Everyone’s path to homeownership looks different, but most people will encounter a few roadblocks along the way. That’s certainly more likely these days, as higher interest rates and low housing inventory are placing additional obstacles on the path to buying a home.
Fortunately, Chenoa Fund, CBC Mortgage Agency’s down payment assistance program (DPA), is helping lenders overcome many of these barriers. Below are just a few examples.
The Down Payment Roadblock
Among the seemingly endless number of challenges facing homebuyers, one of the biggest is the down payment. With recent inflation driving up the costs of goods and services as well as consumer debt, it has been even more difficult for potential homebuyers to save up down payment funds.
According to the most recent Consumer Price Index (CPI) report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nation’s inflation rate rose 6.4% between January 2022 and January 2023. Meanwhile, the New York Federal Reserve reported that U.S. consumer debt reached a record $16.9 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2022, as more Americans are using credit cards and loans to deal with rising prices.
Thankfully, down payment assistance through CBC Mortgage Agency’s Chenoa Fund program enables qualified applicants to access funds for up to 5% of their home price with FHA loans. More than 40,000 borrowers have taken advantage of the Chenoa Fund down payment assistance program to overcome their down payment roadblocks, including over 20,000 people of color.
Utilizing DPA can help applicants qualify for a mortgage, too. While applicants can’t use DPA for anything except the down payment or closing costs, DPA funds can keep applicants from draining their savings. This means they can use their savings to pay off credit cards and other debt and thus lower their DTI ratios, which makes it easier to qualify.
The Awareness Roadblock
The Chenoa Fund down payment assistance program may also be able to help lenders avoid losing mortgage opportunities when applicants cannot afford a down payment. In fact, as many as one-third of all denied mortgages are loans in which an applicant was eligible for homebuyer assistance.
That’s according to a recent Down Payment Resource (DPR) study, which found that 33% of declined mortgage files involved borrowers who could have qualified had they used a DPA program. Most of the declined files met the requirements for at least 10 different DPA programs, the study found.
Many applicants are also unaware that there are forgivable down payment assistance options as well. For instance, CBC Mortgage Agency’s Chenoa Fund DPA has forgivable loan options for FHA mortgages at 0% interest. After the borrower makes 36 consecutive on-time payments (3.5% option) or 120 consecutive on-time payments (5% option) on their mortgage, they no longer have to pay back the second loan. (This forgiveness period resets if the borrower makes a late payment, but the borrower has the full 30-year term to meet the forgiveness conditions.)
The Availability Roadblock
Yet another way CBC Mortgage Agency’s Chenoa Fund DPA may be able to help applicants overcome the barriers to buying a home is its accessibility. DPA through CBC Mortgage Agency is available in every U.S. state except for New York.
The Chenoa Fund DPA has many advantages over DPA programs offered by state housing finance authorities or municipal bond programs. For example, the Chenoa Fund DPA has uniform guidelines in every state (except New York where it is not available), which makes them easy for lenders to administer. There are no income limits, either, unlike most state programs.
Plus, CBC Mortgage Agency’s Chenoa Fund DPA gives lenders the flexibility to set their own prices. And correspondent lenders that qualify are given delegated underwriting authority, which makes it even easier for lenders to help borrowers into a home.Want to learn more about how the Chenoa Fund DPA and CBC Mortgage Agency can help your clients overcome their roadblocks to homeownership? Visit our website to learn more and see how you can overcome homeownership roadblocks with down payment assistance.
CBC Mortgage Agency – NMLS 1186381
For licensing information, go to www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org.
Illinois Residential Mortgage License #MB.6761292. Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Division of Banking, 100 West Randolph, 9th Floor, Chicago, IL 60601 – 1-888-473-4858. This information is provided by CBC Mortgage Agency and intended for real estate and mortgage professionals only. It is not intended for public use or distribution. Terms and conditions of programs and guidelines are subject to change at any time without notice. This is not a commitment to lend. Equal housing opportunity.« The Case of the Disappearing Down Payment—And How to Solve It