Applications are now being accepted by the Saskatchewan government for their new program, the First Home Plan. The program allows eligible post-secondary graduates to borrow up to $10,000 of their unused Graduate Retention Program (GRP) tax credits in order to use it for the down payment on their first home.
“So what it does, it helps our graduates who have tax credits that they haven’t used yet. It gives them money in advance – they do have to pay back,” said Donna Harpauer, Minister for Social Services. “This is an interest-free loan that they can put down as a down payment on their mortgage.”
This new initiative will help recent graduates who have the income to qualify a mortgage but are having difficulties saving for a down payment. The program will also help employers to recruit graduates both in and out of province.
Currently under the GRP, recent graduates are eligible for rebates up to $20,000 of tuition fees if they live in Saskatchewan for 7 years after graduating. Under the First Home Plan graduates will be able to borrow up to $10,000 of their tax credits as an interest free loan to be used towards a down payment on their first home.
Borrowers are required to replay the loan using their GRP tax credits they receive annually as part of their income tax filing. Payments are made to the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation (SHC). Borrowers are required to sign a promissory note and abide by the conditions of the loan.
First time buyers and those who have not owned a home for the last 5 years may be eligible for the First Home Plan. Those who took possession of their home on or after May 1st, 2016 are eligible for the program.
So far the government has already received approximately 170 applications, approved 116 applications and issued 11 checks for the the First Home Plan.