Navigating the Path to Homeownership: First-Time Buyer Assistance Programs in Los Angeles County

What if I told you that you could save over a thousand dollars on your future mortgage each month and it would only cost you 8 hours.


Have you heard of CRA loans? CRA stands for Community Reinvestment Act. This act was created to encourage banks to serve the communities where they are located. What this means is that banks will create assistance programs to make mortgages accessible to the community members that they serve. The assistance could be in the form of grants for down payments, silent second loans, lower interest rates, or a combination of these.


Right now I’m excited about an assistance product offered by Cathay Bank with the following benefits:

1% – 3% down payment depending on your income

No mortgage insurance

Significantly lower rates. As of July 2023, I had a client quoted 4.75% on a 30 year fixed

Note that rates are subject to change with market conditions and your credit score will also affect the rate.

If you’re like me, it helps to see how the numbers play out. Here’s a side by side comparison of a $750,000 if you were to use FHA loan versus the Cathay Bank assistance loan.















That’s over $1,300 in savings per month!


You can apply for this assistance and other CRA loans after attending an 8 hours buyer education course put on by a non-profit organization called “New Economics For Women.”


Step 1: attend buyer education course & get certificate of completion

Step 2: at end of class, you’ll have the opportunity to sign up for a one-on-one consultation to determine if you’re a candidate for the assistance

Step 3: you’ll get a date and time to attend a zoom meeting with the program facilitators

Step 4: a few days before zoom your financials will be collected (taxes, bank statement, credit, etc)

Step 5: during the zoom call you’ll be notified if you’re a candidate and a loan officer will help you understand how much home you can afford with the program

Step 6: you get a qualification letter and start shopping for a home


You must be a first time buyer. For most assistance programs, a first time buyer is anyone who has not owned a home in the past 3 years. You should verify this with the program.

You must plan to occupy the home. This cannot be used for investments.

There are income limits. See limits here

Program is eligible in LA, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino Counties


To take the very first step towards eligibility, register for buyer education course HERE

Classes get booked up fast. If the class if full, contact below for upcoming dates.

Lumy Bustamante

[email protected]

213.482.2060 ext.316



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Book Buyer Consultation With Me

Call or text: Melissa Urena 562.287.4944


This is provided for informational purposes only based on personal experience with the program. I am not a lender, nor licensed to lend. All requirements and info is subject to change without notice by lender, market conditions, and other factors.
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