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Raven Peggins, McCalla

While the list of many accolades that Raven Peggins can claim includes honors graduate, Blazers cheerleader, hip-hop dance teacher and nurse, it is move-up homebuyer and two-time Step Up customer that brought AHFA staff to her door in December.

The 26-year-old family nurse practitioner decided to sell her townhouse in Helena and purchase a house in her hometown of McCalla to make the commute to her job at UAB's Kirklin Clinic more convenient.

Peggins used AHFA's Step Up program with her first home purchase in 2016 on the advice of her lender Dolan Williams with First Bank in Birmingham. She was happy to use Step Up again when he recommended it for her new home purchase.

Step Up provides down payment assistance and a competitive 30-year, fixed interest rate for homebuyers who earn less than $97,300 and meet standards for creditworthiness. The down payment funds are secured by a 10-year second mortgage and are combined with a 30-year, fixed-rate first mortgage.

For even greater savings, Step Up can be combined with a Mortgage Credit Certificate - a tax credit that frees up income to qualify for a mortgage.

AHFA's down payment assistance and mortgage tax credits make homeownership affordable across Alabama.