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Affordable Home Loan Secondary Market Program

In this program, Self-Help Ventures Fund partners with other lenders to help more home buyers across the country access affordable, fair mortgages. Our partners include large nationwide banks as well as smaller mission-focused lenders. Recently we have purchased nearly 2,500 loans totaling more than $131 million from smaller lenders. These purchases help our partners serve a variety of niche markets, including loans to families with lower credit scores and loans that promote greater energy efficiency.  

Responsible Mortgages with Low Down Payments

Self-Help has a long history of secondary market initiatives that support affordable home loans; currently we are proud to be partnering with Bank of America and Wells Fargo. The Bank of America and Wells Fargo mortgage programs vary in some of the details, but both offer these advantages to home buyers: 

  • A down payment as low as 3%
  • Borrowers may fund their down payment with an affordable second loan, grant or cash on hand
  • Credit history may be based on non-traditional forms of credit
  • No mortgage insurance costs for borrowers
  • Homeownership education and counseling

Loan amounts can go up to $417,000; applicants’ income cannot exceed 100 percent of the area median income. The homebuyer must live in the house—no investor properties.  


Bank of America - Affordable Loan Solution 1.866.466.0979

Wells Fargo - yourFirstMortgage™  1.877.937.9357

More information on the Wells Fargo program

How it Works 

The flow chart illustrates our secondary marketing program with nationwide lending partners. Our partners work directly with first-time home buyers to make the loans, and we at Self-Help take on the credit risk. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae contribute vital capital support by purchasing loans under the program, providing essential funding for future loans. 


Mom and child playing soccer in yard


Secondary market flow chart

Impact: A History of Wealth-Building 

We are continuing our secondary market program today because experience shows it works. In our first secondary market initiative, the Community Advantage Program (CAP), we facilitated more than $4.5 billion in financing to over 50,000 homebuyers in 48 states.

Research by the UNC Center for Community Capital concludes that the CAP program—which also included low down payment loans paired with responsible underwriting—resulted in sustainable homeownership.  In fact, by 2012, families who became homeowners through CAP had gained, on average, nearly $22,000 in equity. This shows that responsible mortgages made a positive difference in building a stronger financial future for these low- and moderate-income families. Find more information at “Lending that Boosts Homeownership.”