Exploring Mortgage Options for Native Homebuyers

For Native homebuyers, there are several mortgage programs available to help lower barriers and expand access to financing the purchase, construction or renovation of a home on Native lands.

Adult watches child coloring in the living room

Many state and federally recognized tribes operate their own housing authorities to support homeownership among their members. Some of these organizations offer their own mortgage assistance products, but many of them help tribe members navigate the various programs available to them.

Here is a closer look at some of the most prominent mortgage programs and products available to Native homebuyers.

  1. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Section 184 Indian Home Loan Guarantee Program

    HUD offers Section 184 loans to members of federally recognized Native tribes. These loans feature low down payment requirements and offer attractive interest rates. Qualified individuals can use a Section 184 loan to purchase, construct or rehabilitate a home on tribal land or in approved Native American areas.

  2. HUD Section 184A Native Hawaiian Housing Loan Guarantee Program

    Similar to Section 184, HUD also offers the Section 184A loan program which expands access to financing for Hawaii Natives who want to buy, build or improve homes on Hawaiian homelands. Eligible homebuyers can use this loan program to secure a fixed-rate mortgage with low down payments and a one-time 1% loan guarantee fee in place of private mortgage insurance.

  3. Native American Direct Loan (NADL) Program

    The NADL program is administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs and designed to help eligible Native American veterans and their families purchase, construct or improve homes on federal trust lands. In most cases, these loans are available with no down payment and do not require private mortgage insurance. NADL loans can also be used to refinance your current loan to reduce your interest rate.

  4. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Section 502 Direct Loan Program

    USDA Rural Development’s Single Family Housing Direct Home Loans, also known as the Section 502 Direct Loan Program, provide affordable homeownership opportunities in rural areas, including tribal lands. Section 502 loans offer competitive fixed-rate loans with no down payment. This can be an attractive option for qualified buyers living in rural tribal communities.

  5. Freddie Mac HeritageOne

    This Freddie Mac mortgage product is designed to meet the needs of Native American homebuyers who are members of federally recognized tribes and want to own homes, including manufactured homes, in tribal areas. Heritage One expands access to conventional mortgage financing allowing a down payment as low as 3% and flexibility when sourcing down payment and closing funds. It also has no limitation on the borrower’s income. In addition, borrowers may combine this product with other Freddie Mac products, such as CHOICERenovation and GreenCHOICE, to finance home renovations and energy-efficient improvements. HeritageOne also gives access to valuable homeownership education programs.

If you are ready to take your next step toward homeownership, contact a Native community development financial institution. They can help you assemble an experienced homebuying team that can help identify which options work best for your specific situation.

Last reviewed: August 17, 2023

My Home in your inbox

Sign up to receive resources, tools and tips about buying, owning, refinancing, selling and renting a home in your inbox.