For both natives and immigrants, the United States is one of the easiest places on the planet to build personal credit. But those readily offered credit cards can quickly become a trap as interest adds up.
And out-of-control expenses are more than just a matter of cash flow. Having a good credit history is one of the key requirements for obtaining a home mortgage. Even those who save the hefty down payment find a low credit score can be show-stopper.
But according to a recent study by NeighborWorks America, a national nonprofit that helps people buy their homes, the biggest obstacle to buying a home is figuring out the process involved. While 76 percent of all U.S. residents said that home ownership is a critical step for achieving financial stability, 70 percent also believed that the process for buying a home is too complicated.
On June 22, NeighborWorks America will hold workshops to help potential home buyers in both English and Spanish and free of charge.
Buying a home leads to more than just a safe place to call one’s own. Juan Leyton, a director of NeighborWorks America, said home ownership creates wealth as property rises in value. Instead of paying rent that will never be recouped, homeowners build equity through mortgage payments.
Homeowners tend to enjoy more family stability and feel invested in their communities, he noted.
Yet according to the study, only about 8 percent of Hispanics said their primary financial goal for 2019 was to save for a down payment on a home. For African Americans, that figure was 6 percent.
A majority of both groups — 60 percent — said they wanted financial planning classes to improve their chances of becoming homeowners.
At Saturday’s workshops, experts will offer advice on improving credit scores and obtaining financial subsidies for first-time buyers and low-income families. Real estate agents, mortgage lenders, housing inspectors, title companies and home insurance agents will be among the vendors on hand.
Attendees may also get preapproved for mortgages, which could give them an advantage over other potential buyers when it comes to making an offer on a property.
Miami-Dade Homeownership Fair, Saturday, June 22, 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Homebuyer Education Workshop, Saturday, June 22, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Orientation seminar in English: Saturday, June 22, 12:30- 1:30 pm. The Joseph Caleb Center, 5400 NW 22nd Ave., Miami. 305-751-5511.
Advance registration is required at www.eventbrite.com/e/miami-dade-homebuyer-education-workshop-62219-tickets-61845318011