Learning About the Chenoa Fund Program

learning chenoa fund program

For many people looking into a mortgage for a new home, the largest area of concern is coming up with funds to cover the down payment. This is usually the largest lump sum paid during this process, and some buyers stress significantly about what it will mean if they can’t meet certain minimum thresholds.

At Altius Mortgage and our partners at Mortgage Ogden, we can help both first-time buyers and non-first-time buyers with these concerns. One of the newer programs we can help you assess, one launched in 2018 by CBC Mortgage Agency (CBCMA), is called the Chenoa Fund Conventional Loan Program – it’s a program designed for low-to-moderate income borrowers. Let’s look at the details of how it works, plus a few Chenoa Fund options that are available.

Basics and Benefits

The Chenoa Fund Program is designed to assist borrowers who are short on funds for their down payment, even when using an FHA loan format that generally requires a 3.5 percent payment. It continues to utilize the same basics as the FHA program, plus adds a second grant or mortgage that covers this 3.5 percent figure in total.

For this reason, many buyers who use this program are able to receive complete, 100 percent financing on their mortgage: 96.5 percent through the FHA loan program, and the other 3.5 percent through the Chenoa Fund Program. The program does require a few minimum thresholds, and will be based on your income level. Our next three sections will go over the primary program types offered based on these factors.

Edge Program

The Chenoa Fund Edge Program offers a 30-year term to borrowers, with a 0 percent rate on a no-payment second mortgage. You must have a minimum FICO credit score of 620 to qualify, and must have a reported qualifying income equal to or below 115 percent of the median income for your county.

There are specific qualifications for how this program is terminated, as well. Once you have made 36 consecutive on-time payments on your original FHA mortgage, the Chenoa Fund loan is forgiven.

Rate Advantage Program

The Rate Advantage Program is similar, but also allows borrowers to lock in their first mortgage using market rates. Additional requirements from the Edge Program include a debt-to-income ratio of no higher than 50 percent, plus the same credit score and qualifying income thresholds. For this program, you repay down payment assistance over a 10-year period at an 8 percent interest rate.

Repayable Second Program

The Chenoa Fund program with the fewest income restrictions is the Repayable Second Program, which offers a couple choices for a repayable second mortgage. One option is a 10-year repayable mortgage at 0 percent interest, and the other is a 30-year repayable mortgage at a 5 percent interest rate. Once again, minimum credit score here is 620.

For more on the Chenoa Fund Program and whether it might be right for you, or to learn about any of our mortgage services, speak to the pros at Altius Mortgage today.

Factors That Influence Mortgage Rates

factors influence mortgage rates

Whether you’re considering a new mortgage or a refinance, one of the key factors you’ll be interested in is the rate you’re getting. This rate, which refers to the percentage of interest you’ll pay on the principal loan total, can hugely influence the total amount of interest you pay over the life of the loan.

At Altius Mortgage and our partners at Mortgage Ogden, we’re dedicated to helping you find the best mortgage rate for your personal situation. Many buyers, though, including first-time buyers, don’t fully understand how factors outside your own control can impact the market for general mortgage rates. With that in mind, here are several factors that contribute to the mortgage rate market shifting, and what they might mean for you.


In many cases, simple economic inflation will be the cause of some small changes in rates on the market. This is generally based on something called the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is a monthly report that follows price changes for various goods and services around the country. It averages these changes for every item it tracks, then transfers the way these changes will impact cost-of-living and other important financial factors.

Now, fluctuations in the CPI won’t drastically change market interest rates necessarily. But inflation in general will increase home loan costs, while lower inflation will lead to better rates.

Economic Movement

There are a few other important economic factors that may play a role in changing interest rates, also. These include jobs reports, Gross Domestic Product numbers, overall home sales, consumer confidence data, and possibly several other prominent indicators. Our pros can tell you about which major economic factors have the largest influence on mortgage rates.

Stock Market

In addition, the stock market and its known volatility can play a role here as well. However, this isn’t as simple as just whether the stock market is rising or falling – it’s about why this is happening.

For instance, new economic data of some kind will often shift the stock market based on differing expectations for growth in a certain area. While this might be good for your stock portfolio, it raises the potential of future inflation, which as we discussed above will lead to rising mortgage rates. The inverse generally tends to be true as well.

Personal Factors

Finally, your own personal factors will play the largest role in the mortgage rates you can qualify for in nearly every case. One of the primary factors here is credit score, but there are other basic factors like your income rate, your employment situation and others.

For more on the external and personal factors that influence interest rates, or to learn about any of our mortgage loan services, speak to the pros at Altius Mortgage today.