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Fannie Announces Free Courses for New Homebuyers

The online service aligns with national course standards – the level first-time buyers need to qualify for some mortgage products, like low-down payment loans.

WASHINGTON – Fannie Mae announced the launch of HomeView, a new online homeownership education course to help consumers navigate the mortgage and homebuying process.

The seven-part education series is free, and Fannie Mae says it aligns with National Industry Standards required for first-time homebuyers to qualify for certain mortgage products, including low-down-payment loans. According to Fannie Mae’s media release, it provides “a clearer path to homeownership for more qualified homebuyers, including low- and moderate-income and minority borrowers, helping to advance housing equity and address the homeownership gap among these communities.”

Many loan products with favorable terms require buyers to take an education course, which makes default less likely. A lack of knowledge can also discourage potential buyers from taking even the first steps toward purchasing a home.

According to Fannie Mae research, a majority of consumers don’t know the basics of home buying, such as minimum credit scores needed, the amount they should strive to save for a down payment, or the necessary debt-to-income ratio needed to qualify for a mortgage. In addition, fewer than 1 in 4 know that low-down-payment options are available.

“Broadening access to quality, trustworthy homeownership education is a proven first step to empowering homebuyers to become successful homeowners,” says PJ McCarthy, vice president of affordable lending and housing equity at Fannie Mae. “HomeView puts people on the path to buying a home while preparing them for long-term success.”

The course includes seven interactive learning modules:

  • Knowing when you’re ready
  • Saving for homeownership
  • Understanding the mortgage loan process
  • Shopping for a home with a real estate agent
  • Making an offer on a home
  • Getting ready to close on your loan
  • Welcome to homeownership

Each interactive module can be completed in 30 minutes or less, and consumers can pause and resume at any time. Users who complete the course and achieve a score of 80% or higher receive a certificate of completion to share with their lender. Fannie Mae says that certificate of completion meets the education requirement for most mortgage products, including low-down-payment loans.

HomeView also has tools and resources, including checklists and calculators, and a link to find HUD-approved local housing counselors for consumers who would like additional support. There is no limit to the number of times users can take the HomeView modules or access the resources. At the time of launch, HomeView content is available in English, with additional language options to be offered in the future.

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