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Chenoa Fund Down Payment Assistance Program in St. Lucie County, Florida

What made your encounter with St. Lucie County love at first sight? Maybe it's the area's uncrowded, pristine beaches or the various parks and nature preserves in St. Lucie County. And if you are a golf fiend, the PGA Village in Port St. Lucie may have played a significant role.

Either way, living in St. Lucie County is on many people's wish-list. But most wishers haven't turned this dream into reality for one reason - the inability to afford their dream home. Does the same apply to your case? If yes, the Chenoa Fund Down Payment Assistance (DPA) program offers you a possible way out of your predicament.

If your interest is piqued and you'd like to discover more about Chenoa Fund DPA, read on. This piece will introduce you to everything you need to know, including the program's eligibility requirements and down payment assistance rates. Dig in.

Chenoa Fund Explained

Administered by the CBC Mortgage agency, Chenoa Fund is a down payment assistance program available in all US states except New York.

CBC Mortgage Agency is an institution that provides 100% financing for loans that are backed or insured by the Federal Housing Association (FHA). The Cedar Band Corporation established this platform in 2013 with one primary objective - increasing sustainable and affordable homeownership in the United States of America.

The solutions offered by CBC Mortgage Agency primarily target low and moderate-income prospective homeowners with good credit.

CBC Mortgage Agency has offered down payment assistance since 2016 and helped thousands of participants cover homebuying costs annually. It has become a godsend in a country where obstacles like low income prevent 42% of non-homeowners from affording homes and scraping up enough to cover down payments.

Remember, most lenders in the US require borrowers to put some money down on the houses they wish to buy. For instance, FHA-backed loans come with a 3.5% minimum down payment requirement.

So, individuals seeking mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Association can use the Chenoa Fund Down Payment Assistance program to cover their down payment and surmount one of the significant homebuying obstacles in the process.

Chenoa Fund DPA Programs

Chenoa funds is an umbrella term that covers three essential loan categories:

Edge Soft Second Product

As the title suggests, the Chenoa Fund DPA Edge program is a soft second product. What does that mean?

A soft second is a subordinate mortgage loan solution that helps homebuyers cover down payment and closing costs. So, you can safely assume it's a second lien or second mortgage that you can use to put down the required amount of money on the house.

The Chenoa Edge Down Payment Assistance program offers 30-year, 0-interest loans. But Chenoa Fund hasn't made second payments a must. That means the lien can be forgiven and scraped off. However, for that to happen, you, the borrower, must prove you've been handling the first FHA loan appropriately by making 36 consecutive and timely payments.

Is the soft second forgivable when you have late payments? Yes. But some rules apply here. If you are 30 or more days late, you'll have to start over and make 36 consecutive timely payments to enjoy this advantage.

Most importantly, if you refinance the 1st FHA mortgage loan before making the required 36 consecutive payments, this feature becomes out of reach, meaning you'll have to pay back the second lien in full.

Furthermore, this product is only accessible to people with:

  • 620 or higher credit score.

  • Qualifying incomes that are not above 115% of the median income in their area, which in this case is St. Lucie County.

You may apply for the Chenoa Fund's Edge Soft Second Product if you meet all these requirements.

Repayable Second Program

Like other Chenoa Fund products, the Repayable Second Program helps prospective homebuyers overcome the hurdles associated with most mortgage solutions' minimum investment requirements. It also plays a pivotal role in balancing homeownership with other housing options and facilitates the creation of healthy communities.

The Repayable Second Program has fewer income requirements than other Chenoa Fund products. Generally, responsible home buyers that opt for this solution aren't required to meet any minimum household income requirements.

Additionally, Repayable Second has two options. As a prospective homeowner, you can choose the program's 10-year second mortgage and pay no interest. Or, if you prefer a more extended period, a 30-year loan is available, but it comes with a 5% interest rate.

Since, as the name suggests, the Chenoa Fund Repayable Second loans are repayable, participants must make two payments - one for the 1st mortgage and the other for the second lien. But you can pay off the second loan any time during your mortgage's lifetime without attracting any penalties.

To be eligible for the Repayable Second Program, you must:

  • Have at least 620 credit score.

  • Qualify as per FHA guidelines.

  • Earn an income that is above 115% of your area's (St. Lucie County's) median income.

If you don't meet said qualifications, accessing a Repayable Second loan from Chenoa Fund will likely be difficult, if not impossible.

Rate Advantage

The Chenoa Fund Rate Advantage program should be your go-to if you want more DPA rate options. Rate Advantage offers participants two down payment options - 3.5% and 5%.

Like other Chenoa Fund programs, Rate Advantage has several qualification requirements:

  • 640 minimum credit score.

  • Qualifying income, not more than 135% of St. Lucie County's.

  • 50% maximum DTI (debt-to-income) ratio.

With the above qualifications, you can get a Chenoa Rate Advantage loan and lock in competitive rates.

A person holding a house key

Chenoa Fund Eligibility Criteria for St. Lucie County, Florida

Most financial institutions and programs use specific criteria to gauge fitting applicants and weed out misfits, and Chenoa Fund is no exception.

Currently, Chenoa Fund uses the following to determine whether or not you are eligible for a loan:

Minimum Credit Score

Before going any further, what is your credit score? If you don't know yet, find out right away. Note that having a credit report doesn't necessarily mean you can access your credit score. So, you will likely need to request the former even if you already have the former.

Some companies, including Wells Fargo, allow eligible customers to access their FICO Scores. So, if you have a consumer account attached to this institution, the process may be much easier; contact their support team for more information.

Today, most banks and credit companies include credit scores on customer statements. Moreover, you can request your credit score from the various free credit scoring websites on the world wide web. Alternatively, check relevant loan and credit card statements.

That being said, the Chenoa Fund DPA program is accessible to individuals with a 600 minimum credit score. If yours is lower, use the following hacks to improve it and increase your chances of receiving a loan from the platform:

  • Review your credit reports and report evident errors.

  • Avoid late bill payments.

  • Reign in your credit utilization.

  • Avoid requesting new credit and tackling hard inquiries.

  • Keep an eye on credit score changes using credit monitoring services.

Requesting down payment assistance from Chenoa Fund before improving your credit score is highly unwise and likely to lead to disappointment.

Qualifying Income Requirements

If your income is less than ideal and you're about to give up, don't.

The Chenoa Fund DPA program won't automatically disqualify your application based on your income. However, the platform's AMI limit overlays significantly influence the rates and pricing you'll get.

Generally, Chenoa Fund's income requirements vary depending on the product.

For instance, the Chenoa Fund Edge Soft Second is for St. Lucie County residents with qualifying incomes that don't exceed 115% of the region's AMI. Keeping in mind that the median household income in St. Lucie County was $55,237 in 2020, eligible participants for this program need an average income equal to or less than $74,570.

Also, other Chenoa Fund products have different income requirements. For the best deals in St. Lucie County, you need a qualifying income above 115% of the AMI or below/equal to 135% of the county's AMI if you prefer going with the Rate Advantage Program.

Note - The AMI quoted above was provided by the US Census Bureau and covered 2016-2020. For the most recent numbers, visit Chenoa Fund's Income (AMI) Limits web page and use the specified primary method to calculate your area's median income.

Residency Type

According to mortgage experts, there are three residency categories - primary, secondary, and investment property.

The US Housing Unit Department defines primary or principal residence as a property that you, the owner, use for a significant part of the year. On the other hand, a secondary residence is like a summer or winter house, which you only use in certain seasons. Finally, investment property can be a home you lease and use to earn income.

With the above in mind, the Chenoa Fund DPA program is solely tailored for borrowers that want to buy principal residences. This solution can help eligible participants purchase properties like single-family residences (SFHs), condos, townhomes, and modular homes, provided they plan to inhabit them most of the year, if not all year round.

How to Get Chenoa Fund Down Payment Assistance

After checking and ascertaining that you meet all qualification requirements set by the Chenoa Fund DPA program, the next step should be applying for a loan. But how do you do that?

First, find a correspondent lender. We mean institutions that have applied for Chenoa Fund's approval and received it. Remember, CBC Mortgage Agency doesn't fund borrowers directly. Applicants get their loans from Chenoa Fund-approved lenders.

You can request a list of approved lenders from Chenoa Fund representatives. Fill out the contact form posted on the program's website and wait for a call or email from their team.

Once you have nailed down a fitting Chenoa Fund correspondent lender, discuss your goals with them, follow their application procedure, and hand in all the required documents.

Mortgages That Work with the Chenoa Fund DPA Program

Currently, the Chenoa Fund DPA program is for homebuyers with FHA-backed loans. As an FHA loan recipient, you can get 3.5% or 5% down payment assistance from the platform.

The good news is that since FHA guidelines require participants to put down at least 3.5% of the home purchase price, Chenoa Fund can help you cover the entire down payment, provided you have an FHA-insured mortgage.

Unfortunately, borrowers with other loans don't qualify for Chenoa Fund down payment assistance. That is so because the program recently suspended conventional DPA programs. They were forced to do that by the current Fannie Mae policy on loan forbearance.

Benefits of Chenoa Fund DPA

Before applying for down payment assistance from Chenoa Fund, ask yourself if the program is to your liking. The following benefits of Chenoa Fund DPA will help you make an informed decision:

Excellent Customer Service

Transitioning to homeownership is a big step with myriad challenges, drawbacks, and questions. For instance, you may fail to raise enough to cover the down payment and ask a friend or relative for help, only for them to recommend a DPA program. And that should be splendid if you know what that is; if not, it may be an additional hurdle.

Chenoa Fund has excellent, knowledgeable representatives and a good support team. Borrowers can contact them whenever they have questions or concerns and get indispensable advice and recommendations.

Pre-Purchase and Post-Purchase Counseling

Pre-purchase and post-purchase counseling are two aspects you can't afford to miss. Why?

First, pre-purchase counseling helps determine if you are ready for the financial obligations and other responsibilities that follow mortgages and homeownership. Although you may feel like it's about time you purchased property, professionals may surprise you by advising against it and backing up their claims.

Post-purchase counseling equips you with everything you need to enjoy sustainable homeownership and dodge issues like delinquency and foreclosure.

And to prove that Chenoa Fund cares for its clients, the program offers pre-purchase and post-purchase counseling to eligible participants. Borrowers needing extra support may access Chenoa Fund's pre-purchase counseling package. But, after transitioning to homeownership, all participants receive post-purchase counseling and outreach from the program.

Minority-Focused Initiatives

Minorities make up a significant chunk of the population in the Land of Opportunity. Unfortunately, they are getting priced out of the market at an alarming rate. The situation is so dire that around 228,796 African Americans alone were homeless in 2020.

Why can't so many minorities afford homes in the US? The reasons are many and varied, ranging from deplorable wages to unjust laws, longstanding discrimination, and the current financial crisis. But the tables are turning.

Today, numerous programs empower and finance minorities looking to buy homes, Chenoa Fund among them. The Chenoa Fund DPA program has introduced several minority-focused initiatives tailored to boost underserved communities and make homeownership more than a pipe dream for minorities.

Top Places to Get Acai Bowls in St. Lucie County, Florida

Are you an Acai Bowl fan? If yes, you'll be glad to know that becoming a resident of St. Lucie County won't separate you from your favorite dish. Why?

St. Lucie. County has restaurants and juice shops, most of which serve delicious acai bowls. Reputable spots you'll likely make your favorites when you become a St. Lucie resident include:


3Natives is a quaint restaurant that takes pride in serving delicious, fresh, and affordable delicacies to locals and visitors of St. Lucie. This establishment mainly specialized in cold-pressed juice and acai bowls.

Famous acai bowls in 3Natives include Chronic (honey shavings, granola, acai, coconut strawberry, kiwi, banana, pineapple) and The Local (honey banana, acai, strawberry, granola, blueberry).

Beach Bowls Ft Pierce

Beach Bowls Ft. Pierce is a lovely acai and smoothie café tucked in the recesses of Downtown Pierce.

This establishment makes all its products using fresh, locally-sourced, organic fruits. Their acai bowls and smoothies contain zero sugar and no additives. Other goodies are available in Beach Bowls Ft. Pierce, including coconut water, salad, and toast.

Fresh Fusion Juice Bar

Fresh Fusion Juice is one of St. Lucie's coveted health food restaurants. As the name suggests, Fresh Fusion Juice Bar sells fresh juice and diverse smoothies.

But this juice and smoothie bar also prepares world-class acai bowls, their signature chocolate dream shakes, and frosted cinnamon coffee.

Ready, Set, Go!

Everything you need to know before applying for Chenoa Fund DPA in St. Lucie County, Florida is now at your fingertips - reasons to choose this program, qualification requirements, the application process, and much more.

Plus, we've introduced you to several spots that serve the best acai bowls in the region. What more could you ask for? Apply for Chenoa Fund down payment assistance today!

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