower, and more!

There are a number of challenges facing first time home buyers in todays home buying market.  As a first time home buyer, be prepared and patient. With the right preparation, your own home work, and the team that works for you, many of the challenges can be overcome and you will purchase your first home with less money, bigger savings, and sooner.

My name is Bob Rutledge and I am a Mortgage Loan Officer based out of St. Louis MO, I have been a mortgage lender since 1995 and I help home buyers throughout the State of Missouri. I specialize in down payment assistance, first time home buyers, renovation mortgages, and how to improve your credit scores. There is a lot of information to follow on this page at the end of all this information there will be a pre-qualification exam, this exam will take a few minutes to complete but it will pay you back in money and time. Complete the exam and I will provide you with what your options are and can be, how much you can afford, and how much you can save. You will have answers to specific questions to help you purchase a new home. This is the next best step you can take in knowing more and starting your home buying process. No obligation, no credit pull, no cost, and no annoying follow up, just information, help and savings.


There are many first time home buyer programs that can help you get into a home with less money down, lower interest rates, and more affordable monthly payments. Imagine owning your own home, with a low down payment and monthly payments that fit your budget. With the help of first time home buyer programs, you can make your dream of homeownership a reality. There are a lot of benefits to taking out a first time home buyer mortgage program. First of all, you can get a lower interest rate than you would with a traditional mortgage. 

Not only are these loans designed to help you buy your dream home, but they can also help you save money at closing and/or in the long run. Here are some of the key benefits of using a first time home buyer mortgage: 

-You can save money on your down payment. As little as No Down Payment!

-You can get a much lower interest rate than you would with a traditional loan. 

-You can get a mortgage that is tailored to your specific needs.

-Down Payment and/or Closing Cost Assistance.

-You can add to your down payment and lower your mortgage.

-Flexible Underwriting Guidelines.

-You can have more money in your pocket after closing to spend on your new home!

Low Down Payment Mortgage Programs

First Time Home Buyers

FHA: the Grandfather of Mortgage Programs,  For those looking to buy their first home, a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage may be a great option. With an FHA loan, you can get a low down payment of 3.5% of the sales price and enjoy some great benefits, like first time homebuyer protections. The FHA mortgage works very well with down payment assistance programs. If you can provide your own down payment it is very possible to be approved for a FHA mortgage with a middle credit score as low as 580 or higher. The FHA mortgage is more tolerant of higher debt to income borrowers and has easier underwriting guidelines than any of the other mortgage programs designed for first time home buyers.  FHA will allow for a 6% seller concession to help home buyers with their closing costs. Recently FHA lowered the monthly mortgage insurance rate to be more on par with conventional mortgage programs.  

Home Possible and Home Ready, these are the two Conventional, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, that are designed to help first time home buyers! Both of these programs allow for a 3% down payment and reduced mortgage insurance.  The interest rates on these program are very attractive and most times are lower than a conventional mortgage with larger down payments. The program is designed for low to moderate income home buyers with income limits capped at 80% of the median income for the area your home will be located, credit score requirements are set at 620 or higher, and the debt to income ratio is recommended to be at 45% of you gross monthly income. A Conventional mortgage approval is preferred with home sellers and these two programs are very flexible in their underwriting guidelines to provide you with a Conventional mortgage approval.

These two programs have another side to them called HFA, or Home finance Agreement, A HFA mortgage program is perfect for first time home buyers who have a low down payment. With HFA, you can get a mortgage with as little as 3 percent down! Plus, with HFA you can enjoy many of the same benefits as a traditional mortgage, such as a fixed rate, the ability to borrow over 100 percent of the home's value, which works well with down payment assistance programs, very reduced mortgage insurance, and more relaxed underwriting guidelines than a normal 3% down payment conventional mortgage.

USDA, this program is sometimes known as a Rural Development Mortgage, and is for low to moderate income households to purchase a home in rural areas outside of the more populated metro areas of Missouri. The USDA mortgage program provides 100% mortgages, no down payment, to qualified home buyers.  The USDA Mortgage Program does not require monthly mortgage insurance. I use this program a lot with home buyers who want to purchase a new home with little to zero money out of their pockets. The USDA mortgage program generally requires a 640 or higher credit score for an automated underwriting decision but at times can be manually underwritten to a 620 or higher credit score.  If you are looking to purchase a home outside the city limits and want to purchase a home with little to no money out of your funds, this is a great mortgage program. I can help you determine if a home is within the geographical confines of the program, just ask. The USDA program is my favorite program to help home buyers purchase a new home with no money out of pocket and get a low interest rate.

VA, a mortgage program for those who have served in the United States Military and are eligible for this benefit through the Veterans Administration, this is my #1 favorite mortgage program because it serves the home buyer better than any mortgage program! The VA mortgage program has no credit score or debt to income requirement. There is no required minimum down payment until you get into the Jumbo price range or exceed your benefit. Qualifying for the VA mortgage can be quite easy, the guidelines do assure the home buyer are well qualified to own a home. You will need your DD214 and your Certificate of Eligibility for a VA mortgage. If you are a Veteran and are eligible for this great mortgage program, Thank You, and Congrats! Helping Veterans purchase a new home with little to no money out of pocket is simple and something I especially enjoy doing for my VA mortgage clients.

Purchase a new home with little to no money out of pocket by utilizing these first time home buyer mortgage programs and combining with down payment assistance programs!


First Time Home Buyers


There are many Down Payment Assistance programs available throughout Missouri? There are National DPA programs, State PDA Programs, and sometimes even local County and Municipal Down Payment Assistance Programs! Not all Mortgage Lenders offer or make available down payment assistance to home buyers. I can provide you with all the down payment assistance programs available locally or statewide, and many of the National DPA Programs. Are you a first time home buyer trying to navigate the complex world of down payment assistance programs? Look no further! 

I know and understand that buying a home can be expensive, which is why I offer first time home buyer programs that provide down payment assistance. This means that you may be able to get into your dream home sooner than you thought! Down payment assistance can be a very valuable tool for first time home buyers. It can help reduce the amount of money they need to borrow and can make the home buying process more affordable. Down payment assistance programs can provide funds directly to the home buyer, typically in the form of a loan or a grant.

I am an Approved and Certified mortgage lender with the State of Missouri DPA program referred to as MHDC, this program will provide up to 4% of the loan amount to be used for your down payment and/or closing costs. This DPA program meets the needs of the minimum down payment for FHA and Conventional mortgage programs. If USDA or VA is your mortgage program it will pay for most if not all of your closing costs. The interest rates on this DPA program is provided by MHDC and tend to be lower than the market interest rate for similar mortgage programs.

Many areas of Missouri have local down payment assistance programs that will provide as much as $10,000 to home buyers purchasing a first home in their specifically assigned geographical areas. The St. Louis area is a hot bed for local programs, but Springfield and Columbia has programs, as does a couple areas in the Kansas City area.

We provide a couple in-house DPA programs that are intended to fit the needs of home buyers that are not qualified for the state or local programs. These in-house programs have lower credit score requirements, higher debt to income ratios, no income maximums, easier underwriting guidelines. I have a couple in-house down payment assistance programs that will provide up to 5% of the sales price for purchase help.

Down Payment Assistance programs will allow you to purchase a new home without a down payment coming from you! 100% purchase!

Already have a down payment saved?  Combining down payment assistant and your saved down payment funds can help you in many ways, especially by creating a larger down payment! Down payment assistance can be used to pay your closing costs. Keep more of your savings in your pocket to be available after your new home purchase, you will want many new things for your new home. Many DPA programs come with lower interest rates and reduced mortgage insurance rates with a combined down payment will help to save on your monthly house payment.

Using down payment assistance strategically can help to make your new home less expensive at closing AND for the life of the mortgage! 

Every down payment assistance program has their own qualification guidelines, income and credit score rules, and more. DPA programs can have different guidelines that need to be taken into consideration over the guidelines of the mortgage program. Completing the Exam at the end of page will provide me with the necessary information to provide you with a pre-qualification reply as to what is available to you in the area you are purchasing, your income, and credit score. Complete the exam and have the answers you need!

Learn more about DPA

A Lower Interest Rate!

Shhhhhh! Here is a secret that many loan officers who work in Missouri do not know, the State of Missouri down payment assistance program has a very low interest rate for home buyers who do not want to use the cash assistance of their MHDC program! If you can provide your own down payment the State of Missouri is provide very low interest rates for FHA, USDA, VA and Conventional mortgages. Normally, these rates can range from 1/2 percent to a full 1% less than the going market interest rate! 

Interest rates this low can help you afford a bit more home and open up more homes in your search. Interest rates this low can help to save you every month for the life of your mortgage. When interest rates fall. you may not need to refinance and pay the costs of refinancing. 

Would you like to see for yourself how low these rates are? Click on the link, MHDC RATES, you will be taken to the MHDC rate sheet. For first time home buyer you are the rates for the First Place Program. Look for the NON-CAL rates under the 3 different mortgage programs. Be prepared, you will say WOW!

The Important Considerations When Buying Your First Home?

Buying your first home is a significant financial decision and there are several important things to consider before making the purchase. Here are some of the most critical factors to keep in mind:

  • Your budget: Consider your income, expenses, and debts to determine how much house you can afford. Keep in mind that buying a home involves more than just the mortgage payment, there are other expenses to consider like property taxes, insurance, utilities, and maintenance.
  • Determine your Maximum house payment, what is that amount you will not go one dollar over? This will help to determine how much home you want to be pre-approved for and you should be shopping for.
  • Location: The location of your home is essential. Consider the proximity to your job, schools, public transportation, and local amenities like grocery stores, restaurants, and parks.
  • Size and layout: Think about your current and future needs when it comes to the size and layout of the home. Do you need multiple bedrooms, a home office, or a large yard?
  • Condition of the property: The condition of the property is crucial. Consider the age of the home, any necessary repairs, and any potential issues that may arise in the future.
  • Homeowner association fees and rules: If the property is part of a homeowners association (HOA), be sure to review the fees and rules associated with it.
  • Resale value: Even if you plan to live in the home for a long time, it's important to consider the potential resale value of the property.
  • Home inspection: Always get a professional home inspection to identify any potential issues with the property that may not be apparent during a walkthrough.
  • Financing: Consider your financing options and shop around for the best mortgage rates and terms.
  • Future plans: Consider your future plans, such as the possibility of starting a family or changing jobs, and how they may affect your living situation.
  • Emotions: While it's essential to consider all the practical aspects of home buying, emotions can also come into play. Think about how the home makes you feel and whether it aligns with your vision for your future.

Overall, buying a home involves many important considerations, and it's important to take the time to evaluate all of them carefully to make an informed decision.

First Time Home Buyers

Getting Started

  • Know your budget, what you want for a house payment, know what you want in your first home. Do your homework, that pun was intended.
  •  Secure a Mortgage Loan Officer, before you go home shopping! Get Pre-Approved, know what options are available to you. If you want down payment help find a lender that provides many options. Utilize a lender that knows and has experience with first time home buyers.
  •  Find a Real Estate Agent that is experienced and knowledgeable of first time home buyer needs, that will work with your mortgage loan officer. This is building the team that will serve you, negotiate for you, and help you to purchase your new home with the benefits and options that are best for you.
  • Go home shopping!
  • Find a home, negotiate the sales price, and have the seller say YES!
  •  Work with your Mortgage Loan Officer to finalize the mortgage approval for your new home.
  • Close on your new home! 

Buying your first home can be fun and scary all at the same time, if you set up the best team for you they will guide throughout the entire process. They will be there to answer your questions and answer many of your questions before you can ask them. Be on task and be flexible, you will get a lot of input from friends, family, co-workers, and many others, you head will swim. If you put together a solid team they will make sure that your concerns are addressed and they will make sure they get you into your new home quickly and with as little anxiety as possible.



I specialized in helping new home buyers purchase their next new home with little to no money out of their pockets. Why do I specialize in little to no money out of pocket home purchases? Because in many instances new home buyers purchase a new home and use up all or a large portion of their savings and resources when there are better alternatives. Having some or all of those saved funds available not for the new home purchase but for the new home after closing can make a big difference for many home buyers. I read a recent report that stated that the average home buyer will spend $8,000 to $10,000 within the first year of purchasing a new home. I know that is why, per Housing Wire, that the biggest regret of new homeowners is that they don't have enough savings after closing because it all went to down payment and closing costs. I try to help alleviate that regret! 

Learn more about the  ZERO Program            Be A Cash Home Buyer Then Get a Mortgage             

The Buyer Accepted Program, BAP, is an exclusive home buying program that helps you get your offers to purchase moved up to the top of the stack. In today's home buying market First Time Home Buyers are under more pressure to find a home than ever, investors are purchasing their homes, institutional buyers are competing too, along with all the other first time home buyers who generally represent 30 to 35 percent of all home buyers every year. Did you know that cash buyers are now about 25% of the purchases in todays home buying environment? 

According to a recent study from researchers at the University of California-San Diego, cash buyers have paid about 12% less than those using a mortgage? The BAP program allows you to be that cash buyer AND have a mortgage. Research also shows that buyers armed with cash offers are going under contract 7 times faster than financed buyers! You can take advantage of this too!

The Buyer Accepted Program will purchase your next new home for you using cash/funds directly from New American Funding, then we will provide the mortgage after the cash closing. Before you go home shopping you will be pre-approved for a Conventional, VA, or Jumbo mortgage by an Underwriter, this will allow you to shop for a home as a cash buyer or if you elect as a mortgage financed home buyer. Whatever works best for you. If you can be approved for a mortgage you can be a cash home buyer too!


By now I am sure you have heard that interest rates have increase and are no longer at historic lows and that interest rates may continue to go up and that they are highly volatile. The Lock and Shop rate lock option with New American Funding will allow you to lock into an interest rate up to 120 days while you shop for a new home. You will need to find a home and close within the 120 days, though we do provide for a 30 day lock extension should you need some more time.  Lock and Shop is available for Conventional, FHA, and VA mortgages. You can use the interest rate you locked in to or if interest rates have gone lower you will have the opportunity to float down.

Interest rates change daily and of late there are days that they change within the same day, sometimes more! Help protect yourself against the volatility of the marketplace by locking in a rate and then shopping for your Next New Home!


 We all know the importance of our credit scores and how they will influence your ability to be approved for a mortgage, approved for down payment assistance, how your scores will influence your interest rate, and what mortgage programs are available to you. Your credit score are the most important factor in determining so much in the process of purchasing a new home. 

Improving your credit scores can make big differences for many home buyers, improve poor credit scores to higher scores, improve usable scores to higher scores, all to provide you with better options and more savings. 

I can help many future home buyers improve their credit scores in a very short time, I have helped many home buyers improve their credit scores in less than 30 days. When we pull a credit report for you we will receive feedback from the 3 credit bureaus as to what it will take to improve your scores within 30 days or less. This extra service comes at no cost to you.

What if you need more time to improve your credit scores? The 3 bureaus provide us with a What If Simulator that allows me to conduct simulations that will provide an accurate time frame and credit scores after taking specific actions to improve your credit. 

If that is not enough to get your credit to where we need it, we have secured the services of a national credit repair company that works with you and me to get you to where you need to be. After you complete the process and your scores and you are ready to purchase a new home a $500 lender credit will be provided to you at the closing of your new home. This is our way of saying thank you for the work you did and for sticking with us.

Learn more about Credit Score Rescue

Renovation Mortgages 

Renovation mortgages like the FHA 203k or the Fannie Mae HomeStyle are great option for First Time Home Buyers to have available to them when they are looking for their new home. Sellers today are listing homes As Is, Conventional Only, and other restrictive alternatives that are keeping some first time home buyers from making offers. Renovation mortgages fix nearly all those restrictive items and helps you open your home buying search to nearly every home on the market. In some instances renovation mortgages will help with the removal of some contract contingency like appraisal and inspections making your offer more attractive to sellers. 

An advantage of renovation mortgages for many is that the mortgage finances your repairs and updates plus the purchase costs allowing you to buy a home that you like but has issues, the renovation mortgage can fix those issues, update, and refresh your soon to be new home. 

I am a Certified Renovation Mortgage Specialist, I know these programs very well and better than most. I can answer all your questions about these programs and help get you get prepared and approved for a FHA 203k, HomeStyle, or VA renovation home loan. In my website here I have a lot of very useful information about renovation mortgages if you would like to do some home work on renovation mortgages.




It's Only 2 Minutes

Get Your Personalized and Detailed

First Time Home Buyer Pre-Qualification 

Within 1 to 2 business days you will get an email from me detailing the advantages and options I can provide to you. 

Just a couple minutes of your time to put yourself in a far better home buying position, a couple minutes to learn what a difference can be yours!

NOTE: If you don't see The 2 Minute Pre-Qualification below, please refresh your page, sorry.

Bob Rutledge Mortgage

Loan Officer NMLS#: 297044

New American Funding 12321 Olive Blvd, ste 150
St. Louis, MO 63141