Citizens Trust Bank Rolls Out Down Payment Assistance

Atlanta-based Citizens Trust Bank announced a new down payment assistance program for borrowers purchasing affordable homes.

The grant offers up to $2,000 to eligible buyers looking to purchase affordable housing.

Citizens says its goal is to help more Americans reach their homebuying dream, considering that saving for a down payment in a high inflation, high home price environment is a huge hurdle.

“For those who have been held back by the upfront costs associated with homeownership, down payment assistance, especially toward closing costs can help to lower the barrier to entry and make the dream of owning a home a reality,” said Citizens Trust Bank Residential Mortgage Operations Manager, Yulanda Munford.

A majority of first-time buyers are making a down payment of less than 20%, and a quarter are putting down 5% or less. The Down Payment Assistance Grant program helps to reduce the financial burden on these buyers.

Eligible buyers must close their loan with Citizens Trust Bank and have income and assets below the bank’s financial need threshold, outlined in the press release.

The buyer must also be the primary occupant of the home, and have a homebuyer education certificate. At least $500 needs to be put towards the transaction by the buyer, but the grant can be used alongside other down payment assistance programs.

Citizens Trust Bank serves metropolitan Atlanta, Birmingham, and Eutaw, Alabama.

Atlanta was part of the pandemic boom that emerged as Americans working from home sought out cheaper metros in the South. It saw extremely hot home price growth as a result, and many locals are still priced out of the market.

As of 2023, it would take prospective Atlanta buyers nearly 10 years to save for a 10% down payment on a home.

The market is projected to ease somewhat in 2024, though affordability and a lack of inventory will remain barriers.