I’m Interested in Homeownership – Is My Credit Good Enough?

Bill Gray May 15, 2019

This month we’re taking a closer look at four myths that can cause people to self-select out of potential homeownership. This week’s segment – Myth: My Credit Is Ruined

If you have bad credit, you may think you’ll never be able to qualify for a mortgage to buy your own home. You’d be wrong, though. The truth is, your credit score constantly changes based on your financial behavior. Even previous bankruptcy can be overcome as an obstacle to mortgage qualification when you pursue a smart action plan. And you can get that plan for free, tailored to your own unique household and financial circumstances, by sitting down with a nonprofit Homeownership Advisor.

Let’s look at the case of Tamla, a single mother of five children who was forced to declare bankruptcy after a divorce. Tamla was frustrated by landlords who wouldn’t rent to such a large family, but she didn’t think homeownership was a possibility because of her bad credit. When she heard about the Minnesota Homeownership Center’s Home Stretch home buyer education class, and the Center’s work to make sustainable homeownership more accessible to those facing barriers, she decided to learn more. She took the Home Stretch class and then connected with a Homeownership Advisor at Hmong American Partnership in St. Paul. The Advisor worked with Tamla to lay out a plan to repair her credit, and in just a couple years Tamla and her family were able to move into their very own home. You can hear about Tamla’s experience in her own words here.

If you’re interested in homeownership but not sure you could qualify for a mortgage, you can meet with a Homeownership Advisor for free. They’ll be able to analyze your household and financial situation and lay out a plan for you to move from renting to owning. For some, the process may be relatively quick. For others and in cases where credit repair is necessary, it may take a couple years of work and saving. The bottom line is, homeownership and the stability and wealth-building benefits it can facilitate are more accessible than you may think. And exploring how it might be able to work for you and your family is free.

For more information or to find a Homeownership Advisor near you, go to HOCMN.org/BuyingAHome.

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