Homebuyer Counseling & Education
PHFA offers homebuyers the opportunity to receive homebuyer counseling and education through its approved counseling agencies, as well as an online program. Housing Counselors provide guidance and advice to help families and individuals improve their housing conditions and meet the responsibility of homeownership.
Topics covered include but are not limited to:
- evaluating mortgagor readiness;
- fair housing (including whether or not the beneficiary belongs to a protected class and how to recognize discrimination);
- credit report analysis and repair;
- budgeting for mortgage payments;
- improving money management skills;
- selecting a real estate agent and home inspection.
This also may include guidance on:
- alternative sources of mortgage credit;
- how to apply for special programs available to potential homebuyers;
- how to identify and avoid predatory lending practices;
- locating housing that provides universal design and visitability;
- locating resources and methods to help for accessibility modifications;
- how to purchase a home using Section 8 Homeownership Voucher Program;
- referrals to community services and regulatory agencies.
Borrowers with a middle credit score at or above 680 may complete the PHFA Online Homebuyer course. Borrowers with a middle credit score lower than 680 are required to complete an in-person course at a counseling agency prior to closing on their loan. These services are paid for by PHFA, with the exception of the credit report fee that may be charged by the counseling agency. Note: credit reports used for mortgage financing purposes generally return three scores; the "middle" score would be the one between the low and high scores.
Please locate a PHFA approved Homeownership Counseling Agency in your area and make an appointment. We strongly encourage you to seek the assistance of a counselor before you sign a sales agreement, especially if you are a first–time buyer. For problems getting access to a counseling agency; or, for more information, questions, or concerns regarding this list, contact Terri L. Redmond at 717.780.3907.
As part of its commitment to homebuyer education, PHFA makes available webinars on the home buying process for the public. Our goal is to provide potential home buyers with information that can help them make suitable purchase decisions. As purchasing a home is probably the largest financial transaction of most people’s lives, we want to help you get it right. Combining education with housing counseling can help you to become a ready buyer. Check back regularly for new homebuyer topics. Feel free to email us with your comments at AskPHFA@PHFA.org.