Housing & Financial Counseling


Would you like to learn more about:

HOMEOWNERSHIP  HOUSING & FINANCIAL COUNSELING

SAFETY IS OUR PRIORITY 

Habitat for Humanity is founded on the belief that we’re all in this together. COVID-19 is on the rise and we are taking decisive, unprecedented action to protect our community and slow the spread of this virus.

Our Oakland and Milpitas offices are currently closed until further notice. While our staff is continuing to serve our applicants and clients during this time, we are unable to accept walk-ins or hold in-person meetings. 

If you have questions for regarding housing counseling services and inquiries, please contact Ramel George (Alameda and Contra Costa counties) at RGeorge@HabitatEBSV.orgor (510) 803-3373 or Alessandra Pio di Savoia at APiodisavoia@HabitatEBSV.org  or (408) 620-3411.

Housing Counseling Website Image 950X500

Housing & Financial Counseling


Managing your personal finances is a fundamental step to budgeting for big purchases like buying your first home, paying-off debt, or saving for the future.  As a HUD-approved housing counseling agency, Habitat for Humanity offers:

These services are open to anyone of any income range wanting to improve their financial health or reach a milestone such as purchasing their first home.

Looking to buy a home with Habitat?  Housing and financial counseling services, workshops, and resources are NOT part of the Habitat homeownership application process. Click here to learn how to apply.

SCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENT TODAY

One-On-One Counseling


One-On-One Counseling services offers free, individualized guidance from a HUD-certified Habitat Housing Counselor.

No matter your financial or housing goals, our counselors will work with you to understand your current financial status, listen to any financial anxieties, and develop a personalized plan to help you achieve your dreams.

Our counseling services include:

  • Credit counseling
  • Debt management
  • Budgeting
  • Saving strategies
  • Pre-purchase counseling

Looking to buy a home with Habitat? One-on-one counseling is NOT part of the Habitat Homeownership application process. Click here to learn about our Homeownership Program..

SCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENT TODAY

 Free one-on-one financial counseling
Workshop Website Image 950X500

Financial Education Workshops & Webinars


Our free financial education workshops and webinars are one-hour, small group presentations that are open to the public and cover essential information to help you build financial health and prepare for homeownership.

Key topics include:

  • Protecting yourself from ID theft and scams
  • Understanding credit reports and scores
  • Debt management strategies
  • Creating a sustainable budget
  • Path to homeownership
  • Saving strategies

Habitat Homeownership Applicants – Workshops and webinars are NOT part of the Habitat Homeownership application process. Click here to learn about our Homeownership Program..

SEE UPCOMING WORKSHOPS & WEBINARS WATCH PAST WEBINARS

 

Habitat's Financial Education Center


Habitat’s Financial Education Center is a free online library of financial and homebuying educational resources that you can access anytime, anywhere, 24/7.

Our self-paced, interactive lessons provide a fun and engaging experience to empower you to take control over your finances, save for the future, and reach your financial goals.

Topics include:

  • Building Financial Capability
  • Buying a Home
  • Achieving Financial Wellness
  • Planning for Retirement
  • Banking Basics and Loans
  • Personalized Learning - Create a personalized playlist that is tailored to your unique financial goals and priorities.

ACCESS THE FINANCIAL EDUCATION CENTER

Accede al Centro de Educación Financiera en español

Financial Education Center
Become a First Time Homebuyer

First-Time Homebuyer Virtual Classes


Attending a HUD-Approved First-Time Homebuyer Class can help you navigate and understand the homebuying process and prepare for successful homeownership.

As our community’s health and safety remains a top priority, we are offering  the following two virtual options to receive the First-Time Homebuyer Class Certificate of Completion :

  1. In partnership with eHome America, participants can complete a self-paced, online course and attend an individual counseling session with one of our HUD-Certified Housing Counselors. Click here to sign up.
  2. Or participants can register and attend Habitat's HUD-approved Virtual First-Time Homebuyer Class. Habitat's virtual classes consist of four, 2-hour sessions that are led by one of our HUD-Certified Housing Counselors. Click here to see our session schedule. 

REGISTER TODAY
Habitat Homeownership Applicants – paying and attending the First-Time Homebuyer Class is NOT part of the Habitat Homeownership application process. Click here to learn about our Homeownership Program..

Frequently Asked Questions


Do I have to meet with a Housing Counselor to apply for the Habitat homeownership program?

No. Housing Counseling is a separate service we offer and is NOT part of the application process for the Habitat homeownership program.

To learn more about Habitat homeownership opportunities and how to apply click here.

Is there a fee to meet with a Housing Counselor?

Housing counseling services are free. However, if you would like an in-depth review of your credit report there is a one-time fee of $25 for one person or $40 for two or more people. We accept payments via money orders or online through Square (no cash or checks). Your counselor will provide you with instructions on how to submit your payment.

Can I meet with a Housing Counselor on a drop-in basis?

No, we do not accept walk-ins.

To schedule an appointment, click here. Our office hours are Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm.

What can I expect when I meet with a Housing Counselor?

Your Housing Counselor will:

  • Identify the financial and housing goal(s) you want to achieve.
  • Identify the unique issues that are preventing you from reaching your goal(s).
  • Pull your credit report and do a full credit report review (if applicable).
  • Help you develop a sustainable household budget.
  • Create an action plan catered to your unique financial situation and designed to help you reach your goal(s).
  • Guide you as you work towards achieving your goal(s).

Will pulling the credit report impact my credit score?

For credit counseling purposes we do a soft pull which does not impact your credit score. The credit report includes credit scores and credit information from all three credit reporting agencies (Experian, Transunion, and Equifax), and you will get a copy.

Do you send appointment reminders?

No. It is your responsibility to make sure you add the appointment date and time on your calendar, so you do not forget.

What are the Counselor and Client’s roles and responsibilities?

Counselor’s Roles and Responsibilities

  • Reviewing your housing goal and your finances; which include your income, debts, assets, and credit history.
  • Preparing a Client Action Plan that lists the steps that you and your counselor will take in order to achieve your housing goal.
  • Preparing a household budget that will help you manage your debt, expenses, and savings.
  • Your counselor is not responsible for achieving your housing goal but will provide guidance and education in support of your goal.

Client’s Roles and Responsibilities

  • Completing the steps assigned to you in your Client Action Plan.
  • Providing accurate information about your income, debts, expenses, credit, and employment.
  • Attending meetings, returning calls, providing requested paperwork in a timely manner.
  • Notifying Habitat or your counselor when changing your housing goal.
  • Attending educational workshop(s) (i.e. pre-purchase counseling workshops) as recommended.
  • Retaining an attorney if seeking legal advice and/or representation in matters such as foreclosure or bankruptcy protection.

Termination of Services: Failure to work cooperatively with your housing counselor and/or Habitat will result in the discontinuation of counseling services. This includes, but is not limited to, missing three consecutive appointments.

  •  

What documentation do I need to provide?

You need to complete an intake packet. You also need to submit financial documentation like paystubs, benefit letters, bank statements, and credit card statements. Your Housing Counselor will review with you what you should provide.

Why do you need financial documentation?

Financial documentation is needed to assess your financial situation so your counselor can help you create an action plan catered to your unique circumstances and goals.

Do you provide virtual appointments?

Yes. We provide video appointments through Microsoft Teams. Your counselor will provide you with instructions on how to join the video call and how to submit your intake packet and documentation.

How often can I meet with the Housing Counselor?

Your Housing Counselors will work with you as long as needed to help you reach your goals through follow-up meetings and regular check-ins.

Do I have to have my credit report pulled?

No. We pull your credit report only if you want us to do an in-depth credit report review.

Can I provide my own credit reports?

Yes, as long as the credit reports show your full credit history for all your accounts. Credit report summaries or reports that only show the credit score do not provide the information needed to do an in-depth credit report review.

What if I cannot make my scheduled appointment?

When you schedule an appointment our Housing counselors reserve that time for you. If you cannot make it let us know as soon as possible so we can free up the time for someone else. We know schedules can change and things happen, and we are happy to reschedule.

Contact a Housing Counselor

For questions or to schedule an appointment with our Housing Counselors complete the inquiry form below.

*DO NOT complete this form if you are interested in becoming a Habitat homeowner. For questions about Habitat's homeownership opportunities, visit our Homeownership Program page.

PROUDLY SUPPORTED BY HABITAT COMMUNITY CAPITAL

As a part of Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley, Habitat Community Capital (HCC) was founded in 2016 as a nonprofit lender in response to Habitat affiliates and other affordable housing developers’ increasing need for more affordable financing options.

As a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), Habitat Community Capital is the legal business name of EBSV Community Development, Inc.

LEARN MORE

HCC Logo - 950x500
Habitat Family Success Story
“Habitat has taught our family how to budget and how to save money for things like our closing costs. It was hard but we have a savings account for the first time!”

Marisela, Habitat Homeowner

Latest From The Blog

Meet Patti & Hilda

When an organization has a mission that centers around “bringing people together,” it’s no surprise that bonds are often born at Habitat for Humanity. And often, that starts between staff members, ...

Read more

July 2021 Construction Update

Like the weather, things are heating up at Habitat! With the latest update to our COVID restrictions, we’re excited to be welcoming back more and more volunteers to our construction sites, ReStores, ...

Read more

Events

Financial Education Webinar: Managing Debt

August 5, 2021

Do you feel like you cannot keep up with your debt payments? Are you able to pay your credit card balances in full when due? Carrying too much debt endangers financial security. At this workshop, you will learn how to recognize the signs of ...

Read more

Virtual First-Time Homebuyer Class - August Sessions

August 9, 2021

Our First-Time Homebuyer Class is now virtual! This HUD-approved course breaks down what you need to know to purchase your first home!