The Colorado Housing Finance Agency (CHFA) has launched a new program to help the state’s first-time home buyers save up to $2,000 annually on their federal income taxes. The program, called CHFA SmartStep, combines THE CHFA’s most affordable 30-year fixed rate mortgage with a Mortgage Credit Certificate and optional down payment assistance. According to the CHFA, the Mortgage Credit Certificate works by allowing buyers to count a percentage of the mortgage interest they pay annually as a $1 for $1 tax credit against their federal income tax. To be eligible for the CHFA SmartStep program, borrowers must be first time home buyers, have a minimum 620 FICO score, and meet income and purchase price limits. All CHFA borrowers must contribute at least $1,000 toward the purchase of their home, as well as complete a free home buyer education class.