UFCU Helps Put Home Ownership in Reach
UFCU believes in the life-changing power of home ownership. That’s why UFCU’s award-winning mortgage team has partnered with Austin Habitat for Humanity® to offer loan coaching and affordable home mortgages. Borrowers can apply for the program if they have been qualified with Habitat and have completed Habitat’s Homebuyer Education Course. After being accepted into the program, each participant is matched with a UFCU loan representative who coaches them through the loan-approval process.
In the Austin area, finding affordable housing is a challenge for many people. Average rents increased by 23% between 2020 and 2021. Growth in Austin-area home values is the highest in Texas. Interest rates are up. Residents are challenged to stretch each paycheck to cover rising prices.
Despite these sobering headlines, UFCU has found success with Habitat in making housing accessible for participants. In 2021, 30 participants (of 86 applicants) became homeowners. So far in 2022, seven participants became homeowners (of 75 applicants, year to date). The path to home ownership is different for everyone, and applicants sometimes must wait 12 to 18 months or more to realize their dream. For example, Habitat requires that participants complete the education course and put in 200 hours of “sweat equity” helping to build a house — which take time to complete. There are other requirements as well: New homeowners (even those who qualify for help from Habitat) must have at least a 620 FICO® score, a consistent work history, and some savings. Austin Habitat requires a small investment toward the borrower’s down payment and closing costs. The UFCU team is always available to consult with every Member about how to improve their credit score, reduce their debt, or prepare for the next step toward home ownership.
Like Habitat, UFCU has a mission to help people get the financial stability and security that comes with owning a home. The benefits of home ownership can be life-changing. UFCU is committed to giving as many people as possible access to the tools to acquire and own a home.
Published: May 26, 2022