A free class offered by the not-for-profit North East Community Action Corporation (NECAC) could help ease the path to buying a home
A free class offered by the not-for-profit North East Community Action Corporation (NECAC) could help ease the path to buying a home.
“Financial Fitness” covers a wide range of credit topics and questions. The class is offered in four one-hour sessions that are held over eight weeks to accommodate participants’ schedules. It is available at each of NECAC’s 12 County Service Centers.
“One of the biggest hurdles for people in getting a home loan is that they have poor credit or too much debt,” said NECAC Homeownership Programs Director Marsha Signoracci. “Finding out if you are in a ‘credit crunch’ will help you determine if you are managing your debt or if your debts are controlling you. Once you discover where your money is going every month, you will be able to start managing it better.”
The class offers tips on saving money, cleaning up credit, non-traditional means of financing, understanding consumer rights and dealing with lenders.
“Lenders use credit history to determine who is a good risk and who is not,” Signoracci said. “Good credit history helps in securing better interest rates and loan terms. Lowering your debt increases the chance of loan approval for a higher purchase price.”
NECAC has been heavily involved in housing programs for more than 20 years. The agency is nationally recognized for being at the forefront of housing and homeownership opportunities.
In addition to “Financial Fitness,” NECAC offers homeownership classes that teach participants about mortgages, record-keeping and other topics. NECAC also continues to take and process USDA Rural Development 502 Direct Home Loan Program applications. The 502 loans are used by income-qualifying people to buy homes in rural areas. Families must be able to afford the mortgage payments, including taxes and insurance. Loans are for 33 years, with the interest rate set by the lender. There is no down payment.
“Many buyers don’t know the difference between an inspector and an appraiser, so having the right information is essential.” Signoracci said. “We’ll make sure you understand every step of the process. The bottom line is we’re here to help. We will do everything we can to make our clients successful homeowners.”
More information about NECAC homeownership and rehabilitation programs is available by calling 573-324-6622.