Steering is when you receive a specific benefit only if you do business with a specific person. For example; if a builder or real estate agent offer you a credit towards your closing costs if you use their specific lender. They are steering you towards that specific person or company. Any offer that you receive needs to legally be available no matter whom you work with.
It is a loan officer’s job to find the best programs that you qualify for. If your loan officer is directing you towards one specific program, you need to ask why they are not looking at other options.
In terms of first time homebuyer programs, there really are not a lot of options available. There are a few, but most lenders advertise first time homebuyer programs to try to attract the buyer’s market. These programs have strict guidelines. If they offer downpayment assistance, many times, these need to be paid back. You may not qualify which is why your loan officer is directing you to that specific program.