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Purchasing a home is one of the largest monetary transactions that most Americans make, and yet many do so without a clear understanding of what is involved in the home buying process.

Here in Montgomery County, many free classes are available to help home buyers gain a better understanding of the process involved in purchasing a home.  One such class is offered by Housing & Community Initiatives, Inc. (HCI), a nonprofit whose mission is "to enable low and moderate income households to achieve their homeownership goals by providing education -- the first step to housing success."  HCI offers a 3-hour introductory class for anyone looking to purchase their first home.  Additional resources include the Federal Trade Commission’s “Homes and Mortgages” pages and the Consumer Tools provided by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Choosing a mortgage or a home equity line of credit can be confusing for consumers. The first step is to check your credit report and score. The amount of interest you will pay will be based on your credit score and information in your credit report. The lower your credit score is, the higher interest rate you will be charged.

  • If there are errors on your credit report, get these taken care of and removed prior to applying for a loan.
  • If there are legitimate problems with your credit, i.e., you've paid payments late or have a high amount of debt, take the time to raise your credit score by paying bills on time for several months or reduce your debt before applying for a loan. Doing this could save you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. 
Resource Description of Help Provided
Federal Trade Commission's (FTC)
Free Annual Credit Reports
Obtaining your credit report
U.S. Department of Housing &
Urban Development (HUD)
MoneyWise: You Can Buy A Home
Advice for buying a home.
U.S. Department of Housing & 
Urban Development (HUD) 
Finding a HUD approved Housing Counselor in MD
Maryland Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation 
T: 410.230.6100 or 888.784.0136
Information on lenders, mortgage originators, and financial institutions in Maryland.
FTC:    "Homes & Mortgages"
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's: " Looking for the Best Mortgage"
Federal Reserve Board:  " Consumer Information"
MoneyWise: Keeping Your Home
Advice on choosing a mortgage, home equity line of credit; waht to do if you are having problems paying your mortgage; and more.
U.S. Department of Housing & 
Urban Development (HUD)
Advice on buying retaining and maintaining your home. or
Advice on foreclosures.


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