Marcia's Blog

A Myth About Homeownership Counseling That We Must Dispel

I talk to a lot of people about the value of homeownership counseling. While most people see value in it, I’ve come across too many who don’t believe it is something that they personally need. 

There is a common myth that homeownership counseling is only valuable for people who are struggling financially and that couldn’t be further from the truth.

We all can benefit from financial education. In life, there is always something new to learn and a way that we can make our lives better. Consumers benefit from homeownership counseling in a countless number of ways, but here are a few of the biggest benefits people get from visiting HomeFree-USA and other nonprofit homeownership organizations.

They come away with more confidence. Homeownership is not an easy process to navigate whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or you’ve done it all before. Consumers must figure out how much house they can afford, as well as what they need to do to qualify for an affordable mortgage.  Homeownership counseling agencies arm consumers with the knowledge they need to make important decisions. That makes them more comfortable with the process and more likely to see the process through. 

They come away with financial assistance. Down payment and closing cost assistance can cost tens of thousands of dollars and many people don’t have all of those funds available to them. As a result, many may think homeownership is impossible. However, there are down payment and closing cost assistance plans that homeownership counseling agencies can connect consumers to. That way the pool of eligible homebuyers continues to grow.

They come away with a personalized financial plan. You can read all of the books about finances in the world, but there is no one-size-fits-all plan that works for everybody. One of the benefits consumers get when they visit a homeownership counseling agency is they come away with a financial plan that is tailored to their individual needs. That can help them to address their specific challenges and embark on a plan that works for them.

They come away with better credit. For many people seeking to buy a house, the biggest obstacle is their credit.  However, homeownership counseling agencies can work with clients to identify their financial weak spots and correct them, whether that means setting a budget, consolidating student loans or requesting a correction to a credit report. With a better credit score, consumers will find themselves eligible for a whole new world of financial opportunities.

It’s human nature to want to have more, know more and do more. Homeownership counseling and financial education in general can go a long way toward turning that objective into reality.