Bank of America offers down payment, closing cost help for prospective home buyers.

Bank of America will provide down payment and closing cost grants for prospective home buyers in Charlotte, the bank announced.

Clients could receive up to $17,500, including up to $10,000 toward a down payment and $7,500 for closing costs.

Nearly 70% of prospective buyers identified saving enough for a down payment and closing costs as the biggest barriers to home ownership, according to a Bank of America consumer insight report.

The Charlotte-based bank offers similar down payment assistance programs in nearly 50 markets around the country. Charlotte was a good fit for the program given the substantial need for more affordable housing options, said John Cross, division executive for the Carolinas.

“I’m excited that we’re creating more affordable lending solutions,” he said. “We think this is going to really address the gap in the community and contribute positively to the city.”

He said the target market is first-time home buyers, and the bank has not set a cap for Charlotte participants. It’s part of a $5 billion, nationwide effort to assist more than 20,000 clients buy homes.

There is no repayment requirement for the down payment grants. Participants are also eligible for up to $1,000 in waived lender origination fees on Freddie Mac, Federal Housing Administration, or U.S. Department of Veterans loans through Oct. 31.

Julie Porter, president of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership, called the Bank of America announcement “terrific.”

The housing partnership administers a similar down payment assistance program funded by Wells Fargo called NeighborhoodLIFT.

“Especially with the prices in Charlotte escalating to the degree they are, that type of assistance is needed probably more than ever,” she said.

Porter said there also have been privately-funded efforts in Charlotte to provide down payment assistance to specific neighborhoods. The housing partnership also recently received $875,000 in federal funds for down payment assistance in Charlotte’s Latino communities.

More information about the Bank of America program can be found at