Housing Counseling

Housing counseling is sponsored by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and is offered for free or at a reduced cost to residents.

There are many housing counseling services available to homebuyers, homeowners and renters to ensure they make the proper purchasing, refinancing or renting decisions to maintain financial stability.

Residents can talk to a housing counselor through the HUD counseling program to receive expert advice on their personal financial goals and housing situation.

Using extensive housing counseling agencies throughout the state, residents can locate a convenient and helpful agency with counselors to assist them on the road to purchasing, refinancing or renting a home.

First-time homebuyers are encouraged to receive home buying counseling from free or reduced cost agencies sponsored by HUD because they can learn about the buying process and how it will affect their monthly expenses and financial future.

To find out more about house counseling agencies , the services they provide and how to connect with an agency, read through the following sections.

Housing Counseling Services

A resident can talk to a housing counselor about anything that relates to his or her housing situation.

When attempting to receive home counseling, residents should first identify the issues they need to speak with a counselor about.

Housing counseling services are provided at different agencies and there are specialists who can assist with specific housing-related subjects.

Housing counseling agencies may specialize in different information about home buying, renting or financing subjects, including:

  • Foreclosure avoidance
  • Refinancing or reverse mortgages
  • Credit issues
  • Home buying or renting
  • Defaulting on mortgages

By utilizing home buying counseling through HUD, residents can connect with local housing market experts who can review the buying process and finance options, like utilizing a FHA loan.

Having an open conversation with a housing counselor allows a potential first-time buyer to ask candid questions about his or her financial concerns, the steps in the process and what is expected of him or her as the buyer.

Additional housing counseling services, such as assistance with refinancing or answering questions about reverse mortgages, can help a current homeowner to weigh the pros and cons of the pending financial decision.

After talking to an housing counselor, homeowners may feel more confident in the decisions they make because they know what to expect from the financial process.

Free or Reduced Cost Housing Counseling Agencies

To receive free or reduced-cost housing counseling , residents must first locate a HUD-sponsored agency that offers the services they need.

Housing counseling agency listings are available on HUD’s website or by contacting the department directly.

When exploring agencies, the housing counseling services provided at each should be reviewed so a resident can locate the agency that specializes in the subject he or she needs assistance with.

There are house counseling agencies that specialize in foreclosure assistance and can provide details and advice on the Making Home Affordable program.

Other specialized housing counseling available at certain agencies includes information about finding an HUD home and advice on reverse mortgages.

When prospective housing counseling agencies are identified, the resident can contact a representative and set up a phone or in-person appointment.

Many house counseling agencies offer webinars, educational materials or in-person seminars for free to residents.

One-on-one meetings and other housing counseling services may also be offered at no cost to residents.

However, there are additional financial planning or assistance services offered through the housing counseling program that may result in fees or charges for residents.

This in-depth housing counseling may include assistance with the details of a purchase or refinance.

All HUD-sponsored home buying counseling agencies pledge to keep counseling rates affordable and reasonable for residents who locate their services through HUD.

Before utilizing the housing counseling services, the counselor is also required to discuss any fees that may apply to the resident.

According to HUD’s guidelines, fees for home counseling services must be waived by HUD-sponsored agencies if residents prove they cannot afford them.

To learn more about housing counseling services and the possible related fees for utilizing services, download and review our free detailed guide.

How to Talk to a Housing Counselor

Residents who wish to take advantage of housing counseling services may use HUD to locate free events that include housing-related education.

Home buying counseling seminars are common at local counseling agencies and can be helpful resources for potential first-time homebuyers.

A mobile phone application dedicated to helping users locate housing counseling is also available for residents looking for a counseling agency.

Using the application, the housing counseling agencies can be sorted by location, languages spoken and specific services available.

Residents who wish to talk to a housing counselor one-on-one can call a local agency to set up an appointment or may consider counseling by phone if it is more convenient.

Home counseling on foreclosure assistance is available by phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week through a HUD hotline. To learn more about what housing counseling agencies have to offer, download our comprehensive online guide.