National nonprofit ACCC offers planning and advice to help consumers get organized and purchase a home.
Boston, MA – January 30, 2015
National nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling is helping consumers who want to purchase a home during National Get Organized Month this January. Organization is key when it comes to getting ready to buy your first home. Planning for it financially can be a daunting task, but with the right preparation and research, it can be achievable.
“Buying your first home can be a complicated and intimidating process, both emotionally and financially,” said Steve Trumble, President and CEO of ACCC. “Buying a home is one of the largest investments consumers will ever make, and it’s critical that they prepare financially before they take the leap. These tips can help individuals – particularly first time homebuyers – get organized so that the process of becoming a homeowner is as smooth as possible.”
Buying a home is a major life decision. You’ll want to do everything in your power to make sure you’re financially secure enough to tackle the investment. If you’re planning to buy a home in the near future, here are some necessary steps you should take well before you start looking.
Pay your bills on time
Your credit history plays an important role in the home buying process. This includes rent and bills. If you have a history of paying credit cards, utilities, student loans and other bills late, it can damage your ability to secure a mortgage. Create a schedule and budget so that you can pay bills on time as they are due.
Pull your credit report
It’s critical that you know what your credit score is since it is one of the first and most important items a bank looks at when determining whether to grant a mortgage. When examining the report, make sure to look for inaccuracies or mistakes. If there are any, you’ll have to address with the credit bureaus and if your score is lower than it should be spend the time necessary to improve your score long before you are going to buy.
Most lenders prefer if you have three or more trade lines (credit cards, student loans, car loan, etc.) that have been open for at least a year. It’s also important to avoid closing these trade lines because it will negatively affect your credit score.
Save as much money as possible. A larger down payment (20%) or more can save you hundreds in additional insurances and give you more buying power.
Do your research
There are many other factors you have to consider when buying a home in addition to the purchase price of the house. Property taxes, homeowners insurance, utilities, maintenance, condo fees and repair can add up very quickly. Make sure to research interest rates to determine the best time to buy.
Consider enrolling in a first time homebuyer’s education course. These classes, which are often offered online by a variety of nonprofit organizations, provide homebuyer’s with detailed information, advice and budgeting tips on how to successfully purchase a home. The detail provided – from credit reports and mortgages, to home inspections and insurance – can be invaluable.
ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization, that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:
- For credit counseling, call 800-769-3571
- For bankruptcy counseling. call 866-826-6924
- For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
- Or visit us online at ConsumerCredit.com
About American Consumer Credit Counseling
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial health through education, counseling, and debt management. ACCC provides individuals with practical solutions for solving financial problems and recognizes that consumers’ financial difficulties are often not the result of poor spending habits, but more frequently from extenuating circumstances beyond their control. As one of the nation’s leading providers of financial education and credit counseling services, ACCC works with consumers to help them with the best plan of action to reduce their debt and regain financial stability. ACCC is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and holds an A+ rating. It is also a member of the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies. For more information or to access free financial education resources log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit TalkingCentsBlog.com.