Here are the most frequently asked questions about our homebuyer counseling and education.
Here is a breakdown of fees for our counseling and education:
Online (two hours): $50
Phone (one hour): $150
Essentials for Buying Your First Home
Online course (six hours): $25
Payments for online counseling and the education course are processed through Paypal. For phone counseling, we accept debit and credit cards as payment.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Certificates from the education course are provided immediately upon completion. Counseling certificates are provided within 72 business hours.
Yes. The online education course and counseling are both self-paced. You can save your progress and return later to finish.
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.
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 »