GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Mercantile Bank continues to assist first time home buyers by committing $250,000 to its Extra Credit Home Buyer Assistance Program.

Scott Setlock/Courtesy, Mercantile Bank

Mercantile said in 2021, the program was fully utilized, helping over 90 families and individuals purchase their first homes. The program offers $2,500 in funds for closing costs as well as homeowner’s insurance and taxes if certain requirements are met. Participants also attend home buying classes to help answer their questions and help empower them in the homebuying process.

Staci Nichols/Courtesy, Mercantile Bank

In addition to the Extra Credit Program, Mercantile has created the Community Champion Program, with the goal of serving those who serve the community. The Community Champion Program waives the requirement of mortgage insurance for borrowers that have a minimum 10% down payment and who work in an industry that serves the public. Employees of schools, hospitals, first responders, police and fire departments, local, city, state or federal government, and members of Armed Forces are eligible for the program.

“Buying a home is a milestone that should be attainable for more people in our communities,” said Scott Setlock, Mercantile executive vice president. “Costs associated with obtaining a mortgage, such as closing costs and mortgage insurance, are often the reason people decide not to purchase a home. It is important to us that we assist in helping to reduce barriers to homeownership and it’s our hope that these programs can assist in creating a path to homeownership.”

Staci Nichols, mortgage lender at Mercantile, will help promote the programs. She said, “purchasing a home can help people reach their financial goals and leveraging the programs that we have available can be a great step in that direction.”