Homebuyer Counseling and Education FAQ

Here are the most frequently asked questions about our homebuyer counseling and education.

FAQ

How much does this cost?

Here is a breakdown of fees for our counseling and education:

Homebuyer Counseling
Online (two hours): $50
Phone (one hour): $150

Essentials for Buying Your First Home
Online course (six hours): $25

What type of payment do you accept?

Payments for online counseling and the education course are processed through Paypal. For phone counseling, we accept debit and credit cards as payment.

How long does the counseling and education take?

Phone counseling takes about an hour, online counseling takes two hours, and the online education course takes six. Remember that your lender may require a specific time duration (often eight hours), so you may need to take the online course and counseling to qualify.

What are the hours for counseling?

If you choose online counseling, you can complete most of the process at any time and at your own pace. However, there is a component of the online counseling that involves chatting with a counselor. Chat counselors are available from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. (ET, Monday through Friday) and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (ET, Saturday).

To schedule a phone counseling appointment, please call 800.750.2227 during the following hours: 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. (ET, Monday through Friday) or 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET, Saturday).

Is Clearpoint’s counseling and education approved for down payment assistance programs, or other lender programs?

Yes, our counseling and education qualify for many programs, but it is your responsibility to ensure that your lender or other third-party will accept the certificate you earn from us. Double check with them before moving forward.

I’ve been referred by FHLB (Federal Home Loan Bank)–are there special instructions for me?

Yes, if you have been referred as part of our program with FHLB, please call 877.585.8307 for counseling over the phone. Please also have your 10-digit reservation number when calling.

With so many people losing their homes, will your counseling help me to keep the home I purchase?

At Clearpoint, we recognize that it is far worse to lose a home than to delay the purchase of a home until one is truly in a position to afford it. Many of the foreclosures today are a result of consumers taking on more home than they could reasonably afford at the time.

While it is unfeasible to plan for every possible contingency, our housing counselors help clients assess their readiness for home purchase with an eye toward long-term stability. Just because a lender has approved you for a loan does not necessarily mean you can afford it. Home ownership alone is not the goal of our program. Our goal is homeownership and home retention.

I’m interested in purchasing a home, but I know my credit score is too low.  Would I still benefit from a counseling session?

Definitely. As part of your personalized counseling session, your housing  counselor will pull and review your credit report, highlighting the areas which may be preventing you from obtaining financing. We’ll offer recommendations for rehabilitating your credit in preparation for home ownership.

How is my debt-to-income ratio determined?

It’s determined by dividing your debt by your income. You can use Clearpoint’s debt-to-income calculator to estimate your ratio. When you know and improve your ratio, you’ll increase your odds of qualifying for lower-interest mortgages, auto loans and credit card rates.

Financial advisors suggest keeping that number below 36%–a threshold lenders often use when determining how much they’ll lend you.

How can I tell how much home I can comfortably afford?

It depends on your income and expenses. And, different lenders have different debt-to-income ratio requirements. Lenders will often grant you a loan for more than you’ll be comfortable with in the long run. Our counseling and education will give you an analysis of your budget, and overall financial picture, so you can determine how much of a home you can really afford.

When will I receive my certificate?

Certificates from the education course are provided immediately upon completion. Counseling certificates are provided within 72 business hours.

Can I start the online education and counseling and come back later to finish it?

Yes. The online education course and counseling are both self-paced. You can save your progress and return later to finish.

Does the counseling involve a credit inquiry?

Yes, the homebuyer counseling requires a credit inquiry. This is a “soft” pull of your credit, however, and will not affect your credit score or show on any third party credit report requests.

Does Clearpoint offer in-person homebuyer workshops?

Yes, we offer in-person workshops in a select few states. You can learn more about them here.

Read more about homebuyer counseling and education »

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Or call 800.750.2227 to schedule a phone counseling appointment.