Califonia’s Golden State Finance Authority (GSFA) created the Platinum Program, which provides low-to-moderate income California homebuyers with down payment and/or closing cost assistance to help them achieve their goals of purchasing a home.

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GSFA Platinum Program

Financial Assistance for Homebuyers in California

Califonia’s Golden State Finance Authority (GSFA) created the Platinum Program, which provides low-to-moderate income California homebuyers with down payment and/or closing cost assistance to help them achieve their goals of purchasing a home.

Available Assistance
GSFA’s Platinum Program provides applicants with down payment and/or closing cost assistance in the form of a non-repayable grant up to 5 percent of the total loan amount. This is a gift in the true sense, which means it is not a second mortgage, does not create a lien against the property, and there are no terms for repayment.

The purpose of this program is to make funds available to eligible applicants who are interested in purchasing a home but need financial help to pay the upfront costs, which include the down payment, as well as the closing costs and prepaid items required to obtain homeownership. These expenses can add up to a substantial amount, and the inability to pay it might keep people stuck in a renters trap.

Eligibility Requirements
The GSFA Platinum Program has certain requirements that all applicants must meet to be considered eligible for assistance. Any home being purchased under the program must serve as the applicant’s primary residence; the program is designed to help individuals purchase homes, not investment properties. Additionally, all applicants must fall under the Program’s Income Limits, have a credit score of at least 640, and a maximum debt-to-income ratio of 50 percent. Unlike most down payment assistance programs, there is no requirement for applicants to be first-time homebuyers.

Property Guidelines
The program is meant to be flexible; it can be used to buy both new and existing homes, as long as it is the applicant’s primary residence.

*Seller-funded down payment programs were eliminated in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, but States and Local government agencies are still permitted to help borrowers finance their homes with second mortgages and grants. These agencies set different requirements that a borrower needs to meet in order to qualify for the grant programs, such as property location, and purchase price and income limits.

Down Payment Grants in California

The City of Brentwood offers first-time homebuyers the Down Payment Assistance Program (DAP), which provides funds that go toward the down payment and/or closing costs. Assistance comes in the form of a deferred payment loan program for first-time homebuyers.

The CalHome Program provides applicants up to 17 percent of the total property price for down payment assistance, and 4 percent (up to $10,000) in closing costs assistance. These funds come in the form of a loan with 3 percent simple interest per year, accrued annually.

The California Homebuyer’s Downpayment Assistance Program is a deferred-payment junior loan that grants applicants up to 3% of the purchase price or appraised value of the property, which can be put towards the down payment and/or closing costs. 

The City of Downey has partnered with the local housing non-profit organization Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) to provide down payment assistance in the form of a $60,000 loan, via the Downey First-time Homebuyer’s Program.

​The First Time Homebuyer Loan Program that was established by the City of Emeryville  provides down payment assistance to households at or below moderate income. This initiative gets individuals out of the renter’s trap by helping them to pay the heavy, upfront costs of purchasing a home.

The Extra Credit Teacher Home Purchase Program (ECTP) grants eligible applicants a deferred junior loan ranging between $7,500 and $15,000, which can only be combined with an eligible first mortgage loan from the California Housing Finance Agency.

Under the First Home Mortgage Program, applicants can receive up to 4 percent of the total first mortgage amount to be put toward paying the down payment and closing cost assistance. This assistance comes in the form of a grant, which has no repayment terms.

Califonia’s Golden State Finance Authority (GSFA) created the Platinum Program, which provides low-to-moderate income California homebuyers with down payment and/or closing cost assistance to help them achieve their goals of purchasing a home.

The FTHB Program provides down payment assistance in the form of a loan, the maximum amount of which may not exceed the lesser of the maximum HOME subsidy limit, 20 percent of the purchase price, or the amount needed as determined by underwriting criteria. The maximum loan amount will never exceed the amount of the primary loan.

The MyHome Assistance Program offers applicants a deferred-payment junior loan up to 3% of the purchase price/appraised value of the mortgaged property in order to help make the down payment or pay the closing costs.

CalHome Grant in order to help individuals achieve their dreams of homeownership. This program funds the Riverside Down Payment Assistance Program, which provides first-time homebuyers up to $50,000 to help pay the hefty, upfront costs on their new homes.

Santa Ana’s Downpayment Assistance Loan Program provides eligible applicants up to $40,000 to be put toward the down payment on their new home. These funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis, in the form of a zero-interest loan.

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