Mortgage Credit Certificate Program

First-time homebuyers may qualify for a statewide program that is making homeownership more affordable for many California families.

The Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) program, provided by the California Housing Finance Agency, potentially allows low to moderate income first-time homebuyers to convert a portion of their annual mortgage interest payment into a dollar-for-dollar tax credit on any liability they owe on their U.S. income tax returns.
Qualified participants can convert 20% of their annual mortgage interest payment as a dollar-for-dollar tax credit against the amount owed on their personal income tax, reducing federal income tax liability.

The program is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Ask your mortgage loan professional to find out if you are eligible to apply.


What is a Mortgage Credit Certificate?

Many first-time homebuyers have never heard about a Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC). Which is unfortunate because an MCC can save a homeowner some serious money over the life of their mortgage loan, starting the very first year.

When an MCC is issued to a homeowner, he/she can file for a tax credit on their federal income taxes equal to a portion of the annual mortgage interest paid. It is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in federal income tax liability.


The MCC rate for the GSFA MCC Programis 20%, so 20% of the annual mortgage interest paid can be taken as a tax credit. (The remaining 80% of mortgage interest paid can still be taken as an itemized tax deduction).

The MCC remains in effect for the life of the mortgage loan, so long as the home remains as principal residence. The amount of the annual mortgage credit is calculated on the basis of 20% of the total interest paid on the mortgage loan in the preceeding year.


Restrictions are:

  • The MCC program applies only to new mortgages.
  • Buyers must fall within certain income limits, determined by county.
    • Buyers must be purchasing a home as a principal resident within the state of California.
    • Owner occupancy must take place within 60 days of closing the mortgage loan.
    • The sales price of the home must be less than the allowable sales price limits in the county of purchase.


Qualifying for a GSFA MCC?

Homebuyers apply for the GSFA MCC through a Participating Lender. The Participating Lender will perform an initial qualification and assist the homebuyer in completing the MCC submission forms. The Lender then submits the MCC application at the same time the loan application is submitted for approval.


5 Qualifications:

  1. The home being purchased must fall within the Program Sales Price Limits; 
  2. The total household income must fall within the Program Income Limits; 
  3. The homebuyer must be a "first-time" homebuyer;
  4. The home must be located in one of the Program's eligible counties. 
    (See Income & Sales Price Limits for a current list of eligible counties).
  5. The homebuyer must intend to live in the home being purchased as their primary residence.

Mortgage Credit Certificate Program is available in the following areas/cities

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