Homeownership Education & Housing Counseling
At Fannie Mae, we believe quality homebuyer education and counseling are key to successful homeownership. An educated borrower is better informed with a clearer understanding of their housing needs and household budget. The borrower is empowered, and better able to solve problems, benefiting both the homebuyer and the lender.
Homeownership Education and Housing Counseling are different programs for a future homeowner to become educated on the home buying and financing processes.
For some of Fannie Mae’s affordable mortgage products, homeownership education may be required for certain borrowers.
Homeownership Education Requirements
Homeownership education completion is required for:
- At least 1 borrower for purchase loans greater than 95% LTV when all occupying borrowers are first-time homebuyers, regardless of the mortgage product chosen.
- For HomeReady® and HFA Preferred™ purchase loans, if all occupying borrowers are first-time homebuyers, homeownership education is required for at least one borrower, regardless of LTV.
- For borrowers with no credit score, if all borrowers are non-traditional credit, completing homeownership education is required for at least 1 borrower, for all loans.
HomeView is an interactive and comprehensive online education course that is designed to help future homebuyers learn and navigate the homebuying process. When homeownership education is required, a minimum of one occupying borrower must complete a homeownership education course from a qualified provider.* HomeView is available free of charge and aligns with National Industry Standards for pre-purchase homeownership education, so it can be used to fulfill the requirement. Borrowers will receive information and resources for every step of the homebuying process, making them more informed homeowners.
The course has seven modules that will take borrowers through the basics of buying a home:
- Module 1: Knowing When You’re Ready
- Module 2: Saving for Homeownership
- Module 3: Understanding the Mortgage Loan Process
- Module 4: Shopping for a Home with a Real Estate Agent
- Module 5: Making an Offer on a Home
- Module 6: Getting Ready to Close on Your Loan
- Module 7: Welcome to Homeownership
In some situations, borrowers may need to fulfill the requirement in another way. Click here for exceptions.
* A qualified provider must be independent of the lender, with homeownership education content that is aligned with National Industry Standards (NIS) or U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) standards.
Housing counseling, also known as advising, is best suited for borrowers facing complex challenges – those who need one-on-one assistance to develop a deep understanding of their housing needs, household budget, and how to resolve potential issues.
Potential borrowers who are pursuing eligibility may benefit greatly from housing counseling from a HUD-approved nonprofit housing counseling agency.
For counseling to fulfill the HomeReady Mortgage education requirement:
- Counseling should occur as early as possible and before a buyer selects a home.
- Required components must be completed before a buyer enters into a contract to purchase a home.
- The assistance must meet HUD standards and cover the content detailed on the Certificate of Completion of Housing Counseling (Fannie Mae Form 1017), which must be signed by the buyer and the HUD counselor.
- By signing the form, the HUD counselor certifies that the assistance provided meets HUD standards and our requirements.
- The lender must retain the completed Form 1017 in the loan file.
What is the difference between homeownership education and counseling?
Homeownership education and counseling play critical and distinct roles in helping borrowers become mortgage ready.
Comprehensive curriculum and instructional goals
Examples of topics
Covers all topics included in education setting