Section 184 Loan Reviews from Native American homebuyers

Section 184 Loan Reviews 2023: Do Homebuyers Like This Loan?

The Section 184 Loan is a program specially designated for Native American homebuyers.

With just 2.25% down payment, no monthly mortgage insurance, and no credit score minimum, it’s surprising that more of the 5 million Native Americans in the U.S. haven’t heard of it.

According to Section 184 Loan reviews from people who have used it, it’s a fantastic program. Here’s what they have to say.

Reddit Section 184 Loan reviews

Reddit is a fantastic place to find unfiltered opinions on all sorts of subjects, and comments about the Section 184 Loan are not hard to find.

“Small out of pocket expense, low monthly payment”

Reddit user kopf-jaeger said they purchased a $115,000 house with only $3,000 out of pocket. Their payment was just $800 per month which included additional costs like taxes and insurance. The process was difficult, they said, but “wasn’t that bad” considering the value of what they received. In fact, they said it was easier than a conventional loan.

He went on to say that your credit score isn’t as important as payment history, like utility bills and other debt payments. Lenders will check these items to make sure you can handle the payment. 

Note that your out-of-pocket expenses and monthly payment will vary, but this Reddit user’s testimony is evidence of just how affordable this loan can be.

“I have purchased 2 homes with Section 184”

User Taktiks2575 reported that they are on their second home purchase using Section 184. Their Tribe had a program to help with the down payment. They would recommend the program, since it saves money versus other loan types.

“Get your paperwork together”

User tk_lala has coordinated sales for buyers using Section 184. The end result was fantastic, this Reddit user says. However, the buyer must get all their documents in order and have them ready at a moment’s notice. “Tribal records, government paperwork, birth certificates, tribe membership” are examples of necessary items. 

Section 184 Loan reviews from Bigger Pockets

BiggerPockets is one of the biggest forums for real estate investors, but new buyers also ask questions quite frequently as well. 

“Same as applying for FHA”

A user posted that with Section 184, the process is very similar to buying a home with FHA or a conventional loan, except there was more paperwork to sign at the end. But when it came to the Section 184 Loan vs FHA, the down payment was lower. “Just 2.25% down and very good interest rate that’s market based and not score dependent.” Additionally, this user pointed out a nice feature of Section 184: you can buy a home of up to 4 units, live in one, and rent out the rest.

“Wrap rehab costs into the loan”

A Bigger Pockets user spoke with a lender, who said you can rehab and purchase a home with one loan. This is in fact true. You can also buy land and build a home on it with one loan.

Section 184 loan FAQ

Here are some questions homebuyers often have about the Section 184 program.

How long does it take to close a Section 184 Loan?

It can take a few days to a few weeks to get the initial Section 184 loan pre-approval. When you find a home to buy, the rest of the process could take 30-45 days. A lot depends on whether the home is on leased land. The process is shorter, in general, if the home is off of reservation land.

Are Section 184 loans better than FHA?

Section 184 loans are less expensive upfront and on a monthly basis compared to FHA, thanks to less expensive down payment and no mortgage insurance. Section 184 loan reviews by homebuyers who have used it point out that the process is more complex, but users are generally happy with their loan when it’s complete.

How do I qualify for a Section 184 Loan?

To meet eligibility requirements, make sure you are an enrolled member of a federally-recognized Tribe that is approved for Section 184 loans. Then, speak to a Section 184 HUD-approved lender. You will need decent credit history, adequate income to make the payment, and enough funds or assistance to cover the down payment and closing costs.

A great homeownership opportunity for Native Americans

Reviewers overwhelmingly approve of the Section 184 loan. Yes, it can be more complex than a conventional loan, but well worth the extra work.

Contact an approved lender and accomplish your homeownership goals using this powerful but little-known program.


  • Tim Lucas

    Tim Lucas (NMLS 118763) has 20 years of hands-on mortgage industry experience 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. He is a licensed loan originator (NMLS 118763). Connect with Tim on LinkedIn, Twitter, and TikTok.

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