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State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA) Loans

SONYMA offers low-interest mortgage loans and programs to help qualified first-time homebuyers purchase their first home.

Affordable Options for First-Time Homebuyers.

Ready to start an application or get prequalified? Click below to get started.


Features & Benefits

State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA) offers two primary mortgage programs: Achieving the Dream and Low Interest Rate. Both programs are designed to allow first-time homebuyers to maximize the amount they can afford with minimal down payment required towards buying their first home. And with the optional add-on of the Down Payment Assistance Loan (DPAL), the expense of the down payment and closing costs do not have to hold you back from becoming a homeowner.


How to Get Started

Speak with an ESL Originator - You can reach out to an ESL Mortgage Originator (585.336.1502) and get prequalified or submit an application to purchase their first home.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be a first-time homebuyer (unless eligible veteran or home is in a Target Area). Visit the New York State Homes and Community Renewal website and learn more about federally designated Target Areas.
  • Applicants must complete a homebuyer education course and all loans with less than 20% down payment will require Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). 

Eligible Properties

Owner-occupied, 1-4 unit residence or condominiums.

Lending Area

ESL lends to all counties in New York State except for Bronx, Dutchess, Kings, Nassau, New York (Manhattan), Orange, Putnam, Queens, Richmond (Staten Island), Rockland, Suffolk, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester Counties.

Loan Limits

Sales price and appraised value cannot exceed SONYMA limits specific to these programs.  Visit the New York State Homes and
Community Renewal website for more information on Achieving the Dream or Low Interest Rate.


30-year fixed-rate terms. No prepayment penalties.

Rate-Lock Options

The borrower has the option for 120-day interest rate locks for existing housing and 240-day rate locks for properties under construction, rehabilitation, or distressed sales.

Discount Points

No points for either SONYMA program.

Down Payment

Down payment requirement as low as 3%.  Minimum cash contribution from the borrower is only 1% (subsidies and/or grants can make up the remaining 2% down payment).

Mortgage Insurance

Required when Loan to Value (LTV) is > 80%.

Payment Due Date

Payment due date will be determined when the loan is disbursed.

Closing Costs & Fees

SONYMA fees can be paid at closing or financed within the loan.  Fees collected at the time of application may include appraisal, application, credit report and if applicable, rate-lock fee.


All ESL originated SONYMA loans are serviced by a third party selected at the discretion of SONYMA and servicing rights will be sold after closing to investors that are not affiliated with ESL Federal Credit Union.

Payment Options

SONYMA loan payments cannot be made through ESL Online and Mobile Banking, or at ESL branches or the contact center. Payment instructions will be provided upon receiving correspondence from the SONYMA third party servicer following closing.

Optional Add-on Features

  • Down Payment Assistance Loan - This program provides assistance with the down payment part of homeownership.
  • Homes for Veterans - This program offers low-interest loans for home buying to veterans who have served or currently serving in the armed forces.

In addition, SONYMA loan balances are not eligible for the ESL Owners’ Dividend.

Additional Resources