What Is a Mortgage Credit Certificate and How Can It Help Me as a First-time Homebuyer?

First-Time-homebuyers-using-an-IRA-photoIf you’re thinking about buying a home, or have recently bought a home for the first time, understanding the Mortgage Credit Certificate program could help you to save money when it comes time to pay your taxes, and could even help you to qualify for a loan. Here’s what you need to know about the mortgage credit certificate program and how it may help you as a first-time homebuyer.

Understanding Mortgage Credit Certificate: The Basics

As explained by the National Homebuyers Fund, Inc., a mortgage credit certificate–or MCC–is a tax credit from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that reduces how much an individual must pay in federal taxes by subsidizing the monthly mortgage payment. The site further explains that the benefits are twofold: first, the MCC is based on the amount of interest that the homebuyer pays annually, and can also help the buyer to qualify for the loan initially because it increases net earnings and decreases tax liability. Indeed, the reduced tax liability is a dollar-for-dollar amount based on the mortgage interest paid yearly (as a note, there is a cap on the amount of tax liability that can be reduced).

The purpose of an MCC is to help lower-income families afford homeownership for the first time.

State and Local Governments and MCC Programs

An MCC should not be confused with the federal first-time homebuyer credit. Unfortunately, the federal first-time homebuyer credit of $8,000 offered by the IRS has expired, but there are still many state and local governments that offer the MCC for residents. What’s more, the MCC continues year-after-year, so long as you continue living in your home, and continue paying your loan. Here’s how eligibility for the MCC typically works:

  • The candidate must be a first-time homebuyer;
  • The candidate must meet certain income requirements; and
  • The home that is purchased must be eligible (based on location and purchase price limits).

Worried About Qualifying for a Home Loan?

If you are worried about qualifying for a home loan in order to purchase your first home due to a lack of sufficient income, a Mortgage Credit Certificate may help you get approved. This is because many lenders will count the offset of the portion of the mortgage interest as a tax credit, not a tax deduction, bolstering an applicant’s annual income.

How to Find Out More

If you are interested in the MCC program, check in with your state to determine whether or not an MCC is offered where you live.

If you don’t qualify for an MCC, there are a multitude of other programs and financing options that may be available (Read our Blog about different loan options here) if you’re buying your first home in Washington, Oregon, or Idaho. To learn more, reach out to our Hayden Homes team members for questions – we have simple financing options available, and can put you in touch with one of our preferred lenders who can help you get into your dream home as soon as possible! Contact us today to learn more about financing, as well as new homes for sale in your area.