The California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) offers a variety of loan programs for consumers looking for home financing options with low down payments. These programs can help borrowers purchase a home in California, even if they have limited savings.

CalHFA Loan Programs

CalHFA offers the following loan programs:

  • CalPLUS FHA loan: This is a government-backed loan that allows borrowers to put down as little as 3.5% of the purchase price. This loan is insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which means that the lender is protected against losses if the borrower defaults on the loan. CalPLUS FHA loans are available to borrowers with credit scores as low as 580.
  • CalPLUS Conventional loan: This is a conventional loan that allows borrowers to put down as little as 3% of the purchase price. This loan is not insured by the government, so lenders have more risk. However, CalPLUS Conventional loans offer lower interest rates and closing costs than conventional loans. CalPLUS Conventional loans are available to borrowers with credit scores as low as 620.
  • CalHFA VA: This program is a fully amortized 30-year VA loan that can be combined with the MyHome assistance program. VA loans are meant for veterans and service members.
  • CalHFA USDA: A USDA loan with a CalHFA fixed rate. This is a fully amortized 30-year loan that can be combined with the MyHome assistance program. USDA loans are meant for homes in rural areas.
  • MyHome Assistance ProgramThis program offers a deferred-payment junior loan of up to 3% of the purchase price or appraised value to assist with down payment and/or closing costs.
  • California Dream For All: This program offers down payment assistance to first-time homebuyers with low to moderate incomes.

How to Qualify for a CalHFA Loan

To qualify for a CalHFA loan, borrowers must meet certain income and credit requirements. They must also have a down payment of at least 3% or 3.5%, depending on the type of loan. Borrowers may also be required to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI).

What Types of Properties Can I Buy with a CalHFA Loan?

CalHFA loans can be used to buy a single-family home, a condominium, or a townhouse. The property must be located in California.

What are the Credit and Income Requirements for a CalHFA Loan?

The credit and income requirements for a CalHFA loan vary depending on the borrower's individual circumstances. However, borrowers must generally have a credit score of at least 580 or 620, respectively, for the CalPLUS FHA and CalPLUS Conventional loans, and a debt-to-income ratio of no more than 50%.

What Other Pertinent Information Do I Need to Know About the CalHFA Loan Program?

  • CalHFA loans are subject to change, so borrowers should contact a lender for the most up-to-date information.
  • Borrowers may be required to pay closing costs, which can add up to several thousand dollars.
  • CalHFA loans may not be the right choice for all borrowers. Borrowers should compare CalHFA loans with other mortgage options available to them before making a decision.

CalPLUS Loan vs. Conventional Loan

The main difference between a CalPLUS loan and a conventional loan is that a CalPLUS loan requires a lower down payment. This can make it easier for borrowers with limited savings to purchase a home. However, CalPLUS loans also have higher closing costs than conventional loans.

Here are some additional tips for borrowers who are considering an CalHFA loan:

  • Get pre-approved for a loan before you start shopping for a home. This will give you an idea of how much you can afford and will make the home buying process go more smoothly.
  • Compare rates and terms from a mortgage broker that works with multiple wholesale lenders. CalHFA loans can vary in terms of cost, so it is important for your Mortgage Loan Originator to have the ability to shop around to get the best deal.
  • Make sure the home you are buying meets CALFHA property requirements. Homes must be in good condition and meet CalHFA standards.

If you are considering a CalPLUS loan, be sure to work with a qualified mortgage broker like Tried & True Home Loans who can help you understand your options and find the right CalHFA loan product for your needs. APPLY ONLINE

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