A critical component to buying a home is education and counseling. There are many programs out there to help Native families become educated before buying a home. Most Native families that are buying a home are first generation homebuyers and buying a home for their first time. In order to make the right steps, make sure that paperwork is filled out correctly, and know the requirements it’s good to get educated.
In many cases, individuals may have poor or no credit history and may not be familiar with the mortgage and lending process that is required for homeownership. There are some cases where a potential homeowner will only need to attend an introductory class or do some light reading, and there are some cases where a potential homeowner may need years of counseling to repair credit or reduce existing debt. Below are some of our picks for homebuyer resources and counseling:
National American Indian Housing Council
Founded in 1974, the National American Indian Housing Council offers many classes for homeowner counseling, including a four day course as a part of its Leadership Institute but tend to mostly work with tribal housing authorities. They also can provide on-site technical assistance to Indian housing professionals at no cost. They represent and work with 463 tribes and housing organizations. For more information, contact:
900 2nd Street, NE Suite 107
Washington, DC 20002
Phone Number: 1-800-284-9165
Housing Assistance Council
The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) is a nonprofit corporation that offers technical assistance and training to rural America, including Native Americans. Established in 1971, the HAC assists with both single and multi-family homes. For more information you can visit them at their address or check out their website:
1025 Vermont Ave., NW Suite 606
Washington, DC 20005
Phone Number: (202)-842-8600
American Homeowner Education & Counseling Institute (AHECI)
Established in 1997 by Fannie Mae, the AHECI is a national, nonprofit organization. They work with mortgage industry partners and leaders in the housing industry that are both nonprofit and for profit to help standardize the education and counseling of homeowners. You can check out their information below:
1156 15th Street, NW Suite 1220
Washington, DC 20005
Phone Number: 800-AHECI-99
For more counseling agencies throughout the country that have been approved by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, you can check out their Housing Counseling page that breaks down each approved agency by state. They also have specific searches that you can do for reverse mortgage counselors and foreclosure avoidance counselors.
It’s also good to remember that even though there are these nationally recognized housing counseling resources, it’s always good to contact your tribe or a local tribe in your area. Most tribal housing authorities will also have classes, programs, and grants that tribal members can attend. Each tribe will have unique programs and will vary from tribe to tribe. Also, would also be good to check local state programs or realtors that might be offering homebuyer classes. For example, those in Washington have the ability to attend first time homebuyer classes all across the state taught by the Washington State Housing Finance Commission.
Remember, it’s good to ask any questions you have to your loan officer, and a good team will take time to answer any questions you have. If the person or company you are attempting to do a loan with does not want to answer questions or does not take your questions seriously, you should be hesitant and cautious.
If you have any questions or comments as to what was covered about homeowner resources and counseling, feel free to leave a comment below or contact 1st Tribal Lending with your question privately.