No down payment? No problem.

Dreaming of a home purchase, but short on funds for your down payment? The Chenoa Fund may be the answer to your dreams.

The Chenoa Fund puts homeownership in reach with loan options that can cover your down payment.

Down payment assistance is often limited

A 2017 survey found that 53% of potential home buyers hadn’t purchased yet because they didn’t have enough money for a down payment (source: Essent Guaranty, Inc). Down payment assistance (DPA) programs can be a the answer. But many assistance programs have limited funds available, restrict the area in which you can buy or impose income limits. These restrictions exclude many otherwise-qualified buyers.

Chenoa fund expanded eligibility

Enter the Chenoa Fund — a family of down payment assistance programs offering options with no income limits and no area restrictions. And funding is self-sustaining so it is highly unlikely to ever run out of money.

Four loan options

The Chenoa Fund family of programs includes four loan options — two FHA programs and two conventional programs. The FHA programs are the “Rate Advantage” program and the “DPA Edge”. The conventional programs are the “Conventional 97” and the “Conventional” program.

3.5% assistance means zero down payment

All four programs offer 3.5% assistance to borrowers. FHA loans require a 3.5% down payment, so the assistance covers all of your required down payment. The conventional loan options require 3% down, so the Chenoa Fund assistance covers all of your down payment with a remaining .5% that can be used to assist with closing costs.

Assistance takes the form of a second mortgage. The second mortgage terms vary from one program to another and, for some borrowers, may even be forgiven.

Rate Advantage

As the name implies, the Rate Advantage Program tends to be the Chenoa offering with the lowest rate. To use this program, your qualifying income must be equal to or under 115% of area median income (AMI).  For up to a 4 person household in the Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro Metropolitan Statistical Area (Portland MSA) the 2018 income limit is $93,610. Higher income is permitted for larger families.

A minimum credit score of 640 is required. You don’t have to be a first-time homebuyer to qualify, but you can’t own any other real estate at the time of closing. Co-borrowers who won’t be living with you are not allowed.

The down payment assistance second mortgage is payable on a 10 year term at a rate of 8%.

DPA Edge

The DPA Edge program offers more flexibility in quite a few ways. The minimum credit score required is lower: 620. Non-occupying co-borrowers are permitted. The purchase of a duplex is also permitted (all other Chenoa Fund options allow only single family homes).

The DPA Edge program has several options for the down payment assistance second mortgage. For borrowers with qualifying income at or equal to 115% of AMI ($93,610 for the Portland MSA in 2018, higher for larger families), the second mortgage requires no monthly payment and is at a 0% rate (on a 30 year term). After making 36 consecutive on-time payments on your first mortgage the second mortgage is forgiven.

If your qualifying income is over 115% of median income, your second mortgage will require a payment. You can chose a 10 year loan at a rate of 0% or a 30 year loan at a rate of 5%.

Conventional 97

The Conventional 97 program has no income limit. To qualify , at least one borrower be a first-time home buyer (meaning, no home ownership in the past 3 years). Concurrent homeownership is permitted. All borrowers must have a 640 credit score and standard mortgage insurance coverage is required.

The down payment assistance second mortgage is on a 10 year term at an interest rate 2% above the first mortgage rate.


The Chenoa Fund Conventional program requires a 640 credit score. You do not need to be a first-time buyer to qualify and you are allowed to own other real estate at the time of closing. Mortgage insurance is required, but comes at a discounted rate if putting less than 10% down. This program requires that you take a homebuyer education course prior to closing, which you can complete online or in person.

If you purchase a home in certain census tracts, there is no income limit. In all other areas, your qualifying income must be no more than 100% of AMI ($81,400 for up to a 4 person household in the Portland MSA, higher for larger families). To see if a home is in an income-restricted area, enter the address into Fannie Mae’s look-up tool, found here. If there is no “HomeReady” income limit, no income limit applies to the Chenoa Fund Conventional program.

The down payment assistance second mortgage on the Conventional program is on a 10 year term at an interest rate 2% above the first mortgage rate.

Chenoa Fund has you covered

The versatile Chenoa Fund family of programs offers down payment assistance options for nearly everyone. To learn more about the Chenoa Fund and which option might be right for you go to and click “apply now” or call (503-799-3711) or email ( anytime.

*Sample rates and buying power provided for illustration purposes only and is not intended to provide mortgage or other financial advice specific to the circumstances of any individual and should not be relied upon in that regard. Guaranteed Rate, Inc. cannot predict where rates will be in the future. Applicant subject to credit and underwriting approval. Not all applicants will be approved for financing. Receipt of application does not represent an approval for financing or interest rate guarantee. Restrictions may apply, contact Guaranteed Rate for current rates and for more information.

Guaranteed Rate, Inc. is a private corporation organized under the laws of the State of Delaware. It has no affiliation with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, the US Department of Veterans Affairs, the US Department of Agriculture or any other government agency.

All information provided in this publication is for informational and educational purposes only, and in no way is any of the content contained herein to be construed as financial, investment, or legal advice or instruction. Guaranteed Rate, Inc. does not guarantee the quality, accuracy, completeness or timelines of the information in this publication. While efforts are made to verify the information provided, the information should not be assumed to be error free. Some information in the publication may have been provided by third parties and has not necessarily been verified by Guaranteed Rate, Inc. Guaranteed Rate, Inc. its affiliates and subsidiaries do not assume any liability for the information contained herein, be it direct, indirect, consequential, special, or exemplary, or other damages whatsoever and howsoever caused, arising out of or in connection with the use of this publication or in reliance on the information, including any personal or pecuniary loss, whether the action is in contract, tort (including negligence) or other tortious action.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *