Originating & Underwriting

Homeownership Education & Housing Counseling

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. 
Framework Course

Future homebuyers can take the course when it’s convenient for them – all in just a few hours. According to Framework customer surveys, 91% said they increased their knowledge of the homebuying process.

Launch course

Homeownership Education

Couple in front of manufactured home

Homeownership Education offered through Framework® is an interactive and comprehensive online education program that is designed to help future homebuyers navigate the home buying process. The Framework course makes it simple to meet the requirement.  When homeownership education is required, a minimum of one occupying borrower must complete the Framework homeownership education course.  In some situations, borrowers may need to fulfill the requirement in another way. Click here for a list of exceptions. Framework is available in English and Spanish, meets industry standards and consistently receives high marks from learners.

What your borrowers will learn:

  • How much home they can afford
  • How to choose the best loan
  • How to lower their down payment
  • What to include in their offer
  • What happens at closing
  • What pitfalls to avoid before and after closing
     

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
  • Framework Course*
  • Education course provided by a Community Seconds or DPA provider
Must offer an optional referral to housing counseling.

*In certain circumstances a consumer may be better served in a group classroom setting or other education mode.
Established curriculum and instructional goals

Examples of topics
  • Understanding the mortgage process and required documentation
  • Home inspections, insurance and what to expect at closing
  • Budgeting for home repairs and maintenance
  • Typically occurs between loan application and closing
  • Earlier is better
  • Must be completed by closing
Housing Counseling
  • In person, telephonic or video conferencing per HUD standards
  • Education component can be delivered one-on-one or viaclassroom or self-guided online programs, such as the Framework Course
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
  • Must occur before a buyer enters a contract to purchase a home.