Originating & Underwriting

Homeownership Education & Housing Counseling

 

Fannie Mae HomeView™ is now available. Help first-time borrowers put homeownership into focus with your new go-to homeownership education resource. Learn more.

 

Education is empowering

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. 
Fannie Mae HomeView™

First-time homebuyers can take HomeView when it’s convenient for them. Our online homeownership education course provides information and resources to help new homeowners become better informed.

Learn more

Homeownership Education

Couple in front of manufactured home

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

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.

  Delivery method Content Timing
Homeownership  Education
  • HomeView or homeownership education course from a qualified provider
  • Education course provided by a Community Seconds or DPA provider
Comprehensive curriculum and instructional goals

Examples of topics
  • Knowing if you’re ready to buy or rent
  • Comprehension of the mortgage process and documentation needed
  • Home inspections, appraisals insurance and closing process
  • Responsibilities of homeownership
  • Typically occurs between loan application and closing
  • Earlier is better
  • Must be completed by closing
Housing Counseling
  • Services are unique to individual’s financial situation.
  • Services delivered one-on-one or via classroom, which may be in person, telephonic, video conference or as per any other HUD delivery standard.
Covers all topics included in education setting

MUST cover:
  • Buy or rent decision
  • Establishing a household budget
  • Review of credit report
  • Preparation of a written action plan based on the client's individual goals
  • As early as possible
  • Before client selects a home
  • In order to meet $500 Housing Counseling LLPA credit, services must occur before a buyer enters a contract to purchase a home. Use SFC 184 and complete Form 1017. This LLPA credit is only available on HomeReady loans.