What is CalHFA? 

The California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) s a completely self-supporting state agency that provides programs making it possible for low to moderate income Californians to afford a mortgage. Its Single Family Division provides first mortgage loans and down payment assistance to first-time homebuyers. 

Zero Down Payment Assistance Programs for Home Loan

For many first-time homebuyers, the down payment on your home loan can be one of the largest hurdles. That’s why CalHFA offers several options for down payment and closing cost assistance, often called a second or subordinate loan. The payments on a subordinate 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 —keeping your monthly mortgage payment affordable.

Griffin Funding is an approved broker of CalHFA and can offer the program to any of our borrowers. Check out the different types of zero down payment mortgage programs we can help you secure.  

MyHome Assistance Program 

  • Offers a deferred-payment junior loan of an amount up to the lesser of three and half percent (3.5%) of the purchase price or appraised value to assist with down payment and/or closing costs. (Perfect for when you are using an FHA loan as your first mortgage.)

School Teacher and Employee Assistance Program (School Program)

  • This program is for teachers, administrators, school district employees and staff members working for any California K-12 public school, which includes Charter schools and county/continuation schools. Applicants must also be first-time homebuyers. School Program junior loans are up to 4% of the purchase price, and can only be combined with an eligible CalHFA first mortgage loan. School Program subordinate loans can only be used for down payment assistance and/or closing costs.

Closing Cost Assistance Program

  • CalHFA ZIP is a deferred payment, zero interest mortgage that is only available when used with the CalPLUS first mortgage program with down payment assistance to cover borrower closing costs. For example, in this scenario you could have a first mortgage to 97% of the value of the property, a CalPLUS silent second for 3% for the down payment to 100% of the value of the property and then an additional 3% for closing costs for a total of 103% of the value of the property
    • ZIP Program Highlights
      • ZIP Assistance is 3% or 4% of the total first mortgage loan
      • Loan Term Matches CalPLUS loan term
      • Zero Interest for life of loan
      • Deferred payments for term of loan
    • CalPLUS Loan Terms
      • 30 Year Term
      • Follows qualifying guidelines of CalPLUS Conventional or FHA loan programs
      • Has exclusive access to ZIP – Zero Interest Program
      • Can be combined with ECTP – Extra Credit Teacher Program
      • Can be combined with MCC and/or EEM
      • Can be combined with MyHome Assistance Program
      • CalPLUS loans are not subject to a recapture tax

Why choose a CalHFA Program for Your Mortgage?

  • Down payment and closing cost assistance available for low- to moderate-income borrowers
  • Some condos, manufactured homes and properties with guest houses or in-law quarters allowed
  • Become a California homeowner with no down payment.

Are you eligible to buy a home for zero down payment? Here is a checklist to help see if you qualify:

  • The property must be located in California and be the borrower’s primary residence until it’s sold or refinanced
  • In most cases, borrowers must be first-time home buyers and U.S. citizens, permanent residents or qualified aliens
  • Must have a minimum credit score of 640, in most cases
  • Must meet all income and sales price requirements* of the lender and mortgage insurer
  • Must take an approved homebuyer education course and obtain a certificate of completion
  • Leaseholds/land trusts and co-ops not permitted
  • The property must be 5 acres or smaller in size
  • There may be additional program-specific requirements

*As of 06/17/2019 the CalFHA Income Limit is $170,800 in San Diego County. The $170,800 limit is the maximum income that the borrower(s) can earn in annual income. If a married couple earns more than the income limit and one earns under the limit and can qualify on their own then the borrower may be eligible for the program. As of 01/01/2019 the maximum purchase price limit is $765,000 statewide but can vary by loan program and by county. For example, the FHA loan limit and the high balance conventional loan limit would be $690,000 in San Diego.