Credit.org is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved housing counseling agency. HUD-approved housing counseling agencies help empower homeowners, homebuyers, and renters to make well informed housing decisions.
In response to the ongoing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important that anyone facing housing instability reach out for counseling and assistance to ensure that you are fully utilizing all the resources available to you. We have HUD certified housing counselors ready to help.
Even if you’ve been previously rejected or denied for assistance, you can and should apply again. Changes to existing programs have increased eligibility for applicants and new COVID related assistance programs are continuing to become available. Depending on your unique situation, you may be eligible for assistance now. That means it’s worth your time to seek HUD approved housing counseling, even if you’ve already tried and didn’t get approved for a mortgage workout or other kind of relief.
How HUD Counseling Works
HUD has found that those who get counseling are 3 times more likely to obtain relief. Furthermore, clients who complete counseling with an agency like ours are 70% more likely to be current on their mortgages.
Not being able to make your home payment is scary. Many people risk losing their homes because they are too ashamed, fearful to act, or are in denial about the seriousness of their problem. However, when approaching the problem quickly and with an action plan, you may be able to turn a negative situation into a positive one.
Counseling helps all kinds of distressed renters and homeowners at every level. Borrowers who lack access to technology or have limited digital literacy benefit the most from having a counselor help them navigate the current technology and processes used to seek relief.
But even a tech-savvy person might not have an easy time navigating the forms and disclosures that come with seeking relief. Using a housing counselor means getting expert help from someone who has seen all kinds of situations and can answer any questions you might have.
Creating Win-Win Scenarios for Everyone
Under new COVID-related rules, many lenders will be proactively reaching out to borrowers with loan modification offers. The volume of homeowners to process will be very large. Make sure you open and respond to all mail from your lender. The first notices that you receive will offer valuable information about foreclosure prevention options that can help you overcome your financial problems. Subsequent mail may include important notices of pending legal action. Failure to open the mail will not excuse or prevent the process of foreclosure from continuing.
We understand that your situation feels overwhelming. That’s why you have HUD-approved housing counseling agencies here that can help empower you to make informed housing decisions. Together, we can help you navigate your situation and a reach solution where everyone wins.
A Freddie Mac / Roper study indicates over 50% of borrowers who were behind on their mortgage did not return contact from their lender. Of those, 61% were unaware of the variety of workout options that could help them overcome financial difficulties. Further, 92% said they would have talked to their lenders had they known these options were available to them.
Being proactive about seeking help is important. There are deadlines in effect for the relief programs that are available to you. Anyone who needs relief shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to a HUD approved housing counseling agency for help.
Benefits to HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agencies
Being a HUD approved housing counseling agency makes us part of a network of approved agencies that offers our clientele unique benefits and enhances the counseling we offer in many ways:
- Access to resources – HUD-certified housing counselors share information about training, best practices, new technologies, and other resources to ensure the highest quality assistance is being provided.
- Certification & training – We have our own internal training program along with external training programs to help counselors become HUD-certified. HUD certification is the most difficult accreditation to obtain in our field of work and shows our clients that when they are working with us, they are working with an expert.
- Requirements & documentation – We value your privacy. HUD counseling involves systematic and detailed documentation, which is bound by strict privacy rules and technical requirements.
- Grants help us help our clients – Through grants and other programs, HUD approved housing counseling agencies get funded to provide services without having to charge our clients high fees for services.
HUD Approval is Rigorous
As we wrote before in our article “Using memberships, accreditations and other badges to evaluate and agency”, getting approval from HUD is a difficult process that takes hard work and a commitment to excellence. HUD agencies are audited and reviewed regularly, with strict reporting and record-keeping requirements.
Speaking from experience, it’s not easy to meet HUD’s requirement for approval, we see a housing counseling agency’s HUD certification logo as a real badge of honor. Any housing counseling agency who has what it takes to earn HUD approval gets an automatic recommendation from us.
Other Kinds of Housing Assistance
Besides providing assistance for people facing foreclosure or other mortgage instability, we help first-time home buyers prepare for homeownership. We offer Home Buyer Education Workshops online, and we urge anyone thinking of becoming a homeowner to get this education first, before they start shopping for a home to qualify for down payment assistance programs.
We also offer Reverse Mortgage Counseling for homeowners age 62 and older. A reverse mortgage can provide regular cash flow, tax-free. Counseling from an agency like ours is required before a reverse mortgage can be approved.
Whatever kind of housing assistance you need, we’re ready to help. Don’t wait to reach out if you need help.
Please join us for our free virtual financial webinars coming up on August 27th (Power of Paycheck Planning) and September 1st (Couples and Money). For more details and to register please visit: https://credit.org/events/.