Credit Union of America offering federal $5,000 grants for new homebuyers

(Feb. 9, 2016)
(Feb. 9, 2016) File photo

Credit Union of America recently began offering first-time homebuyers federal grants up to $5,000, according to a news release.

The Wichita-based institution, on a limited basis, is offering Federal Home Loan Bank Homeownership Set-aside Program grants, which allows first-time buyers to receive $5,000 to use for expenses like closing costs and down payment.

To be eligible for a grant, a consumer would need to have no home ownership in the past three years and the borrower must meet certain income guidelines. For households in the Wichita area with one or two people, total income must not exceed $53,040, according to a Credit Union of America spokeswoman.

For households with three people and above, the annual income limit stretches to just under $61,000 for Wichita residents.

The Federal Home Loan Bank is a government-sponsored entity that works to promote community development, according to its website. If ownership of the home purchased is kept for at least five years, the borrower has no responsibility to pay the grant funds back.

Institutions approved to offer the grants are limited in how many they can give out per month, according to the release.

“This subsidy program is a great way for lower-income, first-time home buyers to increase or even make a down payment,” said Ernest Warren, real estate lending manager for the credit union. “Helping with these initial costs can put low-income homeowners on a path to financial success by having a home where their hard-earned income is building equity.”

A total of 14 Wichita banks and credit unions are members of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Topeka, according to bank spokeswoman Julie DeVader. Not all member institutions, however, participate in the Homeownership Set-aside Program.

For more information on the grant program offered through Credit Union of America, consumers are asked to call 316-265-3272. The credit union, with more than 59,000 members, has 13 locations in Wichita, Salina, Derby, Goddard and Great Bend.

Bryan Horwath: 316-269-6708, @bryan_horwath