10 Things Your Faith Community Can Do To Encourage Homeownership
4. Help Families Improve Their Credit Rating
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
- 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