Why should Colorado first-time homebuyers use CHFA? There’s nothing more American than owning your own home. Homeownership provides equity, peace of mind, and lets you tap into a big part of the American dream. It’s recommended that anyone who can buy property should, but it’s no secret that qualifying to purchase a home is a tough experience.



Not everyone has the credit score, or down payments, or equity necessary to purchase a home outright, but luckily there are programs like the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) to help your dream become a reality. CHFA can help Colorado residents secure first time home ownership even if they aren’t the best candidate for a traditional mortgage.

Let’s learn more about CHFA Colorado including what they do, what services they offer, answer some frequently asked questions about the group, and show you what CHFA can do for potential homeowners across the state. If you’ve been struggling to get into a home and haven’t heard about CHFA, you need to learn what this organization can do for you.

If you need quick questions answered, please refer to our CHFA FAQ page.

What is CHFA?

CHFA was created in Colorado by the Colorado General Assembly in 1973 to help more people purchase affordable housing in the state. In 1982 CHFA began making loans to businesses but its primary priority is getting Colorado residents who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford housing into the right home.

CHFA By the Numbers

  • CHFA has invested more than $29.7 billion in Colorado’s economy.

  • Over 180,000 households have attended CHFA’s homebuyer education programs

  • CHFA has preserved or developed over 76,000 affordable housing units

  • CHFA has made loans to over 7,800 businesses to support over 81,000 jobs

Advantages of CHFA for First Time Home Buyer Colorado

CHFA is much more than a loan program and offers several advantages to first time home buyers in Colorado. CHFA’s primary responsibility is helping Colorado residents achieve their dream of home ownership but program enrollees get much more out of a loan including:

  • Education courses that give homeowners a solid real estate and financial knowledge base to protect themselves moving forward.
  • Personalized care to get you into the right home. Participating lenders act like realtors for first time homebuyers to make the process less intimidating.
  • Possible down payment assistance.

By the end of a CHFA loan program, you haven’t just moved into the perfect home for you and your family, you know how to protect your financial health and the best practices to keep that home for years.

How to Get a CHFA Colorado Loan


CHFA offers home purchase loan programs, grants, second mortgage loans, and other help for closing cost and down payment assistance. To qualify for a CHFA loan potential homeowners:

  • Cannot have an income that exceeds limits
  • Must have a credit score of 620 or higher
  • Must attend CHFA-approved homebuyer education course prior to closing on loan. Classes can be taken in-person and online.
  • Must contribute a minimum payment of $1000 toward home purchase
  • Qualifications vary by program, housing size, income, and more. Contact The Meissner Group directly to find out what you qualify for, and what programs would work best for your situation.

CHFA Participating Lenders

CHFA loans are available through their network of qualified participating lenders. CHFA’s participating lenders work with Colorado residents and CHFA to help determine the best program and housing options for applicants. Participating lenders can further explain your loan process, unique qualifications, and what type of loan you might qualify for. The lenders help make the process much easier on potential homeowners.

If you’re looking for a specific lender , want to browse lenders by region, or need an overview of different lender options please visit CHFA’s participating lender page.

CHFA Education

CHFA is more than a money lender, they’re an overall resource for potential homebuyers. A large part of CHFA is their homebuyer education classes to help potential homeowners learn about their programs, and about purchasing Colorado real estate.

CHFA hosts both in-person and online classes. In-person classes are required for all borrowers but don’t cost anything and are available throughout the state. Due to the COVID-19, CHFA is currently covering the cost of the online homebuyer education course. Online classes normally cost $99 per borrower and $50 for co-borrowers.

After completing the CHFA education course and post-class housing counseling session participants will receive a certificate of completion. The homebuyer education certificate is mandatory for closing CHFA loans. Homebuyers must go under contract within 12 months of completing the education course for full benefits. Online classes require a post-class housing counseling session which is completed by phone once the course is complete.

Though classes are mandatory to qualify for a loan, the financial health tips and other recommendations you learn in your class will give you a financial leg-up to make healthy financial choices with your home. You’ll know much more about your loan and home than any of your friends making traditional real estate purchases.

CHFA Income Limits

Various programs have different income limits by county. The full list of income limits for different programs by county in available at the CHFA income limits page. We’ve provided a basic overview of income limits by program below:

  • CHFA Preferred: Very Low Income: $41,240 – $62,700
  • CHFA Preferred: $66,000-$100,320
  • CHFA SmartStep: $148,120 across all Colorado counties.
  • CHFA FirstStep: $105,800 – $175,760
    • CHFA FirstStep is the most varied of CHFA loan programs dependent on household size, targeted income limits, non-targeted income limits, and more.

If you want to know the exact income limits for a program or household size, it’s a recommended you reach out to CHFA directly by phone or email.

CHFA Down Payment Assistance

Homebuyers utilizing first time homebuyer programs are eligible for assistance on down payments. The Down Payment Assistance Grant loans up to 3% of your first mortgage and is not required to be repaid.

For a second mortgage, eligible participants can receive up to 4% of your first mortgage. The repayment of a second mortgage loan can be deferred until certain criteria is met like payoff of first mortgage or refinance of the home.

CHFA Affordable Renting Options

CHFA encourages affordable housing and rentals across the state. CHFA offers tax credits, loans, and other programs to help developers build new or renovate existing affordable housing. CHFA also offers technical assistance to property residents, staff, and landlords who own low-income multi-family housing units.

CHFA Foreclosure Prevention

Foreclosure is bad for homeowners and bad for the local economy, which is why CHFA has been on the forefront of foreclosure prevention since its founding. As part of CHFA’s foreclosure prevention efforts, the organization has been awarded close to $13 million in its efforts to combat foreclosure. These funds have helped over 22,000 Coloradoans avoid foreclosure.

With the help of funding CHFA has partnered with nonprofit counseling outfits across the state to provide free professionally led foreclosure mitigation counseling. To date CHFA’s foreclosure prevention efforts have helped thousands of Colorado families avoid the disaster of foreclosure.

If you are at risk of foreclosure, you’re encouraged to connect to one of CHFA’s foreclosure prevention partners before the situation becomes unmanageable. You can find a full list of housing partners on the foreclosure prevention resource page.

CHFA for Business Lending

CHFA has been on the forefront of business lending since the early 80s to help grow Colorado’s economy. For businesses, CHFA offers:

  • Loan programs to help finance owner-occupied commercial real estate purchase, renovation, and equipment purchase.
  • Tax exempt bonds with rock-bottom interest rates.
  • The Cash Collateral Support program gives businesses access to a variety of capital programs.
  • New market tax credits to encourage development in lower income communities.
  • The Colorado Fresh Food Financing Fund helps provide low income residents access to grocery stores and other outlets for healthy eating options.

Achieving Your Dream with CHFA

CHFA has been securing housing for Colorado residents for nearly 50 years, and they continue to be a model for education and home-ownership in the state. If you’re ready to begin the CHFA loan process or see if you qualify for home buyers assistance programs, contact us or one of our participating lenders directly by email or phone today.

Colorado First Time Homebuyer

Complete the form below and one of our expert agents will contact you about your first time home buyer grant eligibility.