Buy a Home with as little as $1,000

If you have OK Credit (640 score or higher), stable employment, and a few thousand in the bank for down payment..


MN Housing Program – Just $1,000 minimum down *

Tired of renting? Cambria Mortgage, in partnership with the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency is here to assist first time home buyer make their dream of home ownership come true, and allow you to kick that landlord to the curb!

Buying a home is much more than a financial transaction. It means independence, growth, and a place to share with family and friends. We offer the programs and resources that will help you buy a home and be a successful homeowner.  Our low and even no down payment loans, down payment assistance programs, and affordable fixed interest rates all help you buy a home. 

Figuring out how it all works, and if your qualify can become overwhelming for many, so we suggest you don’t try. Let us make it easy for you. Simply review the steps below on how to get started.

Whether you’re just starting your home search or have already found that perfect dream home, Cambria Mortgage has you covered!

The Basics

Who is Eligible For Minnesota Special First Time Home Buyers Programs, and Down Payment Assistance?

To Be Eligible for these MN Housing Finance Agency programs, you:

  1. Must be a first time home buyer (or have NOT owned a home the past 3-years) for the Start Up program. If you have owned a home in the past three years, or own one today, there is another, but equally awesome program for you too called the Step Up Program.
  2. Have acceptable credit – Lowest acceptable score for any program is currently 640.
  3. Have at least $1,000 of your own money for down payment (or 1% of the purchase price if home is under $100,000) *
  4. Have household income less than the income limits (see below)
  5. Meet the additional household income limits for down payment assistance options (see below)
  6. Buy a home less than the current maximum home price limit (see below)
  7. Meet standard FHA loan, USDA Loan, VA Loan, or Conventional loan guidelines
  8. Be a U.S. Citizen, or a qualified non-citizen

You'll Never Know If You Don't Apply

Apply online 24/7, Schedule an appointment online, or call (651) 552-3681

Basic Qualification Guidelines

Step 1: First Time Home Buyer Household Income Limits

To qualify for the first time home buyer program, your household income may not exceed the following: (as of 3/2/2023)

Household Size
Metro Area
Rochester Area
All other Counties
1-2 People
3+ people

Step 2: Home Price Limits

The home you wish to buy MUST be selling for LESS THAN the purchase limits listed below (as of July 1, 2023)

Maximum Price
Metro Area
Balance of State

Up to $18,000 in down payment assistance may be available to qualified buyers

Step 3: Down Payment Assistance

On top of the basic first time home buyer loans, you may also qualify and get down payment assistance. The down payment assistance loan are not a gifts or grants, these are loans that must be paid back.

There are two basic down payment assistance loans:

Deferred Loan: No payments due today. Pay the loan back when you sell the home, or no longer occupy the home as your primary residence. This loan has stricter household income limits (see below).

Monthly payment loan: A payment is due today along with your main mortgage loan payments. The interest rate is the same as your first mortgage, and is a 10-year loan. This program allows for higher household incomes (see below).

There are two payback options.

DEFERRED PAYMENT ASSISTANCE: Maximum assistance loan is up to $16,500. No payments, no interest due today. You pay the loan back when you sell, refinance, or no longer occupy the home. Available with Start Up loans ONLY. If you’ve owned a home in the past three years, only the monthly payment assistance loan is available to you.

DEFERRED PAYMENT PLUS: Maximum assistance loan is $15,000. Limited to limited target criteria. No payments, no interest due today. You pay the money back when you sell, refinance, or no longer occupy the home. Available with Start Up and Step Up Loans. Target criteria: Must meet two or more of these items: Household size of four or more

Single head of household with minor dependents: House payment no more than 28% of income
Household member with a disability.

To Qualify For The Deferred Payment Down Payment Assistance program (no payment due today):

You must fall under the income limits below (as of July 1, 2022):

Household Size
Metro Area
Rochester Area
Balance of State
1-2 people
3 people
4 people
5 people
6 people
7+ people
Apply Online - Mortgage Application

Down payment assistance loans (with monthly payment required.)

If your household income is too high to qualify for the deferred payment assistance loan program, there is another possible option for you, known as the Monthly Payment Assistance Loan. This program has much higher household income limits, but a payment on the assistance loan is due each month along with your main loan payment.

Monthly payment assistance loans can be used with either Start Up or Step Up, and can be used if over the deferred assistance income level

  • Loans up to $18,000
  • Payments are due on the assistance loan right away based on a 10-year loan
  • Interest rate equal to first mortgage rate
  • Is a 2nd Mortgage on the house

To Qualify For The Monthly Payment Assistance Loan

Your household income must be below the current limit (as of July 1, 2022)

Income Limit
11 County Metro Area
Dodge/Olmstead County
Balance of State

Enhance Your Mortgage Experience:

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The fine print:

Current MHFA down payment assistance rate as of Sept 2023 is 7.00% and APR 7.23% based on sample loan of $280,000 purchase price, 3% down payment conventional 30-year fixed, $1,000 out of buyers pocket, no origination fee, and assistance 2nd mortgage. Assistance 2nd mortgage rate is also 7.00%, APR 7.00%. Not an offer to enter into an interest rate lock agreement. Not everyone will qualify. Equal Housing Lender. RATES SUBJECT TO CHANGE. Call your Loan officer for current rates.

* $1,000 is the absolute minimum you must put into the transaction to buy a house.  Many people will need a little bit more, but almost always less than $3,000 total.

The 11-county Twin Cities Area is defined as: Anoka, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Ramsey, Scott, Sherburne, Washington and Wright Counties.

While we try to keep this web site as accurate as possible, income limits and other parameters may have changed. Contact us here at for the most current interest rate, income, and other down payment assistance guideline changes.