San Diego Extra Credit Teacher Program (ECTP) W/CalHFA (2019 Update)

Being a teacher isn’t easy – that much goes without saying.

Along with all the stress of teaching the next generation, most teachers tend to get pretty unfair pay.

If you are a teacher looking for a home in California, this can be an even more trying experience.

In a place like San Diego, where the real estate market is constantly changing and prices are rising, buying a home on a teacher’s salary can prove to be a nightmare.

Fortunately, there are programs out there that can help.

Whether it is the Sapphire Grant, the Help Grant, the Conventional 1% Down Payment mortgage loan or any of the CalHFA programs, you do not have to give up hope on finding your dream home.

The program I’m revealing today is, in fact, all about teachers and helping get them into the right homes.

From CalHFA comes the Extra Credit Teacher Home Income Purchase Program, or ECTP, that has been designed specifically for teachers, educators, and others involved in the education systems across California.

(For sake of brevity I will call it the ECTP from here on out...)

How does it work?

In essence, an eligible person can apply via an approved lender (or broker, in my case) for the ECTP.

An eligible person would be any current employee that is currently employed in a California K-12 public school, Charter school, county continuation school, or its school district.

You would also have to be a first-time homebuyer, which will be defined a bit later on in more detail, but this basically is someone who has never owned a home or hasn’t owned a primary residence in the last three years, from the time they are seeking to purchase a new home.

Here's a quick rundown of our list:

Let’s take a look, shall we?

Extra Credit Teacher Home Income Purchase Program (ECTP)

San Diego Extra Credit Teacher Program (ECTP) W/CalHFA (2019 Update)

So, what exactly is the ECTP?

It's a program specifically for teachers, administrators, school district employees, and any staff members, working for any California K-12 public school.

This also includes Charter schools and county continuation schools.

ECTP junior loans tend to range from $7,500 to $15,000.

They can only be combined with an eligible CalHFA first mortgage loan.

ECTP subordinate loans, on the other hand, can only be used for down payment assistance.

What type of loan terms are eligible for the ECTP? 

Must Read: San Diego Down Payment Assistance Programs - Rates, Terms, Limits

The Loan Must be Via a CalHFA First Mortgage Loan, Such as:

  • MyHome Assistance Program

  • CalHFA Zero Interest Program (ZIP)

For eligible CalHFA first time mortgage loans, I suggest looking through my mortgage articles, or contacting me directly.

Does My Credit Score Matter?

San Diego Extra Credit Teacher Program (ECTP) W/CalHFA (2019 Update)

The credit score requirements will vary based on the CalHFA first time mortgage loan.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

Do I Need to be a First-Time Homebuyer?

You do have to be a first-time homebuyer, yes.

CalHFA’s down payment programs - ECTP and MCC both require you to be a first-time homebuyer.

This is someone who has not owned or occupied their home in the last three years.

If you’ve never owned a home, you qualify as a first-time homebuyer.

If you did own a home, but sold it three or more years prior, you are considered a first-time homebuyer once more.

(Or, if you lost a home to short sale or foreclosure more than 3 years ago...)


Blog Post Interrupt – How to Buy a House for Cash

Now Back to the Blog Post


If All Borrowers are First Time Home Buyers, Home Buyer Counseling is Required.

San Diego Extra Credit Teacher Program (ECTP) W/CalHFA (2019 Update)

For Home Buyer education information, refer to the first time mortgage program through the CalHFAs’ rules concerning home buyer education.

Only one borrower has to take a home buyer education class.

Homebuyer education can be taken online via eHome's eight-hour Homebuyer Education for a $50 fee.

Alternatively, you can also do face-to-face Homebuyer Education through NeighborWorks America or any HUD-Approved Housing Counseling Agency – fees for homebuyer education will vary by agency, so be certain you check with the agency in question.

What Types of Home Assistance Loans can I Use the ECTP with?

It can be coupled with any of the following subordinate financing or home assistance loans:

  • CalHFA Zero Interest Program (ZIP)

  • FHA: 203(b); 203(b)(2); 203(h); 234(c); in accordance with FHA guidelines. Temporary buy-downs permitted, per limits and rules.

  • USDA-RHS: in accordance with USDA guidelines. 2-1 or 1-1 Temporary buy-downs permitted, per limits and rules.

  • VA Loans: in accordance with USDA guidelines. 2-1 or 1-1 Temporary buy-downs permitted, per limits and rules.

If you are not sure about a program you wish to combine with ECTP, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

Can It be Used with Other Assistant Programs?

This program may be used in conjunction with other first time mortgages done via CalHFA, with the exception of MyHome, or other FHA-approved or Fannie Mae Community Second subordinate loans such as:

Check the CalHFA site, or with me, to see if any other CalHFA programs or any other assistant programs may be eligible under certain requirements.

The ECTP does not list any benefits for veterans specifically.

Combining programs can complicate things because each program has its own qualifying criteria and may delay the processing and approval of the loan, but it can be done if the seller is willing to accept the longer escrow that will be needed.

(Instead of the usual 30 day escrow, as an example, we would ask for 35 days to be safe.)

With the CalHFA, you should expect a much easier time connecting a first time mortgage loan program of theirs with the ECTP.

If you have questions on how combining the ECTP with another loan or assistance program might affect the process overall, please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns.

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What can I Use the ECTP for?

It can be put towards the overall loan amount for the home, though ECTP subordinate loans can only be put towards down payment assistance.

What Types of Homes are Eligible for the ECTP?

The property requirements to apply for it are as follows:

  • The sales price of the home must be less than the allowable sales price limits in the county in which you plan on purchasing the home – you can check the sales price limits here.

  • It must be a single family residence (detached).

  • It can also be a detached unit within a planned unit development or PUD.

  • It can be a condominium or attached unit in a PUD – condominiums, however, must meet the guidelines of the first mortgage.

  • The property must meet the requirements of CalHFA, the lender, and the mortgage insurer /guarantor.

  • Note: Guest houses, granny units and in-law quarters may be eligible.

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What Types of Homes are Ineligible for the ECTP?

  • You may not use it to purchase manufactured homes.

  • The property size is limited to a five acre maximum.

  • Leaseholds / Land Trusts and Co-Ops are not permitted.

  • All properties must meet the requirements of the mortgage insurer and guarantor.


Do I Have to be a U.S. Citizen to be Eligible for the ECTP?

Eligible borrowers include natural persons with a valid Social Security number and one of the following Residency statuses as determined by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS):

  • U.S. Citizen

  • Permanent Resident Alien

  • Non-Permanent Resident Alien / Other Qualified Alien.

What are The Fees?

The fees included tend to be lender allowable fees for processing.

However, the maximum total processing fee is $250.

(Please note: These do NOT include all of your other normal loan fees - these are simply the fees charged for us to go with the ECTP.)

What are the Loan Amounts Given?

The maximum loan amount cannot exceed the greater of $7,500 or 3% of the lesser of the sales price or appraised value of the property.

The amount cannot not exceed the greater of $15,000 or 3% of the lesser of the sales price or appraised value in CalHFA-defined high cost areas.

(Please note: if the applicable government insurer / guarantor of the loan requires multiple appraisals of the property for any reason, CalHFA will base the ECTP on the lowest appraised value received.)

What are the LTV Amounts?

The Loan-to-Value, or LTV, will need to follow the applicable insurer/ guarantor investor guidelines as well as all applicable guidelines under first mortgage underwriting.

The maximum combined loan-to-value (LTV) ratio cannot exceed 105%.

Contact me if you have any questions about this.

Can I have a Co-borrower on the Loan?

A co-borrower is permitted so long as the co-borrower will be one of the occupants of the home.

Non-occupant co-borrowers are not allowed.

Non-occupant co-signors, however, are allowed per FHA first mortgage guidelines, but cannot occupy the property, be on the title or have any kind of vested interest in the property.

In other words, everyone on the loan that the ECTP is assisting with must occupy the home.

What is the Income Based On?

Income is based on qualifying annual or monthly income for both the borrower and co-borrower.

Please note: there are income limits per area.

If you are unsure of the income limit for your area, please let me know and I will be happy to help you.

For each of the applicable loan types, there are varying income limits per county.

Check below to see what your income limits would be:

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Would I be Getting a Good Deal?

San Diego Extra Credit Teacher Program (ECTP) W/CalHFA (2019 Update)

If you are a first-time homebuyer that works in the educational field in California, the ECTP can, without question, be a big help.

Because of its versatility and ability to be coupled with other assistant programs and loans, the ECTP can help knock even more off of the down payment, or general loan amount, when it comes to your mortgage and property purchase.

There are some things that should be taken into account when applying for the ECTP, as with any loan or assistance program.

Interest rates vary by your personal financial circumstances, lender fees and other factors.

They can change daily, so it is a good idea to check with someone like me who has his pulse on the local mortgage market. 

The ECTP can be a great help when it comes to assisting your first time mortgage loan out of the CalHFA as well as putting it towards your down payment.

In short, there are many ways the ECTP can be of great service to teachers and those in the educational service career path in California.

If you have any questions or concerns about the ECTP, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

I am always more than happy to share my expertise on the San Diego real estate market.

Leave a message in the comments section below - or call or text me at (760) 297-4539

Your ECTP Insider,


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