10 Things Your Faith Community Can Do To Encourage Homeownership

4. Help Families Improve Their Credit Rating

10 Things to Encourage Homeownership


  1. Speak Out About the Benefits of Homeownership
  2. Create Partnerships to Educate Potential Homebuyers
  3. Encourage Families to Save for a Downpayment
  4. Help Families Improve Their Credit Rating
  5. Teach Young People about Financial Responsibility
  6. Hold an Open House for Homeownership
  7. Put Your Faith to Work with Hammer and Nails
  8. Encourage Professionals in Your Faith Community to Mentor Families
  9. Help Your Neighbor by Going the "Extra Mile"
  10. Help Homeowners Keep Their Homes

Poor credit decisions in the past are often the greatest roadblock for potential homeowners. Form a partnership with credit counseling organizations to help your community's members repair their credit record, and help them learn financial stewardship. The results will be more careful decisions on using credit and an improved credit record that will help them realize the dream of homeownership.

  • Even though there are many mortgage products that allow a great deal of flexibility in qualifying applicants for home loans, the area of sound credit and a good record of paying bills regularly and on time is still critical to qualifying for a loan.
  • Financial literacy, money management and budgeting programs are available from a number of organizations for which these topics are their sole focus. Many of the organizations mentioned earlier in this brochure also include or offer separate programs to help aspiring homebuyers become financially fit and ready for the homebuying process.
  • The approaches for this aspect of training and counseling mirror those for the homebuyer training processes described earlier. One of these organizations' web sites or a local partner may lead you to the approach that is right for your effort. For resources and ideas, look at these web sites: http://www.cccsintl.org/; http://www.phil.frb.org/consumers/; http://www.clev.frb.org/CommAffairs; http://wtw.doleta.gov/financial.asp.
  • These national organizations are focused solely on providing education and counseling on credit. Take a look at their web sites to find out if there is a local affiliate near you: The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (www.nfcc.org/), Consumer Credit Counseling Services (www.cccsoc.org), and www.debtadvice.org. You may also call the National Foundation for Credit Counseling at (800) 388-2227 to hear a recorded listing or their organization sites.
Content Archived: April 9, 2010