Skip to content

Chenoa Fund Down Payment Assistance Program in Clay County, Florida

Despite being known to many as the “Sunshine State,” Florida is gradually becoming one of the most expensive places to purchase a home. The sudden hike in housing prices can be attributed to the influx of people coming into the state and the high-interest rates on mortgages. If you are looking to finance a home purchase in Florida with a home loan, you’d want an affordable way to go about it.

The Chenoa Fund, which operates as a down payment assistance program, is among the best options for purchasing a home even with a low income.

Once enrolled in this program, you can qualify for a down payment of 3.5 percent of the property’s buying price. However, you need to understand the ins and outs of the Chenoa Fund before considering it.

In this guide, you’ll discover how to use this down payment assistance program when buying a property in Clay County, FL, and the requirements or procedures you must go through to get approved.

The Chenoa Fund Dissected

The Chenoa Fund is among the solutions the CBC Mortgage Agency provided to improve economic self-sufficiency among low to moderate-income people across the country. In particular, the CBC Mortgage Agency provides borrowers with 100 percent financing on their FHA-insured home loans.

With the Chenoa Fund, CBC Mortgage Agency aims to reduce obstacles such as raising a down payment amount that most low-to-moderate income earners face.

The program pairs well with FHA loans, which have a down payment requirement of up to 3.5 percent of the home’s buying price. Since its inception, it continues to empower more borrowers in a mortgage market with harsh eligibility requirements.

Though the Chenoa Fund blends well with FHA loans, it doesn’t have any backing from federal entities such as the FHA, FNMA, USDA, or VA. The program raises most of its finances internally to continue achieving its goal.

Benefits of a Chenoa Fund Loan

The Chenoa Fund is more than a down payment assistance program designed for home loans. When signing up, you get counseling that can help you get the most out of a home purchase before and after closing. You learn more about the mortgage market through the program’s Borrower Success initiative.

You can also use the regular check-ins facilitated by Chenoa Fund counselors. During these check-ins, the counselors allow you to raise concerns about the loan or seek clarification on any other burning issue. The HUD-approved counselors are always on standby to listen to your concerns and respond accordingly.

Which Down Payment Assistance Products Make up the Chenoa Fund?

Under the Chenoa Fund, there are three different products that you can turn to when you need down payment assistance on your home loan. However, you have to understand the eligibility requirements of each to get the most value.

With that said, here’s what each one entails.

DPA for FHA Loans

If you are considering getting an FHA-insured home loan but can’t raise the down payment amount (which is 3.5 percent of the home’s price), you can turn to this loan product. DPA for FHA Loans can help you raise the amount and shorten the time it takes to get an FHA-backed loan. It comes as either a loan repayable in 10 years or a forgivable loan with a 30-year term.

Either way, you need to prove to the lender that you are already qualified for the FHA loan that you need down payment assistance on. Meeting the lender-specific eligibility requirements (including having a FICO score of 600) is also a must.

On the bright side, the DPA for FHA Loans product comes with the option of locking in a rate on the loan to avoid paying high interest when the rates in the market change. It also grants you the chance to build home equity without the option of saving for a down payment.

DPA Edge

Of all the down payment assistance offerings from the Chenoa Fund, the DPA Edge product has the strictest eligibility requirements.

To be precise, you need a FICO score of 620 and above and an income of 115 percent or less of the median income in your area to qualify.

DPA Edge Repayable Second Product

The DPA Edge Repayable Second Product is a down payment offering from the Chenoa Fund that must be paid within a specified period. The good thing about this loan product is that your income doesn’t have to meet the location-specific limits to qualify.

Once enrolled, the lender will give you a repayable second loan with a 5 percent rate payable over a 10-year term. They may also give you a second mortgage with no interest rate you need to pay in ten years. Either way, you will have the chance to pay off the loan at any time within the loan term without incurring penalties.

Program Guidelines

One way to distinguish the Chenoa Fund from similar programs in the market is through its unique set of guidelines. While the down payment assistance program is designed to help borrowers across the country, its coverage excludes the state of New York.

Even more, the down payment assistance comes in 3, 3.5, or 5 percent of the home’s buying price, depending on the product.

All underwriting, credit review, loan origination, and appraisal processes usually go through a lender approved by the Chenoa Fund before or after closing.

Also, the financing can only be applied to properties including condos, townhomes, detached/attached modular homes, SFRs and PUDs.

You can use a Chenoa Fund loan to pay for the down payment on a two-unit property in the eligible areas. In particular, the DPA for FHA Loans product will come in handy.

And if the property has more than two units, its down payment won’t be financed by any Chenoa Fund loan.

What Eligibility Requirements Should You Meet to Qualify?

A FICO score ranging from 600 to 620 or more is what you need to meet the credit requirements of the down payment assistance offerings under the Chenoa Fund.

Depending on the lender, you also need a debt-to-income ratio of 45 percent or below to improve your chances of qualifying.

The lender-specific eligibility requirements on Chenoa Fund loans are less strict when compared to similar offerings in the market. Even more, taking a loan proves cheaper than renting a property in the long run.

How the Down Payment Assistance Amount is Calculated

After qualifying for a Chenoa Fund loan, you may get financing in various forms. Most down payment assistance offerings under the program offer a loan equal to 3.5 percent of the home’s buying price. And depending on the Chenoa Fund product, the loan may come as a forgivable or repayable second mortgage.

If you are enrolling in the Chenoa Fund program seeking down payment assistance on an FHA loan, the down payment amount will be 3.5 percent of the property’s price. For this to work, you need to choose a lender from the options given on the Chenoa Fund website.

Note that the program no longer supports down payment requirements associated with conventional mortgages.

Paring the loan with eligible seller concessions can help you cover the closing costs. However, the concessions have to meet FHA-specific guidelines to be considered.

Down Payment inscription on the page

The Chenoa Fund DPA (Down Payment Assistance Program) and FHA loans

One of the perks of the Chenoa Fund is that it allows you to use the down payment assistance to meet some of the requirements of FHA-backed loans. However, before you get the most out of this benefit, you need to know how Chenoa Fund products can be used with FHA loans.

The Chenoa Fund DPA Edge

As a second mortgage product designed for low-income homebuyers, the Chenoa DPA Edge works in various ways. You can get it as a forgivable loan, which means the lender will allow you to stop making payments when certain conditions are met. Your income should be at least 115 percent of the average income in your area to qualify.

The DTI and credit requirements for this loan product when looking to use it with an FHA loan include a maximum DTI ratio of 45 percent and a minimum FICO score of 620. Your lender can also agree to lower the DTI ratio a bit if you have an impressive credit score.

You must make regular payments towards the loan for 36 months without skipping any payment when it comes to loan forgiveness.

And in the event you skip a payment, the lender will reset the forgivable timeline. When this happens, it will take quite a long time to have the loan forgiven.

The Rate Advantage Loan Product

With Chenoa Fund Rate Advantage loan, you can enjoy several perks when using it to qualify for an FHA loan. For instance, the lender will allow you to lock in a reasonable rate on the second mortgage besides offering you a loan that will help you clear the 3.5 percent down payment requirement on an FHA loan.

To enjoy the perks of a Rate Advantage loan from the Chenoa Fund, you need a minimum credit score of 640 and a maximum DTI ratio of 50 percent. Your income should also be lower than 135 percent of the median income in your area. It’s important to note that this repayable loan has an interest rate of 8 percent and a term of 10 years.

The Edge Repayable Second Product

Meeting your area’s median income requirement shouldn’t be an issue when enrolling in the Chenoa Fund program if you consider the Edge Repayable Second Product.

With this kind of offering, you can take a zero-interest second mortgage payable in ten years or a 5-percent second mortgage in 30 years.

Steps for Applying for the Down Payment Assistance Program

Since the Chenoa Fund was designed to reduce the obstacles that most low-income homebuyers face when looking to finance an upcoming home purchase with a loan, its loan process is pretty straightforward. The loan process begins when you shop around for Chenoa Fund lenders and choose a reliable one.

Once you choose a suitable loan product and meet the various eligibility requirements, you’ll be ready to take advantage of the program.

Like other loans, you must prove your creditworthiness to the lender to improve your chances of getting qualified. You must also fill out various forms and submit any documents your lender demands. Though the process involves some back and forths with the lender, it’s pretty short.

Once the lender is content with your application, they may approve you for the particular down payment assistance offering you chose. It may take close to a few days or weeks for the loan to be processed.

But once the process is complete, the lender will disburse the finances, making it easier for you to meet the down payment requirement on a home loan.

You can familiarize yourself with other aspects of the loan process from the CBC Mortgage Agency’s website. Alternatively, sending a brief email to can get you the help you need.

Top 5 Places in Clay County, Florida to Enjoy Acai Bowl and Other Great Meals

Situated in the northeastern Sunshine State, Clay County is a haven for nature enthusiasts. Its countless waterways, vast wildlife, and scenic trails are critically acclaimed.

Besides these attractions, Clay County, FL, also features several great eateries where you can enjoy acai bowls and other delicacies, as discussed below.

Natural Kitchen (Orange Park, FL)

Natural Kitchen is a health food restaurant known across Orange Park, Fl, serving fresh, delicious, and great dishes.

Most of the toppings served at the restaurant are unlimited and are priced together with the dishes rather than separately. It’s a great spot to visit when you want to enjoy acai bowls, among other bowls.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe (Middleburg, FL)

As a health-conscious cafe, Tropical Smoothie Cafe boasts a menu featuring custom smoothies, wraps, and sandwiches. The restaurant also has excellent staff and decent parking. They allow deliveries, curbside pickups, and dine-ins as service options.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe is a place to be if you are a fan of real veggies, juices, and fruits. You may want to try other delicacies, including bowls, quesadillas, and toasted flatbreads with flavorful sauces, fresh produce, and quality meats. The restaurant has a relaxing atmosphere for friends and families looking to catch up while sharing a meal.

Huddle House (Middleburg, FL)

Huddle House is a casual eatery that offers all-day breakfast meals with other tasty American eats. Its menu includes bacon, hash browns, eggs, french toast, pancakes, and waffles. You may want to visit the eatery for its freshly prepared meal and unparalleled hospitality.

La Casita Mexican Restaurant (Green Cove Springs, FL)

As a locally-owned Mexican restaurant, La Casita boasts superb service and staff. Their shrimp fajitas, chicken, and steak are well priced, while other meals feature flavorful ingredients and spices. If you are looking for a conveniently situated eatery to enjoy finger-licking authentic Mexican dishes, you may want to check out La Casita.

The restaurant is set up in an upbeat and relaxed atmosphere, perfect for groups, children, and families. Their menu also includes tasty margaritas, wine, and beer when looking to unwind over a drink after a tiring day.

Mackey’s Munchies (Orange Park, FL)

As its name suggests, Mackey’s Munchies offers delicious meals in a relaxed atmosphere at reasonable prices. The cajun restaurant serves food items such as chicken, rice, french bread, and grilled or crispy shrimp in different combinations.

Their popular combos include shrimp Poboy, grilled or crispy shrimp on Louisiana French bread paired with vegetables, and Beignets, a traditional French-style fried square doughnut.

Mackey’s Munchies strives to offer great food in portions for the best customer experience. You may want to check it out if you are down to try something new.

Final Thoughts

As discussed in this guide, the Chenoa Fund encompasses several attractive down payment assistance offerings that you can turn to when saving for a down payment on a home loan proves challenging.

With such offerings, the program is gradually increasing affordable homeownership opportunities, giving low-income homebuyers a chance to realize the American dream—all the best enrolling in this down payment assistance program in Clay County, Florida.

Find The Right Mortgage

For more than 20 years, Phil have been helping customers achieve their home purchase and refinance goals by providing them with invaluable resources and support.

Schedule a FREE Consultation
Phil Ganz

Subscribe to Get Your First Time Homebuyer Checklist

Sign up for the weekly newsletter to stay up to date on the latest real estate market trends, loan news, and so much more!