First Time Home Buyer Louisville Kentucky Mortgage Programs

First Time Home Buyer Louisville Kentucky Mortgage Programs

5 popular programs that Kentucky Home buyers use to purchase their first home.

  Mortgage Rates Kentucky

• At least 3%-5% down

 Closing costs will vary on which rate you choose and the lender. Typically the higher the rate, the lesser closing costs due to the lender giving you a lender credit back at closing for over par pricing. Also, called a no-closing costs option. You have to weigh the pros and cons to see if it makes sense to forgo the lower rate and lower monthly payment for the higher rate and less closing costs.
Fico scores needed start at 620, but most conventional lenders will want a higher score to qualify for the 3-5% minimum down payment requirements Most buyers using this loan have high credit scores (over 720) and at least 5% down.
The rates are a little higher compared to FHA, VA, or USDA loan but the mortgage insurance is not for life of loan and can be rolled off when you reach 80% equity position in home.
Conventional loans require 4-7 years removed from Bankruptcy and foreclosure.
If you meet income eligibility requirements and are looking to settle in a rural area, you might qualify for the KY USDA Rural Housing program. The program guarantees qualifying loans, reducing lenders’ risk and encouraging them to offer buyers 100% loans. That means Kentucky home buyers don’t have to put any money down, and even the “upfront fee” (a closing cost for this type of loan) can be rolled into the financing.
Fico scores usually wanted for this program center around 620 range, with most lenders wanting a 640 score so they can obtain an automated approval through GUS. GUS stands for the Guaranteed Underwriting system, and it will dictate your max loan pre-approval based on your income, credit scores, debt to income ratio and assets.
They also allow for a manual underwrite, which states that the max house payment ratios are set at 29% and 41% respectively of your income.
They loan requires no down payment, and the current mortgage insurance is 1% upfront, called a funding fee, and .35% annually for the monthly mi payment. Since they recently reduced their mi requirements, USDA is one of the best options out there for home buyers looking to buy in an rural area.
A rural area typically will be any area outside the major cities of Louisville, Lexington, Paducah, Bowling Green, Richmond, Frankfort, and parts of Northern  Kentucky .
There is a map link below to see the qualifying areas.
There is also a max household income limits with most cutoff starting at $82,700 for a family of four, and up to $109,000 for a family of five or more.
USDA requires 3 years removed from bankruptcy and foreclosure.

There is no max USDA loan limit.

FHA loans are good for home buyers with lower credit scores and no much down, or with down payment assistance grants. FHA will allow for grants, gifts, for their 3.5% minimum investment and will go down to a 500 credit score.
The current mortgage insurance requirements are kinda steep when compared to USDA, VA , but the rates are usually good so it can counteracts the high mi premiums. As I tell borrowers, you will not have the loan for 30 years, so don’t worry too much about the mi premiums.
THe mi premiums are for life of loan like USDA.
FHA requires 2 years removed from bankruptcy and 3 years removed from foreclosure.

Maximum FHA loan limits in Kentucky are set around $314,500 and below.

VA loans are for veterans and active duty military personnel. The loan requires no down payment and no monthly mi premiums, and no minimum credit score , saving you on the monthly payment. It does have an funding fee like USDA, but it is higher starting at 2% for first time use, and 3% for second time use. The funding fee is financed into the loan, so it is not something you have to pay upfront out of pocket.
VA loans can be made anywhere, unlike the USDA restrictions, and there is no income household limit and the max loan is $484,500 in Kentucky
Most VA lenders I work with will want a 580 credit score.

VA requires 2 years removed from bankruptcy or foreclosure.

Kentucky Home Buyers

 Effective with new reservations as of Monday, December 10, 2018, properties located in one of the counties considered Middle Appalachia or Lower Mississippi Delta will have access to a $1,500 closing cost grant. Borrowers must be under the specific income limits per the Duty to Serve (DTS) program.
KHC recognizes that down payments, closing costs, and prep​aids are stumbling blocks for many potential home buyers. Here are several loan programs to help. Your KHC-approved lender can help you apply for the program that meets your need.

Hardest Hit Fund (HHF) DAP For Kentucky 2019

Available to Christian County only 11/15/2018

  • Zero percent interest rate for first-time home buyers.
  • A non-repayalbe second mortgage for $10,000.
  • Forgiven after five years.
  • Home purchase must be located in Christian county.
    • No other counties will be eligible.
  • New construction properties are not allowed.
    • ​Property has to have been previously occupied.
  • Applicants must meet Secondary Market Income and Purchase Price Limit.

Regular DAP for Kentucky Home Buyers in 2019

  • Purchase price up to $301,294 with Secondary Market.
  • Assistance in the form of a loan up to $6,000 in $100 increments.
  • Repayable over a ten-year term at 5.50 percent.
  • Available to all KHC first-mortgage loan recipients.

Affordable DAP for Kentucky Home Buyers in 2019

  • Purchase price up to $301,294 with Secondary Market.
  • Assistance up to $6,000.
  • Repayable over a ten-year term at 1.00 percent.
  • Borrowers must meet Affordable DAP income limits.

More about down payment and closing costs

  • No liquid asset review and no limit on borrower reserves.
  • Specific credit underwriting standards may apply to down payment programs.

∘ What kind of credit score do I need to qualify for different first time home buyer loans in Kentucky?
Answer. Most lenders will wants a middle credit score of 640 for KY First Time Home Buyers looking to go no money down. The two most used no money down home loans in Kentucky being USDA Rural Housing and KHC with their down payment assistance will want a 640 middle score on their programs.
If you have access to 3.5% down payment, you can go FHA and secure a 30 year fixed rate mortgage with some lenders with a 580 credit score. Even though FHA on paper says they will go down to 500 credit score with at least 10% down payment, you will find it hard to get the loan approved because lenders will create overlays to protect their interest and maintain a good standing with FHA and HUD.
Another popular no money down loan is VA. Most VA lenders will want a 620 middle credit score but like FHA, VA on paper says they will go down to a 500 score, but good luck finding a lender for that scenario.
A lot of times if your scores are in the high 500’s or low 600’s range, we can do a rapid rescore and get your scores improved within 30 days.
∘ Does it costs anything to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan?
Answer: Most lenders will not charge you a fee to get pre-approved, but some lenders may want you to pay for the credit report fee upfront. Typically costs for a tri-merge credit report for a single borrower runs about $50 or less. Maybe higher if more borrowers are included on the loan application.

∘ How long does it take to get approved for a mortgage loan in Kentucky?
Answer: Typically if you have all your income and asset documents together and submit to the lender, they typically can get you a pre-approval through the Automated Underwriting Systems within 24 hours. They will review credit, income and assets and run it through the different AUS (Automated Underwriting Systems) for the template for your loan pre-approval. Fannie Mae uses DU, or Desktop Underwriting, FHA and VA also use DU, and USDA uses a automated system called GUS. GUS stands for the Guaranteed Underwriting System.
If you get an Automated Approval, loan officers will use this for your pre-approval. If you have a bad credit history, high debt to income ratios,  or lack of down payment,  the AUS will sometimes refer the loan to a manual underwrite, which could result in a longer turn time for your loan pre-approval answer
∘ Are there any special programs in Kentucky that help with down payment or no money down loans for KY First Time Home Buyers?
Answer: There are some programs available to KY First Time Home Buyers that offer zero down financing: KHC, USDA, VA, Fannie Mae Home Possible and HomePath, HUD $100 down and City Grants are all available to Kentucky First Time Home buyers if you qualify for them. Ask your loan officer about these programs

∘ When can I lock in my interest rate to protect it from going up when I buy my first home?
Answer: You typically can lock in your mortgage rate and protect it from going up once you have a home picked-out and under contract. You can usually lock in your mortgage rate for free for 90 days, and if you need more time, you can extend the lock in rate for a fee to the lender in case the home buying process is taking a longer time. The longer the term you lock the rate in the future, the higher the costs because the lender is taking a risk on rates in the future.
Interest rates are kinda like gas prices, they change daily, and the general trend is that they have been going up since the Presidential election in November 2016.

∘ How much money do I need to pay to close the loan?
Answer: Depending on which loan program you choose, the outlay to close the loan can vary. Typically you will need to budget for the following to buy a home: Good faith deposit, usually less than $500 which holds the home for you while you close the loan. You get this back at closing; Appraisal fee is required to be paid to lender before closing. Typical costs run around $400-$450 for an appraisal fee; home inspection fees. Even though the lender’s programs don’t require a home inspection, a lot of buyers do get one done. The costs for a home inspection runs around $300-$400. Lastly, termite report. They are very cheap, usually $50 or less, and VA requires one on their loan programs. FHA, KHC, USDAS, Fannie Mae does not require a termite report, but most borrowers get one done.
There are also lender costs for title insurance, title exam, closing fee, and underwriting fees that will be incurred at closing too. You can negotiated the seller to pay for these fees in the contract, or sometimes the lender can pay for this with a lender credit. The lender has to issue a breakdown of the fees you will incur on your loan pre-approval.

How long is my pre-approval good for on a Kentucky Mortgage Loan?
Answer: Most lenders will honor your loan pre-approval for 60 days. After that, they will have to re-run your credit report and ask for updated pay stubs, bank statements, to make sure your credit quality and income and assets has not changed from the initial loan pre-approval.
How much money do I have to make to qualify for a mortgage loan in Kentucky?
Answer: The general rule for most FHA, VA, KHC, USDA and Fannie MAe loans is that we run your loan application through the Automated Underwriting systems, and it will tell us your max loan qualifying ratios.
There are two ratios that matter when you qualify for a mortgage loan. The front-end ratio, is the new house payment divided by your gross monthly income.  The back-end ratio, is the new house payment added to your current monthly bills on the credit report, to include child support obligations and 401k loans.
Car insurance, cell phone bills, utilities bills does not factor into your qualifying rations.
If the loan gets a refer on the initial desktop underwriting findings, then most programs will default to a front end ratio of 31% and a back-end ratio of 43% for most government agency loans that get a refer. You then take the lowest payment to qualify based on the front-end and back-end ratio.
So for example, let’s say you make $3000 a month and you have $400 in monthly bills you pay on the credit report. What would be your maximum qualifying house payment for a new loan?
Take the $3000 x .43%= $1290 maximum back-end ratio house payment. So take the $1290-$400= $890 max house payment you qualify for on the back-end ratio.
Then take the $3000 x .31%=$930 maximum qualifying house payment on front-end ratio.
So now your know! The max house payment you would qualify would be the $890, because it is the lowest payment of the two ratios.

Customer Testimonials


Absolutely Amazing!! I emailed Joel after I had just got a denial from a bank and just thought i would try to get some advice on what my next steps would be to get a house. I honestly didn’t expect to even get a reply because my credit is not great. That was about a week and a half ago. I just signed a contract on a house last night. ONLY because of Joel Lobb. He even worked with us throughout the weekend, which shocked me. Best decision I have ever made. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR WORKING WITH US THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE PROCESS.
Cee Bellisle August 2018

Contacted him about buying a home and he was great to work with. I was moving to Louisville Ky to take a new job and he walked me through the entire process. He explained to me all the different options for FHA, VA, USDA mortgage loans and credit score requirements versus Fannie Mae. Since I was a first time home buyer I needed alot of help and guidance. I would definitely recommend him. Fast to respond and available to answer questions that I or my realtor had after hours.

Anderson Johnson April, 2018


We moved from Michigan to Northern Kentucky area and we were really impressed. We got a USDA loan no money down and closed in less than 3.5 weeks. We shopped around online with other lenders but Joel was always first to respond and his rates were just a little better than other lenders. He kept us informed through the process along with our realtor and there was absolutely no surprises like we heard from other co-workers and friends that they experienced in their loan process. We have already referred another co-worker to Joel . He’s AWESOME!

Patty Kingston July 2018
betty parsons
Wow,  what a great loan officer. I was referred to him by our agent and he was great to work with. We used him for a USDA no money down loan in  Shelby County and we were really impressed. We  were afraid we could not buy a home since we did not have money saved for a down payment, but Joe l was able to get us a zero down loan and we even got our appraisal fee and good faith deposit back at closing. We actually got money back at closing!!! I Can’t think him enough. Our family moved from our apartment in the south end  of town to get our own home with 5 acres  for our kids and 2 dogs, at a payment that is equal to our rent payment also. .Thanks Again Joel. May god bless you
Patty Locker
We contacted Joel about buying a house on our move from Ohio for my husband’s job transfer with Ford. We put a lot of trust in him since we were new to the area and first time home buyers in the Louisville KY market, and he always delivered on what he said. It took us a while to find a home due to the lack of homes,  but once we got one, he was always quick to respond our questions via text or email ,and kept us informed through the process. We got to meet him at the closing and he was super nice and even got us a closing gift for our home which we didn’t expect at all. Super nice guy 😀!!! I would definitely recommend him for a local Home loan in the Louisville area.
pam dolby
I got a VA loan with Joel and he was great. He is an ex-army guy so he could relate to my past experiences of being a veteran and moving around the country a lot. I had some credit issues that required a little extra work but Joel was able to find A VA lender to approve my situation as far as having past bad credit problems and a lower credit score. We closed yesterday on our home here in Louisville and we could not be happier. We finally have a home of our own thanks to Joel . I would definitely recommend him for a mortgage loan. Great experience and closed 8 days before expected close date so we were able to move in early.
I contacted Joel about the $10,000 KY Housing Grant last month and we were able to get it and I just closed on my home. He was great to work with and if you are a first time home buyer here in Louisville, I would definitely contact him. I met him at his office and he was very nice and knowledgeable and kept me informed through the process. No surprises either so I was very happy. I am new homeowner thanks to Joel .


We just moved here the first of January in 2017 from Ohio to the Louisville, KY area and we found Joel’s website online. He was quick to respond to us and got back the same day on our loan approval. He was very knowledgeable about the local market and kept us up-to date throughout the loan process and was a pleasure to meet at closing. Would recommend his services.

Angela Forsythe

“We were searching online for mortgage companies in Louisville, Ky locally to deal with and found Joel’s website, and it was a godsend. He was great to work with, and delivered on everything he said he would do. I ended up referring my co-worker at UPS, and she was very pleased with his service and rates too. Would definitely vouch for him.” September 2016

Monica Leinhardt

“We contacted Joel back in July 2011 to refinance our Mortgage and he was great to work with. We contacted several lenders locally and online, and most where taking almost 60 days to close a refinance, Joel got it done in 23 days start to finish,I would definetly recommmend him. He got us 3.75% with just $900 in closing costs on our FHA Streamline loan.
Kayle Griffin

“Joel is one of the best Mortgage Brokers I have ever worked with in my sixteen years in the real estate and mortgage business.” May 25, 2010
Tim Beck

“Joel has always worked very hard to keep his word and to work out seasonable solutions to difficult problems. He is truly an expert in FHA and other type loans.” September 1, 2010
Nancy Nalley
“I have worked with Joel since 1998. He is a great loan professional.” I refer most of my Louisville, Kentucky area home buyers to him and he always take special care of them. August 23, 2012
Jon ClarK
“Joel Lobb is a real professional in the lending industry, with many years of experience, he is the one to go to for any mortgage lending needs.” August 22, 2011

RICHARD VOLZ , Residential Sales , Remax Foursquare Realty
“When looking to purchase our new home in 2006, I had the pleasure of meeting Joel Lobb. Not only was he personable and easy to reach, he was extremely knowledgable in his field and made sure to find us the best rate and a top notch mortgage company. We were able to complete the process in less than 3 weeks with his expertise. I find Joel to have the utmost high integrity and I recommend him to anyone who say’s they are need of mortgage assistance. He is also fantastic and keeping everyone up to date on the latest in the housing industry through his twitter posts. He provided great results for our family and we still communicate to this day!” August 21, 2010
Stacie Drake

“We first use Joel on our new home purchase in 2007 in St Matthews, Kentucky area and he was great to work with. We have since refinanced our home with him in 2010 when rates got really low and he has always delivered on what he says. I could not imagine using anyone else.”

Melody Glasscock March 2014


I can answer your questions and usually get you pre-approved the same day. 

Call or Text me at 502-905-3708 with your mortgage questions.



Joel Lobb (NMLS#57916)
Senior  Loan Officer

American Mortgage Solutions, Inc.
10602 Timberwood Circle Suite 3
Louisville, KY 40223
Company ID #1364 | MB73346

Text/call 502-905-3708

The view and opinions stated on this website belong solely to the authors, and are intended for informational purposes only.  The posted information does not guarantee approval, nor does it comprise full underwriting guidelines.  This does not represent being part of a government agency. The views expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily reflect the view of  my employer. Not all products or services mentioned on this site may fit all people.
, NMLS ID# 57916, ( I lend in the following states: Kentucky

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  50. Website Fine Print
    The content provided on this website is presented or compiled by Joel Lobb and is provided for informational purposes only. It does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Key Financial Mortgage .
    Neither Joel Lobb nor Key Financial Mortgage assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights.
    The mortgage or financial services or strategies mentioned in this website may not be not suitable for you.
    Key Financial Mortgage is an Equal Opportunity Lender. All rights Reserved.
    Key Financial Mortgage of Ky is not a part of, nor are we affiliated with, the VA, FHA/HUD, USDA. These aforementioned entities are a government agency, not a lender. They simply insures the mortgage; they do not loan the money. Key Financial Mortgage is a licensed loan mortgage broker in the State of Kentucky (NMLS#1800) and not affiliated with any Government Agency. Joel Lobb is a licensed loan officer in the state of Kentucky (NMLS#57916)

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  55. Navigating the credit score landscape is sometimes treacherous for consumers, with so much confusing and seemingly contradicting information about scoring models, multiple credit bureaus, reporting guidelines, and plenty of websites offering “free” credit scores.
    In fact, when someone clicks on one of those offers to view their credit score, they will quickly find out that the free offer:

    1) Isn’t free, and

    2) Also may not be accurate or even particularly useful.

    If #2 comes as a shock, let me explain.

    Most people understand by now that there are three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, offering their own credit reports. And they may even understand that FICO releases a score based on those findings.

    But most consumers don’t realize that there is more than one version of FICO scores (in fact, there are more than two dozen FICO scores!).

    FICO also isn’t the only game in town, since Vantage calculates their own version of consumers scores. Your Vantage score is also the score you’ll probably get if you request a free credit score from one of those sites.

    The problem is that it’s most likely not even relevant or useful.


    90% of lenders don’t use Vantage Scores to make their lending decisions, but one of FICO’s many versions.

    So it’s sort of like studying multiple choice answers from last year’s test and then expecting to pass this year’s version.
    However, 85% of consumers who get scores from Credit Karma or one of those “free” credit sites think they’re getting the score that’s used by lenders. Moreover, 65% think they’re actually receiving their FICO score – not Vantage.

    While I know at least two parties (like Vantage and those money-making free credit websites!) that argue Vantage Scores are great for educational purposes and probably mirror the general trend of your FICO scores, the two scoring models aren’t even calculated the same.

    In fact, Vantage scores range from 501 to 990, while FICO scores range from 300 to 850.

    Even within FICO’s different internal scoring models, there’s a great variance in scoring for the same person.

    Reportedly, 45% of the population has an “economically meaningful” difference between their highest and lowest FICO Score. We’re not talking about just a few points here, either. FICO’s research shows that the average difference between a single consumer’s high and low FICO score, depending on which model of scoring is being used, varies 62 points. And 10% of consumers have a score variance of 100 points or more!

    Why is this revelation that Credit Karma and other free-ish credit websites use Vantage, not FICO, so important?

    If you’re just taking a quick look at your credit for fun and like wasting money, then it’s probably not a problem.

    But for most people, they look at their credit score with the intent to taking action based on what they see. That can be paying off debt or applying for new credit cards, business loans, auto loans, or even home mortgages.

    Thanks to purposeful confusion on Credit Karma and other sites, tens of millions of consumers are making critically important financial decisions based on their Vantage Scores – NOT the FICOs that lenders are using to qualify them.
    Who knows how many people could qualify for a mortgage based on their FICO Score but give up before they even start because their Vantage Score reflects otherwise? Consumers might apply for the wrong credit cards, hold off on that business loan, or even overvalue their position when applying for loans, all of which can cost them huge money unnecessarily.

    However, if you access your FICO score, you can be confident you’re looking at the accurate credit reporting data and score that almost all lenders are using.

    In fact, FICO has more than two dozen versions of their scoring for different purposes, with nine of those versions widely used by the three national reporting agencies.

    Each FICO version has a specific purpose or use. For instance, if you’re getting an auto loan, lenders probably use FICO® Auto Score 8. FICO® Score 9 is usually employed for medical collections, and credit card lenders have a number of choices between FICO Bankcard Score 8 and versions 2, 4, and 5.

    Mortgage lenders typically use FICO scores 2, 4, and 5, which are wrapped into a credit reporting portfolio called a residential mortgage credit report, or RMCR.

    But before you get too confused, just remember this: only go to Credit Karma or spend money on one of the credit reporting sites if you want to get your Vantage Score.

    However, if you are looking for the same information that lenders are actually basing their decisions on, you can view your full credit reports from all three bureaus once per year for free at

    Even better, Blue Water Credit can help you get your most recent and accurate credit report and scores, as well as improve your scores before you apply for a loan.

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