Paramo Seedeater occurs in the northern and central Andes of South America (nominate homochroa), as well as in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, northern Colombia (oreophila) and in the tepuis of southern Venezuela and immediately adjacent Brazil on Cerro La Neblina (duncani). In the Andes, the distribution extends from western Venezuela south through all three cordilleras of Colombia through western Ecuador to northwestern Peru in Piura; and, on east facing slopes, south through eastern Ecuador and Peru to Bolivia in Cochabamba (Paynter 1970, Hilty and Brown 1986, Ridgely and Greenfield 2001a, Hennessey et al. 2003, Hilty 2003, Schulenberg et al. 2007). So far as is known, Paramo Seedeater is resident, although Ridgely and Greenfield (2001a) suggest that it may undertake irruptive or even seasonal movements.
The elevational range of Paramo Seedeater (homochroa) is 2800-3800 m in Colombia (Hilty and Brown 1986), 2600-3500 m in Venezuela (Hilty 2003), 2500-3500 m in Ecuador (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001a), 2350-3500 m in Peru (Schulenberg et al. 2007), and 2500-3300 m in Bolivia (Hennessey et al. 2003). Subspecies oreophila of the Siera Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia, occurs at 2200-3300 m (Hilty and Brown 1986), and duncani of the tepuis occurs at 1600-2800 m (Hilty 2003).