Down payment assistance can come in the form of a 2nd mortgage loan or grant which does not need to be paid back. A loan may be forgivable if you live in the home a certain amount of years.
A down payment assistance loan may be deferred with no payments until you reach the end of the term, refinance, or sell your home. Furthermore, you may pay zero interest on this loan.
Usually, you need a credit score of 620 or higher to qualify for most down payment assistance program. Also, there may be income limits for the city or county you are looking to purchase home in.
There may be special down payment assistance programs for law enforcement officers, teachers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, individuals with disabilities, etc. Check your state or local housing authority to see which programs may be available to you. Also, you can request more information about first time home buyer and down payment assistanc programs your area.
*Consult tax professional on tax consequences.