CCCS Offers Free Homeowner Education During Homeownership Month

Nonprofit agency also offers free bilingual classes to future homeowners
DALLAS - June 7, 2013 - PRLog -- The housing market is turning around and more consumers are looking to capture a good deal on a new home, but buyers need to be aware of the new rules for homeownership before jumping into a purchase. Consumer Credit Counseling Service ( (CCCS), a nonprofit provider of financial education and a HUD-approved counseling agency, provides education classes ( and one-on-one counseling sessions for consumers looking for guidance on first-time homeownership and reverse mortgages, as well as foreclosure prevention and beyond. As part of Homeownership Month in June, CCCS will hold its “So, You Want to be a Homeowner Class,” in English and Spanish for the Dallas, Austin and Colorado Springs markets in addition to offering 12 live housing-related webinars throughout the month.

CCCS’ free seminars ( and webinars teach consumers to take a realistic look at what to expect from homeownership, and include details on everything from financial preparation and qualifying for a mortgage, to home inspection and maintenance and avoiding foreclosure. The agency also offers one-on-one counseling sessions that review the basics of budgeting and credit, as well as understanding how much mortgage is appropriate based on income.

“Although the number of troubled homeowners has decreased this year so far, consumers are still reaching out to us on a regular basis and are needing help to keep their homes and avoid foreclosure,” said Todd Mark, vice president of education ( for CCCS. “For those fortunate enough to be able to purchase homes this year at lower home prices and interest rates, we want to make sure they are making a smart purchase to ensure a sustainable, affordable housing situation, and avoid the possibility of their own housing crisis down the road.”

CCCS is offering the housing-related webinar classes in June and consumers can register for free at

·         June 11, 12:30 pm - So You Want to be a Homeowner (

·         June 11, 8:30 pm – Ready to Rent (

·         June 17, 7:30 pm – So You Want to be a Homeowner (

·         June 17, 9:00 pm – How do I save my Home from Foreclosure? (

·         June 18, 12:30 pm – Ready to Rent (

·         June 20, 9:30 am – Interest Rates: Why Should I Care? (

·         June 21, 9:00 am – Demystifying Reverse Mortgages (

·         June 21, 12:00 pm – Life After Foreclosure (

·         June 25, 9:00 am – So You Want to be a Homeowner (

·         June 26, 8:00 pm – Ready to Rent (

·         June 27, 1:30 pm – How do I save my Home from Foreclosure? (

·         June 27, 8:00 pm – Life After Foreclosure (

Some of the tips from CCCS’ popular “So You Want to be a Homeowner,” include:

·         Determine the right time for homeownership. With the current state of the economy, it is always best to determine the right time in your life to buy a home and what kind of home is in your price range. How much money will you be able to borrow? What types of mortgages are available, and which mortgage is best for you? Before calling or meeting with real estate professionals or potential lenders, be sure to have all the answers to these questions.

·         Analyze how much money you have saved. As with any major purchase in your life, there will be up-front costs associated with buying a home, such as a down payment, home inspection, appraisal and closing costs that can range from three to six percent of the cost of the house. Be sure to also keep in mind additional costs such as movers and/or repairs.

·         Examine your credit report and credit score. Before beginning your house hunt, obtain a free copy of your credit report at or by calling (877) 322-8228. Your credit report is used extensively by potential lenders to evaluate your credit worthiness. Your credit score can impact your interest rate and costs for other items such as homeowner’s insurance. The higher your score, the better chance you have of getting a lower interest rate.

·         Shop for a mortgage that’s best for you. Select a mortgage and loan terms that are most favorable to your financial situation. A 30- or 15-year fixed mortgage may make the most sense given historically low interest rates, but be sure you know the differences in all mortgages, including fixed-rate, adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) and federal government-insured loans from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Remember to limit your mortgage shopping to a two-week period. Several lenders pulling your credit report could show up negatively if you extend the shopping beyond this time period.

·         Be prepared for your first meeting with a lender. To save time, gather the following items in advance of your meeting: bank information such as account number, branch address, latest bank statement; pay stubs, W2 forms for the past two years, or other proof of employment and salary; information about debts, including loan and credit card numbers and creditor contact information; and evidence of mortgage or rental payments, such as canceled checks or money order receipts. If you are self-employed, collect balance sheets, tax returns for the past two years and a year-to-date profit and loss statement.

·         Sign up for a free one-on-one personal counseling or group homeownership session. For more information about becoming a homeowner, call CCCS at (800) 249-2227 or visit

For more information on homeownership classes or information on free budget and credit counseling and financial education, visit or call 1-800-249-2227.

About CCCS of Greater Dallas

Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Dallas, Inc. is a nonprofit, community-based credit counseling and debt management service. Established in 1974, CCCS of Greater Dallas and its affiliate offices provide financial education and counseling to consumers in-person, by phone, or Internet at 15 locations in four states. CCCS of Greater Dallas is a HUD-approved housing counseling multi-state organization and serves as one of seven counseling agencies supporting the 888-995-HOPE Hotline. The agency is also a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), the nation’s largest and longest serving national nonprofit credit counseling network. CCCS of Greater Dallas is a service partner of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. To learn more about CCCS of Greater Dallas’ free seminars or the agency’s services, call 800-249-2227, visit or become a fan of CCCS of Greater Dallas on Facebook ( to receive updates on agency events and offerings.
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