What is a CalHFA Assistance Loan?
For more than 40 years, the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) has supported the needs of renters and homebuyers by providing financing and programs so lower to moderate income Californians have a place to call home. Established in 1975, CalHFA was chartered as the state's affordable housing lender. The Agency's Multifamily Division finances affordable rental housing through partnerships with jurisdictions, developers and more, while its Single-Family Division provides first mortgage loans and down payment assistance to first-time homebuyers. CalHFA is a completely self-supporting state agency, and its bonds are repaid by revenues generated through mortgage loans, not taxpayer dollars. Scott Buehler is a CalHFA lender.
CalHFA Loan Mission Statement: "To create and finance progressive housing solutions so more Californians have a place to call home."
CalHFA has several mortgage options to choose from that include down payment assistance in the form of second mortgages on:
- Conventional loans
- FHA insured loans
Did you know? CalHFA down payment assistance is compatible with a 2-1 temporary buydown product to help make the beginning of your mortgage more affordable? Learn more at the 2-1 Temporary Buydown lender page and combat this period of higher interest rates using seller-paid closing costs.
CalHFA Loan Solution Features
- Conventional, FHA, VA or USDA California Down Payment Assistance Available.
- For Low to Moderate-Income Borrowers.
- FHA/VA/USDA minimum credit score of 640.
- FHA manufactured housing minimum credit score of 660.
- Conventional minimum credit score 660 or 680 depending on your income and county median income limits.
- Debt-to-income not to exceed 45% or 50% with credit scores above 700.
- Loan limits based on California Conforming loan limits or California FHA loan limits. See links to see your county loan limit.
- Homebuyer education course may be required.
- CalPLUS program allows down payment assistance with ZIP.
- ZIP (Zero Interest Program) allows an additional 2% or 3% of the loan amount towards closing costs.
- Higher up-front closing costs vs down payment.
- DPA requires first-time homebuyer classification.
- Available to all California borrowers who qualify.
More Details About CalHFA Loans
The CalHFA (California Housing Finance Agency) Single Family Division provides low interest home financing as well as down payment assistance and closing cost assistance for homebuyers in California.
With multiple program options, CalHFA Loans are a great choice for low to moderate income borrowers looking to purchase a single-family home.
CalHFA Loan Options Explained
A CalHFA loan offers both Conventional and FHA options with or without down payment assistance and with or without closing cost assistance to provide maximum flexibility to you, the homebuyer.
CalHFA MyHome 2nd: A Down Payment Assistance (DPA) program. This program is available for Conventional and FHA. It offers a 2nd mortgage that covers an amount up to the lesser of 3.5% (FHA) or 3% (Conventional) of the purchase price or appraised value to assist with your down payment.
CalHFA Conventional or CalHFA FHA: Only allows for MyHome 2nd down payment assistance but has a slightly lower interest rate over CalPLUS. The borrower will need to bring closing costs to close a home loan.
CalPLUS Conventional or CalPLUS FHA: Enables the option for closing cost assistance as well as the optional MyHome DPA program. The interest rate is slightly higher over the standard CalHFA program.
CalHFA Zero Interest Program (ZIP): A subordinate loan that helps cover closing costs. It allows you to borrow 2% or 3% of the lesser of the purchase price or appraised value. 2% offers a better Conventional or FHA primary loan interest rate over the 3% option. This option requires the CalPLUS Conventional or CalPLUS FHA loan program. This 2nd or 3rd subordinate loan will have a 0% interest rate.
Possible Home Loan Configurations
CalPLUS Conventional or CalPLUS FHA (1st loan) + MyHome DPA (2nd loan) + ZIP (3rd loan). Most or all of your cash to close is covered. This option has the highest interest rates but provides most or all funds to close.
CalHFA Conventional or CalHFA FHA + MyHome DPA (2nd loan). Closing costs will be due at closing.
CalPLUS Conventional or CalPLUS FHA + ZIP (2nd loan). Most or all closing costs covered. Down payment will be due at closing.
- CalHFA's subordinate loans are "silent seconds", meaning payments on this loan are deferred so you do not have to make a payment on this assistance until your home is sold, refinanced or paid in full. This helps to keep your monthly mortgage payment affordable.
- CalHFA does not originate mortgage loans. This is not an offer to lend money nor a solicitation of a mortgage application by CalHFA.
Ready to Begin Your CalHFA Journey?
With Scott Buehler and his mortgage team as your CalHFA lender of choice, you will gain the knowledge and direct advice needed to buy a home with little to no money down. Please call or text (435) 590-1019 to speak to Scott directly or fill out this quick questionnaire and Scott will call you shortly!
Disclaimer: Loan terms and limits subject to change. This page is meant for educational purposes and is not a commitment to lend. To qualify for a home loan, please speak to Scott Buehler or apply online.