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Down Payment Assistance for Homebuyers

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Making Homeownership a Reality

Buying a home is a big step, and FSB understands the potential challenges that could come with homebuying. That's why FSB offers a variety of grants and programs to help combat financial barriers.

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Down Payment Assistance Grants

FSB provides a range of grants to ease the home-buying journey. Whether it's your first home or your next, these programs aim to turn the dream of homeownership into a reality.

Contact a lender with guidance on eligibility. 

FHLB Home$tart Grant

Who can qualify for a Home$tart Grant?

The Home$tart Program is available to qualifying homebuyers earning up to 80% of the median income for their area based on Iowa HUD Income Limits which are adjusted based on household size.

Home$tart recipients must also:
  • Complete a homebuyer education class
  • Qualify for mortgage financing with FSB 
  • Become a customer of FSB 

How much grant money may I receive through Home$tart?

Home$tart participants may receive up to $7,500 in grant funds.** You must have a signed purchase agreement to apply for the Home$tart Grant.

Are there any restrictions on the type of home I may purchase?

Home$tart grants may be used to purchase single-family homes, and must be used for your primary residence. There are no neighborhood restrictions (i.e., type or location). If you qualify for mortgage financing from FSB and are income eligible, you will likely be able to receive a Home$tart grant.

Are there restrictions on how the grant may be used?

Yes, Home$tart grants may only be used for down payment and closing costs. The grant may not be used to pay for moving costs or to pay bills.

What happens if I sell my house?

If your home is purchased with Home$tart assistance, it is subject to a five-year deed restriction requiring that you repay a portion of the grant if you sell your home within five years. The amount that you would be required to repay is prorated based on the length of time you own the home, and the funds will be deducted from your sale proceeds. However, if you live in the home for at least five years, the grant is 100% forgiven and you never have to repay it.

*Must be 18 years or older. All accounts subject to credit approval.
**Actual amount depends on total need as determined by program guidelines set forth by Federal Home Loan Bank Des Moines.

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IFA Grants

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Plus Grant

The Iowa Finance Authority offers two programs that provide homebuyers with $2,500 for down payment and closing costs assistance when used in conjunction with the FirstHome or Homes for Iowans mortgage programs.

FirstHome Plus Program

The FirstHome Plus Program is available to eligible first-time homebuyers who are purchasing a primary residence in Iowa.

Homes for Iowans Plus Program

The Homes for Iowans Program is available to eligible first-time and repeat homebuyers who are purchasing a primary residence in Iowa.

EligibilityFirstHomeHomes for Iowans
Household Income Limit See IFA website $139,500
Home Purchase Price Limit $311,000 $381,000
Must be a First-Time Homebuyer Yes No

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Resources for Homebuyers

Learn more about owning a home

What Are The Benefits of Homeownership?

Choosing the Right Mortgage Loan=

How to Choose the Right Mortgage Loan?

HELOC or Home Equity

HELOC or Home Equity Loan - Which Do You Need?

3% Down

How Much Do You Really Need To Put Down?

Military Homeownership Assistance Program

The Military Homeownership Assistance Program renews annually. Please call FSB to see if funds are currently available. 

The Military Homeownership Assistance Program provides eligible service members and veterans with a $5,000 grant for down payment and closing costs on a qualifying home purchase. Eligible service members may access the Military Homeownership Assistance Program to be used with a qualifying mortgage or cash purchase transaction. Borrowers are limited to one-time use of a Plus grant and one-time use of a Military Homeownership Assistance grant.


  • Have served 90 days active duty between August 2, 1990 and April 6, 1991 or September 11, 2001 to present. Active duty needs not be consecutive; it may be cumulative. Inactive Duty Training, Annual Training and Active Duty for Training may not count toward active duty; or
  • Is a federal status injured service person having served in active duty between August 2, 1990 and April 6, 1991 or September 11, 2001 to present; or
  • Is a surviving spouse of said eligible service person, all who have had a discharge other than dishonorable.

Additional program guidelines may apply. More information can be found at

Learn more about our VA Loans

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City of Cedar Rapids Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance

The City of Cedar Rapids’ First-Time Homebuyer (FTHB) Program provides a $1,000—$5,000 forgivable loan to eligible households to assist with down payment costs. To be eligible, participants must meet four main requirements:

  • Be a First-Time Homebuyer
  • Be Income Eligible — including income, assets, debt ratio calculations
  • Purchase an Eligible Property
  • Secure Acceptable Mortgage Financing

Income Eligibility

Income maximums, based on household size, are shown in this chart. Additionally, asset amounts and debt to income calculations must be acceptable. Households must meet maximum housing and debt to income ratios of 31% and 43% respectively.

Asset Eligibility

There are several requirements regarding assets (checking, savings, etc.).

Maximum: Assets may not exceed $25,000 in non-retirement funds.

Minimum: Applicants must have at least $1,000 in assets at pre-qualification.

Down Payment: In addition to the asset minimum of $1,000, participants are required to contribute their own down payment, which must be available in assets. The minimum down payment varies based upon the total non-retirement assets:

  • Assets $5,000 or less = $500 down payment
  • $5,001—$15,000 = $1,000 down payment
  • $15,001—$25,000 = $1,500 down payment

Property Eligibility

  • Homes must be within the City of Cedar Rapids limits.
  • Homes located in the 100-year flood plain are not eligible.
  • Homes must be owner-occupied or vacant (not a rental property with tenants).
  • Single-family dwelling and condo units are eligible (mobile home purchases are not eligible).
  • Homes will be inspected by City staff and must comply with Housing Quality Standards (based on health and safety requirements).

The purchase price of homes may not exceed $135,000 for a single-family dwelling. Additional program guidelines apply. More information can be found at

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Take Your Money to the Next Level

New checking account customers can earn a $250 cash bonus1 by opening an eligible checking account with direct deposit. Plus, enjoy up to $350 off closing costs1 with an FSB Mortgage.

Offer Details

1Qualifications and restrictions apply - click button for full disclosure.

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