Fannie Mae Focuses on High-Quality Homeownership Education and Housing Counseling in Support of National Homeownership Month
Homeownership education is evolving
June is National Homeownership Month – a great time to focus on how high-quality homeownership education and housing counseling can help expand the pool of mortgage-eligible buyers. Often, homeownership education is viewed by buyers as just another hoop to jump through during an already stressful time. And, for some loan officers, it’s seen as a requirement that can delay a loan closing.
But the need for knowledge is real. When Fannie Mae surveyed consumers, we learned that about half were unable to answer questions about key mortgage qualification criteria. And our recent qualitative study revealed that consumers agree that homeownership education is helpful and they believe it should occur earlier in the process.
So, how can we help bridge the consumer knowledge gap and smooth the process for lenders?
We can start by letting buyers know that homeownership education is evolving to fit their needs and busy lives. There’s no reason for it to be a burden. With online courses, such as the Framework® home-buyer education course, your borrowers can complete the course on their phone, tablet, or computer. Buyers can fit in a bit during their lunch hour, waiting for an appointment, or whenever they have time. The Framework course, available in English and Spanish, meets or exceeds national industry standards and consistently receives high marks from learners.
Beyond the convenience offered by today’s high-quality courses, homeownership education can help borrowers become:
Fannie Mae believes that homeownership education is the best way to prepare borrowers to succeed as homeowners in the long term. That’s why our HomeReady® mortgage, our 3% down payment product designed to help lenders serve low- to moderate-income borrowers, requires that at least one buyer on each purchase transaction complete the Framework course (with some exceptions).
And, for those consumers who need customized assistance to become mortgage-ready, housing counseling from a HUD-approved nonprofit counseling agency may be the best pathway to homeownership. Counseling addresses a buyer’s unique financial circumstances and housing issues, and it includes an education component that may be delivered one-on-one or via classroom or self-guided online programs, such as the Framework course. Not only does counseling fulfill the HomeReady homeownership education requirement, Fannie Mae provides lenders with a $500 loan-level price adjustment credit for each HomeReady purchase transaction on which a buyer received assistance from a HUD-approved nonprofit counseling agency before entering into the contract to purchase the home.
So, as we celebrate National Homeownership Month, let’s spread the word that homeownership education and housing counseling are evolving to meet borrower needs and that they support all of our efforts to make homeownership sustainable. Sustainability is good for business – that’s something we can celebrate every month of the year.
Visit our website to learn more about homeownership education and find resources to grow your business with HomeReady.
TMC - Chief Operating Officer
President/CEO - Pulte Financial Services