What is the GSFA?
The Golden State Finance Authority (GSFA) was formerly known as the California Rural Home Mortgage Finance Authority (CRHMFA). The GSFA is a California housing finance agency and public entity. They provide home buyer assistance programs.
Who is Eligible for the Platinum Down Payment Assistance Grant Program?
Income limits vary by County. In San Diego County, for example, the income limit for FHA and VA borrowers is $91,195. The income limit for conventional borrowers is $117,600.
You can check income limits for all California counties on the GSFA Income Limit.
Credit Score and DTI Ratio
All borrowers must have a FICO score of at least 640 to participate. The maximum Debt-to-Income ratio is 45%.
GSFA Down Payment Assistance is available for owner-occupiedhomes. You cannot use the program for vacation homes, second homes, or investment rentals. However, you are not required to remain in the home for any period of time after purchase and initial residency.
The maximum loan eligible for the GSFA Platinum Down Payment Assistance program is $417,000.
Types of Homes Eligible
GSFA Platinum Down Payment Assistance can be used to purchase both existing homes and new construction in California. One to four unit properties are allowed, depending on the first mortgage. Manufactured and mobile homes may be permitted, depending on the mortgage loan type and program guidelines.
UPDATE: From July 1 – December 31, 2017, in addition to the down payment assistance grant, low income borrowers may be eligible for a GSFA Affordable Subsidy, an additional incentive to help them with down payment and/or closing costs. Like the grant, this Subsidy never needs repayment.
Are you a low- to median-income home buyer? You may be eligible for a non-repayable grant from the GSFA Platinum Down Payment Assistance Program.
The GSFA Platinum Down Payment Assistance grant program provides money to help home buyers pay for their down payment and closing costs. The grant is up to 5% of the loan amount. The loan can be FHA, VA, or conventional.
The program can also be used to refinance your home, if you are taking out a Freddie Mac conventional loan.
More Down Payment Assistance
Low- to median-income borrowers may qualify for down payment assistance. Some programs can be layered on top of each other, to maximize your benefit.
Use the California Association of REALTORS Down Payment Resource Tool to check all available programs. Here are links to my articles about some popular down payment programs:
- Fannie Mae HomePath Ready Buyer Program: grants up to 3% for Fannie Mae owned homes
- CalHFA Down Payment Assistance: deferred loans for first-time home buyers (haven’t owned a home in 3 years)
- San Diego Housing Commission: deferred loans and grants
Terms of Program
The grant amount is based on the loan amount and interest rate. For FHA borrowers, your FICO score also determines what you can receive.
For example, FHA borrowers with FICO scores between 640-659 will be offered different options from those with FICO scores above 660.
VA and conventional loan borrowers do not have varying rates based on FICO scores.
The lender usually charges an origination fee. They can charge up to 1.5% of the loan amount.
How to Apply for the Platinum Down Payment Assistance Program
To find out if you are eligible for GSFA Platinum Down Payment Assistance, contact a GSFA Platinum Participating lender. Check the GSFA-approved lender database. The loan officer will advise you regarding eligibility and terms.
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