Freddie Mac BorrowSmart℠: The Smart Way to Get More Cash For a Home

Are you pinching your pennies to save up for a down payment or closing costs? The Freddie Mac BorrowSmart program can help you get cash to close, the smart way.

Between rent, groceries, bills, and all of life’s other necessities, it’s no wonder many people find it hard to save up for a home. If you’re already counting every dollar that comes in and out, you know the value of a great deal.

That’s why there’s a program specially designed to help potential home buyers just like you. Cardinal Financial is proud to offer Freddie Mac BorrowSmart, which can help low- to moderate-income borrowers buy a home with up to $1,500 in down payment and/or closing cost assistance, based on Area Median Income and other eligibility criteria.

Wait, the Freddie Mac BorrowSmart program does what?!

You read that right. If you qualify for a Freddie Mac Home Possible® or a Freddie Mac HomeOne℠ mortgage (with only 3% down), you could be eligible for $1,000 to $1,500 in down payment or closing cost assistance through Freddie Mac BorrowSmart.

And you won’t have to pay a cent of that assistance back, because Freddie Mac BorrowSmart isn’t a loan!

Home Purchase Process

Tell me more?

Want to know what’s great about Freddie Mac BorrowSmart? It plays well with others.

Home buyers can also use money from other eligible sources, including gifts from

  • Family
  • Eligible non-profits or government agencies
  • Employer Assisted Homeownership programs and Affordable Seconds

It’s also flexible! You can use Freddie Mac BorrowSmart together with other down payment assistance programs that meet Freddie Mac guidelines. Best part? You can use the money to either help you reach your minimum down payment, your closing costs, or both!

So, what are the requirements?

If you want to take advantage of Freddie Mac BorrowSmart, you must qualify for a Freddie Mac Home Possible® or a Freddie Mac HomeOne℠ mortgage.

You must have a credit score of at least 620, and be able to put down 3% for a down payment (but you can use the Freddie Mac BorrowSmart assistance towards that!). Freddie Mac BorrowSmart is designed only for purchases, so you can’t use the program to pay closing costs on a refinance.

This program is only for primary residences. Condos, planned unit development (PUDs), and manufactured homes may be eligible.

There’s also a pre-purchase component: You must complete home buyer counseling, which will help prepare you for long-term homeownership. The fee is $99.

How does my income affect whether I qualify?

Depending on your income and your plans, you may be eligible for Freddie Mac BorrowSmart.

  • Borrowers with qualifying income less than or equal to 50% of county AMI can qualify for $1,500
  • Borrowers with qualifying income between 50.01% and 80% of county AMI can qualify for $1,000
  • Borrowers with qualifying income between 80.01% and 100% of county AMI can qualify for $1,000 if their property is in a high needs area with designated rural tracts


Sounds like a winner, right? The Freddie Mac BorrowSmart program makes buying a home that much easier. If you’re struggling to come up with the cash needed for a down payment or closing costs, this program can help bridge the gap and get you to the closing table quicker.

If it’s time to buy, it’s time for you to reach out to one of our experienced Cardinal Financial home loan originators. They’ll be the perfect source for everything you need to know about Freddie Mac BorrowSmart, or any of our flexible home loan programs.

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