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First-Time Home Buyers & Down Payment Assistance Programs

Many state, county, and local government programs offer financing for qualifying low-to-moderate income families wishing to purchase their first home. Loan assistance programs like Mortgage Credit Certificaate (MCC) offer a partial tax credit for interest on the loan.

These programs typically offer:

  • More relaxed qualifying guidelines
  • Lower upfront fees
  • Lower interest rate
  • Fixed rate


MCC Program

The Mortgage Credit Certificate Program entitles qualified home buyers to reduce the amount of their federal income tax liability by an amount equal to a portion of the interest paid during the year on a home mortgage. This tax credit allows the buyer to qualify more easily for a loan by increasing the effective income of the buyer.

Three basic qualifications for the MCC Program are:
  • The borrower must be a first-time home buyer.
  • The borrowers annual income must fall within the program income limits
  • The home being purchased must fall within the program purchase limits. if the home is located in a target area, then the first-time buyer limitation does not apply and the income and cost limits are higher.

CHF Platinum
CHF Platinum is a 3% home buyer grant that can be used to cover down payment or closing costs. This program is currently funded with no limit to availablity of the down payment or closing cost assistance. The CHF Platinum allow the borrower to put as little as 1/2% down.

The top things you need to know about the CHF Platinum Grant:
  • The first mortgage can be FHA. Lenders are not allowed to determine the interest rate for this program.
  • Home buyer must meet income requirements
  • Minimum FICO required is a 620
  • Available to all homebuyers purchasing a primary residence


Low fixed interest rate, low down payment, & up to 96.5% financing for first-time home buyers. 

This CalHFA FHA loan program is designed to enhance affordability and homeownership opportunities by offering a low,, fixed interest rate that will not change during the entire loan term. This prgram is intended for first-time home buyers who meet specific income and sales price requirements and who are purchasing a new or existing home anywhere in California.

The CalHFA offers financing up to 96.5% of the purchase price or appraised value whichever is less. To make owning your first home more affordable, down payment and closing cost assistance may be obtained when combining this CalHFA first mortgage with CalHFA junior loan programs.