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First Time Home Buyer Classes & Credit Counseling in PA

Young couple with a housing counselorAre you a bit apprehensive about buying a home, or does buying a home seem too overwhelming? If so, speak to a Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) housing councilor. The housing councilors will discuss with you the home buying and mortgage process in easy to understand terms; and prepare you for homeownership. The councilors are able to review your credit report and credit score to determine whether you meet the minimum credit requirements by mortgage lenders.

The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency offers a variety of mortgage programs for home buyers and homeowners seeking to refinance their current mortgage to a lower interest rate.

PHFA requires applicants with a middle credit score lower than 680 are to complete an in-person home buying course at a counseling agency prior to closing on their loan. The course is free of charge, with the exception of the credit report fee that may be charged by the counseling agency.

Credit reports used for mortgage financing purposes generally return three scores. One score from Equifax, one from Transunion and on from Experian. The "middle" score would be the one between the low and high scores. Borrowers with a middle credit score at or above 680 may complete the PHFA Online Home buyer course.

What if I have bad credit?

The councilors are trained to help you re-establish your credit and in some cases will speak to your creditors to help repair your credit history.

What's so great about PHFA?

PHFA logoThe Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency offers below market interest rates for first and non-first time home buyers. The interest rate is almost always below the market interest rate. The interest rate discount is anywhere from 1/8% to 1/4% and can be even lower than market rates because there are no interest rate adjustments for credit score and loan to value. Loan to value is lender speak for down payment or equity.

The Keystone Government Program

The PHFA does not require a home buyer to be a first timer with the Keystone Government Program. The Keystone Government Program is built on FHA, VA and USDA home loans . . . at a discounted interest rate! Read more about the Keystone Government Program

The HFA Preferred™ HFA Preferred Risk Sharing™ Loans

The HFA programs are based on the conventional loan program. The down payment requirement is only 3%! One program require a monthly mortgage insurance premium, and the other HFA program does not require a monthly premium, but carries a slightly higher interest rate in lieu of the monthly cost.
Read more about the HFA loan programs.

The Keystone Home Loan Program

The Keystone Home Loan Program is the PHFA program for home buyers who wish to make a sizable down payment for the purchase of a home. There are income and purchase limits, but the limits are very generous and will vary by PA county. There is a first time home buyer requirement, although, many Pennsylvania are exempt from the first time limitation. Learn more about the The Keystone Home Loan Program

Keystone Advantage Assistance Loan

PA state flagThe biggest hurdle to home ownership is money. Money for the down payment and money for the closing costs. Because of this, PHFA offers a no interest loan to help to eligible home buyers purchase a home with PHFA financing. The assistance loan is stretched over ten years. Eligible home buyers can receive up to four percent (4%) of the purchase price (or market value) or $6,000 (whichever is less).
Read more about the Keystone Advantage Assistance Loan