Section 184 loan eligibility

Section 184 Loan Eligibility & How To Qualify

The Section 184 Loan is a powerful tool for Native American homebuyers.

It requires just 2.25% down and is more affordable monthly than FHA. You can also use it to buy on Tribal trust land.

Here’s what it takes to be eligible.

Skip to the Section 184 Loan Qualification Infographic.

Section 184 Loan eligibility

To be eligible for the program, first and foremost, you have to be an enrolled member in a federally-recognized American Indian Tribe or Alaska Native Village. Have your valid and current Tribal ID ready to show your lender.

Additionally, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Your Tribe must be approved for the program by HUD
  2. You are financing a primary residence
  3. The home is in within an approved state or county
  4. You are able to obtain a lease from the Tribe if buying on Tribal trust land

Next step: See if you qualify for the loan

If it appears that you are eligible, the next step is to see if you qualify for the loan. Here are general standards:

  1. Have enough assets or down payment assistance to cover the 2.25% down payment plus closing costs
  2. Have decent credit with no current unpaid collections or judgments within the last 12 months
  3. Earn enough income to support the payment
  4. Financing a 1-4 unit home or 1-unit manufactured home
  5. You are buying, refinancing, renovating, or building a home or placing a manufactured home on a permanent foundation

Get a pre-approval and start looking for a home

If you think you meet eligibility and qualification criteria, or even if you’re not sure, the next step is to get pre-approved for the loan.

Contact a Section 184 lender that can review your situation and, if approved, issue a pre-approval.

A pre-approval is required to make an offer on a home. The seller needs to know you can go through with the purchase. And, a real estate agent typically won’t even show you a home without a pre-approval in-hand.

That’s why it’s wise to contact a lender early so you’re ready when you find the right home.

Section 184 Loan Eligibility: The key to homeownership

Surprisingly, not many Native American homebuyers have heard of Section 184. It’s a much better program than FHA and should be the first loan you consider if you’re eligible.

Sure, compare it to other loan types, but it’s usually the best for eligible buyers.

Contact a lender and see if you can buy a home. You might be surprised.


  • Tim Lucas

    Tim Lucas spent 11 years in the mortgage industry helping everyone from first-time buyers to experienced investors. He purchased his first home at 26 with just $1,100 out-of-pocket and now owns real estate worth $2.4 million. Tim was the managing editor at national websites and and has been featured in publications such as Time, U.S. News, MSN, and more. Connect with Tim on LinkedIn, Twitter, and TikTok.