California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA)
The State of California Housing Finance Agency, CalHFA, supports the needs of renters and home buyers by providing financing and housing programs to low to moderate income Californians.
CalHFA home buyer programs include first mortgages, as well as low to no interest rate silent seconds mortgage programs that will assist low to moderate income home buyer with down payment, closing costs, and even tax credits.
California's home buyer assistance programs are designed to help first time buyers, however, many of these mortgage programs do not require that you be a first time home buyer to qualify for the assistance.
Home buyers are required to use a CalHFA first mortgage when using down payment or closing cost assistance programs.
CalHFA Buyer Assistance Loans
CalHFA offers Conventional and FHA first mortgages. When you qualify for a CalHFA first mortgage, you are automatically eligible the down payment and closing cost assistance that accompanies it.
The exceptions are the Extra Credit Teacher Program (ECTP) and the Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC), which have additional qualifying criteria.
CalHFA Conventional First Mortgage
- CalHFA Conventional Loan Program - 30 year fixed rate first mortgage loan insured with discounted private mortgage insurance using Fannie Mae underwriting guidelines.
- CalPLUS Conventional Loan Program - CalHFA Conventional first mortgage with a slighter higher interest rate than the standard conventional loan. This option is combined with the CalHFA Zero Interest Program (ZIP), which can be used to pay closing costs only.
CalHFA FHA First Mortgage
- CalHFA FHA Loan Program - 30 year fixed rate FHA insured first mortgage loan.
- CalPLUS FHA Loan Program - CalHFA FHA first mortgage with a slighter higher interest rate than the standard conventional loan. This option is combined with the CalHFA Zero Interest Program (ZIP), which can be used to pay closing costs only.
- Cal-EEM + Grant - Energy Efficient Mortgage program. 4% Grant can be used for energy efficient upgrades and may exceed FHA loan limits.
CalHFA Down Payment Assistance Programs
- MyHome Assistance Program - Deferred payment, silent second loan up to the lesser of three and a half percent (3.5%) of the purchase price or appraised value. MyHome Assistance can be used for down payment or closing cost assistance, and can be used with any CalHFA first mortgage program, including CalPLUS with ZIP. Must be first time home buyer.
- Extra Credit Teacher Home Purchase Program - Available to teachers, administrators, school district employees and staff members working for any California K-12 public school, which includes Charter schools and county/continuation schools. Offers between $7,500 to $15,000 in down payment assistance for first time home buyers.
What is a First Time Home Buyer?
CalHFA uses the definition of a first time home buyer as any buyer that has not had an ownership interest in a primary residence in the past three (3) years.
More Assistance Options
If funds are no longer available, or you are unable to meet the qualifications for this assistance program, there are other options that may be available to you.
California home buyers should also explore Mortgage Credit Certificates, CRA Programs, Lender/Agent Credits or other creative down payment and closing cost assistance options.