First Time Home Buyers in Hawaii: How to Get a Tax Credit for Your Mortgage

Are you a first time home buyer or someone who has not owned a primary residence in the past three years? You may qualify to receive substantial savings on your mortgage with a Mortgage Credit Certificate!

What is an MCC?

The Tax Reform Act in 1984 was an act authorized by Congress to provide housing assistance to families of moderate and low income by providing a Mortgage Credit Certificate Program (MCC). This program is issued by the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation (HHFDDC). A Mortgage Credit Certificate is a federal income tax credit given to buyers when they file their income tax return. It’s not a tax deduction bur rather, a credit that will go toward your monthly mortgage payments. It converts approximately 20% of the interest paid on the mortgage into a tax credit.


First time home buyers who will be using the home for their primary residence or someone who has not owned a home as their principal residence in the past three years.

Must meet income limits in Honolulu County.

  •      Families with 2 or less must not earn more than $144,600.
  •      Families with 3 or more must not earn more than $ 168,700.

The purchase price of the home must not exceed $648,955.


A one time fee of $425 is charged and added to the buyer’s closing costs.

How Long Does an MCC Last?

The Mortgage Credit Certificate lasts for the life of your mortgage loan. However, you must keep that home as your primary place of residence.

When to Apply for an MCC

Applying for an MCC needs to be done before you buy a home, and it’s a simple process. Your first step is to find a participating lender. You are free to choose any lender, but they must participate in the MCC program and HHFDC. Once your offer is accepted, your lender will then submit the MCC application for you.

More Information

Need more information on an MCC or help finding a home in Hawaii? Please feel free to contact me. I’m happy to help! I can also share a list of participating mortgage loan experts with you who can see if you qualify for this benefit. Having an MCC can save you thousands of dollars when buying a home and can bring your dream of owning a home in Hawaii one step closer!

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Fawn Bertram

August 10, 2019

Great article Susan!

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