Housing & Financial Counseling
What would you like to learn more about
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 offers a variety of ways to serve our community.
Habitat’s housing and financial 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.
One-On-One Counseling services offer 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
- 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.
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. 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'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:
Online First-Time Homebuyer Education Class
In partnership with eHome America, we offer a HUD-approved, online, Homebuyer Education Class, that you can complete at your own pace. It teaches the fundamentals of home buying, and how to prepare to be financially ready to buy a home. This class meets the requirement for obtaining the 8-hour homebuyer education course HUD certificate.
Habitat Homeownership Applicants: The First-Time Homebuyer Education 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.
Does Housing Counseling include a review of the Habitat Homeownership program and what the qualification requirements are?
No. Housing Counselors do not review the Habitat Homeownership program nor the qualification requirements.
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?
What happens at the first counseling appointment?
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. Please see below).
- Help you develop a sustainable budget geared towards helping you reach your goal(s).
- Create an action plan catered to your unique financial situation and designed to help you reach your goal(s).
If I chose to have a credit report review, will pulling the credit report impact my credit score?
No. For credit counseling purposes we do a soft pull that 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.
Can Housing Counselors tell me if I qualify for the Habitat homeownership program?
No. Housing Counselors do not review applications for the Habitat Homeownership program nor can they tell you if you qualify. To learn if you qualify visit our Homeownership page to start the application process.
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 offer 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 Counselor 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.
Creating a Working Budget
Learn how to create and manage an organized, realistic household budget that allows you to plan for and reach financial goals.
Keeping Your Debt Under Control
Learn how to recognize the signs of trouble and how to gain control through debt management and repayment strategies.
Balancing Income and Expenses
Learn personal cash flow management strategies that will help you plan, to ensure your spending is aligned with your income and financial goals.
A Sincere Thank You To
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