PHFA counseling agencies & credit counseling

Are 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 counselor. The housing councilors will discuss the home buying and mortgage process in easy-to-understand terms and prepare you for homeownership. The counselors can 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.

Before closing on their loan, PHFA requires applicants with a midrange credit score of less than 680 to attend an in-person house-purchasing course at a counseling agency. The system is free, except for any credit report fees levied by the counseling organization.

Credit reports used for home finance often provide three scores—one score from Equifax, one from Transunion, and one from Experian. The "middle" score would be between the low and high scores. Borrowers with a medium credit score of 680 or above may take the PHFA Online home-buyer course.

What if I have bad credit?

The councilors are trained to help you reestablish your credit and, in some cases, will speak to your creditors to help repair your credit history.

What's so great about PHFA?

The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency offers reduced 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 a 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 Loan 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 requires a monthly mortgage insurance premium, and the other HFA program does not require a monthly premium. Still, it carries a slightly higher interest-rate instead than 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 purchasing 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 Pennsylvanians are exempt from the first-time limitation.
Learn more about the Keystone Home Loan Program

Keystone Advantage Assistance Loan

The biggest hurdle to home ownership is money. The money for the down payment and cash for the closing costs. Because of this, PHFA offers a no-interest loan to help eligible home-buyers purchase a home with PHFA financing. The assistance loan is stretched over ten years. Qualified 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 Program