IFA Home Mortgage Programs FAQs


Would you like to save money, get better rates, and connect with affordable financing options for buying a home? IFA home mortgage programs are something you need to know about! Let’s explore some of the common questions about these IFA programs.

What does IFA mean?

IFA stands for Iowa Finance Authority, whose core focus is to make affordable financing possible for homes and communities. IFA offers affordable mortgage and cost assistance programs for homebuyers–both first-time and experienced.

​​Created by the Iowa Legislature in 1975, IFA works to enhance the quality of life for communities across the state by connecting people with affordable financing for housing, water quality, and agricultural development. Today, the IFA is a self-supporting public agency.

How do IFA home loans work?

There are two IFA home mortgage programs, one for first-time buyers and one for experienced home buyers. There is also a Military Homeownership Assistance Program for eligible service members and veterans.

First Home Program

The FirstHome Program is designed for first-time homebuyers in Iowa. The FirstHome program offers EITHER a down payment and closing costs assistance grant OR a 2nd Loan program loan. (Not both.)

Homes For Iowans Program

Whether you’re on your first or fifth home, this program is not exclusive to first-time buyers. The Homes for Iowans program gives you the option of getting EITHER a grant to assist with down payments and closing costs OR a loan from the 2nd Loan program. (Not both.)

Military Homeownership Assistance Program

The Military Homeownership Assistance program provides a $5,000 grant to eligible service members and veterans for down payments and closing costs on qualifying homes. The funds may be used in conjunction with the FirstHome and Homes for Iowans programs.

Who is eligible for IFA programs?

The IFA website lists eligibility requirements in detail, but nothing can match the support of an IFA participating lender walking you through the process and helping you understand all the details. This is why it’s important to have experienced and qualified professionals on your team!

What does it mean to be an IFA participating lender?

IFA participating lenders are homeownership experts and guides, here to support you and connect you with IFA programs that could benefit you. They serve as advocates for Iowa homebuyers throughout the home-buying process. 

One of our partners and preferred mortgage lender, Jessica Greving of Residential Mortgage Network Inc., says the following:

“Some local lenders will say they are an IFA participating lender to get first-time home buyers in the door, but when it comes down to it, they are not and give an excuse as to why they couldn’t provide the program to the borrower. Not only is this misleading to the borrower, but most of the time the excuse being given is that “funds have run out,” which is just false. 

The only loser in that scenario is the borrower.”

How can I find out if my lender is IFA-participating?

Thankfully, IFA provides a link to be able to search for their participating lenders. You can check this link to make sure your lender is IFA-participating before you get too far along the process!

A big thank you to Jessica Greving and Residential Mortgage Network Inc. for their expertise in this area!

If you have any questions, we are always here to take the heavy lifting of home buying and home selling off your shoulders. Assisting our clients at every step of the process, we are committed to providing the best realty service possible. Connect with us, and let’s get started!

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