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Homebuyer Counseling

Counseling and education

Homebuyer education and counseling programs are a critical component for homeownership. Because most Native families are first time - if not first generation homebuyers, they often need education on the steps required to make a successful loan application to qualify for a mortgage.

These programs can also provide assistance in learning about homeownership, its benefits, and requirements. In some cases, individuals may have poor, or no credit history, and may not be familiar with the mortgage lending process and required home maintenance activities. Some individuals may only need to attend an introductory class on homeownership, while others may require up to two years of one-on-one counseling to repair credit or reduce existing debt before they are ready to submit an application to a lender. Education and counseling can be crucial in helping an individual or family become and remain a homeowner.

Personal training resources for homebuyer counseling programs

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
Native American Credit Counseling initiative aims to bridge the credit gap in Indian Country.  For information on applying for the NACC program, contact Tim Guardipee at timg@ruraldynamics.org or 406-454-5704. Classes are limited in size to create the learning-cohort environment, but are offered frequently in response to the demand.

National American Indian Housing Council
Offers a four-day course as part of its Leadership Institute. For more information, contact NAIHC 900 Second Street, NE, Suite 305, Washington, DC 20002-3557, Phone 1-800-284-9165.

NeighborWorks America
Offers homebuyer counseling training for staff as part of its Training Institute. For more information, contact NRC at 1325 G Street NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20005-3100, (800) 438-5547.

American Homeowner Education & Counseling Institute (AHECI)
A national, nonprofit organization which was established in 1997 by Fannie Mae, mortgage industry partners and leaders in the housing industry (for-profit and nonprofit), to standardize the homeowner education and counseling industry. For more information, contact AHECI at 1156 15th Street, N.W. Suite 1220, Washington, DC 20005, 888-AHECI-99; Fax: 888-AHECI-77.

Falmouth Institute, Inc.
A for-profit training and publishing firm that specializes in Indian country issues. It offers a homebuyer counseling course for trainers. For more information, contact The Falmouth Institute, Inc. 3702 Pender Dr., Suite 300, Fairfax, VA 22030, 800-992-4489.

Navajo Partnership for Housing, Inc. (NPH)
A nonprofit corporation chartered under Navajo law to promote homeownership opportunities for Navajo families. It also offers training for homebuyer education counselors at other Indian tribes. For more information, contact NPH at P.O. Box 1384, St. Michaels, AZ 86511, (520) 810-3112.

Technical assistance resources for homebuyer education

National American Indian Housing Council
At the request of tribal housing agencies, NAIHC will provide on-site technical assistance to Indian housing professionals at no cost. NAIHC's technical assistance specialists work on-site, via telephone/fax, or e-mail. For more information, contact NAIHC 900 Second Street, NE, Suite 305, Washington, DC 20002-3557, Phone 1-800-284-9165.

The Housing Assistance Counsel (HAC)
A nonprofit corporation that offers training and technical assistance to organizations that serve rural America. For more information, contact HAC at 1025 Vermont Ave., NW, Suite 606, Washington, D.C. 20005, (202) 842-8600.

State Housing Finance Agencies
To find the agency in your state, contact the National Council of State Housing Agencies, 444 N. Capitol St. NW, Suite 438, Washington, DC 20001, (202) 624-7710.

HUD-funded Housing Counseling Agencies
To find a counseling agency near you, contact the Housing Counseling Clearinghouse at PO Box 10423, McLean, VA 22102-8423, (800) 569-4287.

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