Robert and Kristen Cook came to NeighborWorks Home Partners after an online search was confirmed by a recommendation from a friend. When they came to us in January of 2016, they had resolved to purchase a home within one year. But credit issues meant that they’d have some hurdles to overcome first. With coaching through NeighborWorks Home Partners Financial Capability program sponsored by the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, they were able to receive long-term guidance and encouragement to pursue their dream (and found some help with a down payment along the way!)
Working with their advisor, the Cooks created an action plan to put them in a better position to qualify for a mortgage and afford a home. This plan included paying off old debt, paying down their credit cards, and increasing their savings. Robert and Kristin realized that this was a lot of work, but they were up for the challenge.
In less than a year, they had improved their credit score enough to reach the mortgage qualification level. But they needed to be in a better position with other debt before they could take on a home loan. With their eye on their goal, they changed their spending habits, made sure to pay their current credit cards and loans on time, and continued to pay off their old debts.
After 2 ½ years of hard work, they increased their savings, paid off old debt, and paid down their credit cards. Their credit score increased almost 150 points! They were ready and were soon pre-approved for a mortgage.
Working with NeighborWorks Home Partners had another benefit: after talking with their advisor, they learned about a down payment loan program through NeighborWorks Home Partners that would increase their buying power.
While their preparation was a long journey, when it came time to shop for a home they didn’t have to look far. Their new home is in a community they already loved, less than a mile from where they were renting.
If owning a home is your goal, too, don’t wait to begin making your plan. Get started by meeting with a homeownership advisor.