2018 Palmetto Heroes Program Details

 FHAUSDA
Eligible Heroes Borrowers must be employed in SC and meet SC Housing’s First-Time Homebuyer requirements and underwriting guidelines.

Law Enforcement Officers – Borrower must be employed full-time as a state or local law enforcement officer (as defined by the SC Law Enforcement Training Act) and must be certified by the Law Enforcement Training Council as of the date of the loan application.

Firefighters, EMTs and Paramedics – Borrower must be employed full-time as a firefighter, emergency medical technician (EMT) or paramedic (or be a volunteer firefighter) with a state or local government agency. EMTs and paramedics may be employed by a company contracted by a state or local government agency to provide emergency medical services.

Correctional Officers – Borrower must be employed as a full-time corrections officer for the South Carolina Department of Corrections, SC Department of Juvenile Justice, or with a state, county or municipal detention center.

Teachers – Borrower must be employed as a full-time classroom teacher (or have a contract to begin teaching) and must have a South Carolina Teacher Certification. Teachers with new contracts must be scheduled to receive their first paycheck within 60 days of loan closing.

Nurses – Borrower must be a registered nurse (RN), licensed practical nurse (LPN), or advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) and be licensed with the SC Board of Nursing. Borrower must be employed full-time in a hospital, doctor’s office, school or other medical facility.

Certified Nurse Aides (CNA) – Borrower must have a Nurse Aide Certification and be listed on the SC Nurse Aide Registry. Borrower must be employed full-time in a hospital, doctor’s office, school or other medical facility.

SC National Guard Members – Borrower must be a member in good standing of the SC Army National Guard or the SC Air National Guard as of the date of loan application. Enlistment must be documented with a statement of service.

Veterans – Borrower must have served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces (other than active duty for training) and received a discharge other than dishonorable within the past 25 years. NOTE: Eligible veterans cannot have an ownership interest in another principal residence at the time of loan closing.
Homebuyer Eligibility Requirements Borrowers purchasing property in the following non-targeted counties must not have had an ownership interest in a principal residence within the three years prior to loan closing:
AikenGreenvilleLexingtonRichland
AndersonGreenwoodOconeeSpartanburg
CharlestonLancasterPickensYork
Borrowers purchasing properties in all other targeted counties cannot have an ownership interest in a principal residence or mobile home at the time of loan closing, but may have had an ownership interest in a principal residence within the past three years. This applies to all adult household occupants.

The First-Time Homebuyer requirement in non-targeted counties will be waived for the following:

  • Single Parents - Must be an unmarried, head of household, custodial parent (or legal guardian) of at least one minor child OR of at least one dependent, regardless of age, who is 100% permanently disabled or handicapped as determined by SSDI/SSI. If the borrower is currently married, a separation agreement or evidence that the couple has lived apart for at least six months prior to loan application must be provided.
  • Veterans – Must have served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces (other than active duty for training) and received a discharge other than dishonorable within the past 25 years.
  • Individuals or Families with Disabilities – Borrower or spouse must be permanently 100% disabled/handicapped as determined by SSDI/SSI OR be the custodial parent or legal guardian of a least one dependent (regardless of age) that is permanently 100% disabled/handicapped as determined by SSDI/SSI.
Income/Home Price Limits Income/Home Price limits are county-specific and are subject to change without notice. Refer to the SC Housing Homebuyer Sales Price and Income Limits for full details. All households must fall within the acceptable USDA income limits set forth for the county in which the property is located.

In addition, USDA applicants also must meet SC Housing Sales Price and Income Limits. These limits are county-specific and are subject to change without notice.
Loan Terms 30 Year
Maximum LTV/CLTV 96.5% / 105% 100% / 105%
Eligible Properties All eligible properties must be:

  • Single-Family (1 unit)
  • Owner-occupied, primary residence
  • Stick Built
  • Townhomes
  • Condominium (Must be on the FHA Approved Condominium List)
  • PUDs (Must comply with HUD Requirements)
  • Off-Frame Modular Housing (Requires SC Housing prior approval)
  • Property must be located in South Carolina
  • Land value cannot exceed 40% of the total appraised value of the subject property
  • Properties containing multiple parcels are not eligible
All property addresses must be verified through the USDA Rural Development – Rural Housing Property Eligibility Website to determine if the property is in an acceptable area.

In addition, the property must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Single-Family (1 unit)
  • Owner-occupied, primary residence
  • Stick Built
  • Property must be located in SC
  • Land value cannot exceed 40% of the total appraised value of the subject property
  • Properties containing multiple parcels are not eligible
Loan Purpose
  • Purchase Money Transactions ONLY
  • Take-Out Loans (Property must be New Construction, not previously occupied and less than one year old. The original construction loan term cannot exceed 24 months).
NOTE: One-time Construction/PERM loans are not eligible.
  • Purchase Money Transactions ONLY
NOTE: One-time Construction/PERM loans are not eligible.
Homebuyer Education Homebuyer Education is required on all loans where one or both borrowers are first-time homebuyers. Home Buyer Education must be completed by a HUD Certified or Approved Counseling Agency and must be completed by at least one borrower on the loan.
Credit Score Requirements Borrower(s) must meet the minimum representative FICO score and the requirements of Desktop Underwriter (DU):

  • Middle FICO Score of 620
  • When the borrower has 3 scores available, use the middle
  • When the borrower has 2 scores available, use the lowest
Any outstanding judgement, tax lien or tax payment plans must be satisfied.
Borrower(s) must meet the minimum representative FICO score and the requirements of Guaranteed Underwriting System (GUS):

  • Middle FICO Score of 640
  • When the borrower has 3 scores available, use the middle
  • When the borrower has 2 scores available, use the lowest
Any outstanding judgement, tax lien or tax payment plans must be satisfied.
Mortgage Insurance All FHA loans must be Direct Endorsement (DE) approved and HUD/FHA insured. All USDA loans must have a Conditional Commitment and a Loan Note Guarantee issued by USDA.
Qualifying Ratios Maximum debt to income (DTI) is 45% with DU approval. Maximum debt to income (DTI) is 45% with GUS approval.
Interested Party Contributions 6% MAX – must meet HUD/FHA guidelines 6% MAX – must meet USDA guidelines
Minimum Borrower Cash Contribution None
Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) Not Eligible
Federal Recapture SC Housing Homebuyer Program loans are subject to Federal Recapture. SC Housing will reimburse any borrower that is required to pay a recapture tax to the IRS.
Down Payment Assistance (DPA) SC Housing offers both repayable and forgivable Down Payment Assistance (DPA) to all qualified borrowers, dependent on income and sales price limits in the county where the property is located. DPA is available for both existing and new construction in the amount of $6,000.00 and may be used towards a borrower’s down payment.