CalHFA Loan

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What Is a CalHFA Loan?

A CalHFA loan is one approved using standards issued by the California Housing Finance Agency developed to assist lower to middle income home buyers buy and finance a home in which to live. CalHFA programs provide both first and second lien mortgage assistance to help with a down payment and closing costs.

Who Qualifies for a CalHFA Loan?

As with other government-backed loan programs, the California Housing Finance Agency does not accept applications directly from borrowers. CalHFA approved lenders are responsible for originating, approving and funding CalHFA loans. General borrower requirements include:

 Borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien

 Borrowers must meet specific income limits. Income limits are a combination of household members and the county in which the subject property is located

 There is a statewide sales price limit of $660,000

 Borrowers must occupy the property during the full term of ownership unless the home is sold or the existing CalHFA loan is refinanced

 Borrowers must complete an approve homebuyer education course either at an approved counseling center or online

 Borrowers must be first time buyers when using the MyHome Down Payment Assistance program and in conjunction with a CalHFA first mortgage loan

 Can be used in conjunction with a conventional, VA or FHA loan

Key Benefits of a CalHFA Loan

Easier qualifying for lower to middle income buyers

For loans requiring a down payment, CalHFA loans accept down payment assistance in the form of a grant or a CalHFA junior loan

Money available for closing costs

Lower than market rates

What is the Process?

The first step is to speak with one of our loan officers who can help qualify you and provide various options available through the CalHFA range of programs. Your CalHFA approved loan officer will make sure your household income qualifies you for the program. Once prequalified and your next step is to take a homebuyer education course if you’re a first time buyer. You can take the class at various approved counseling centers or take the class online. The fee for this class is $99.

Next, determine your needs and wants. You can do this with your loan officer or real estate agent. How many bedrooms do you need, how many baths, do you need something closer to work? Quality of public schools? Make your list of what you need and start from there. Your real estate agent can help identify areas and properties that fit your requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the minimum credit score for a CalHFA loan?
  • There is no minimum set by CalHFA for all programs though generally the minimum FICO requirements range from 640 to 680. Individual lenders may also have internal FICO minimums of their own.

  • What programs does CalHFA offer?
  • CalHFA loans include various first mortgage loan programs and down payment assistance programs.

  • How much can I borrow with a CalHFA loan?
  • There are no set loan limits but there are household income limits that determine how much you’re qualified to borrow based upon income and prevailing mortgage rates.

  • What are the income limits?
  • Income limits can vary based upon where the property is located. Limits are set county by county.

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