Here you'll find answers to the most common questions we are asked on a daily basis.
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What is EDUCASA? The EDUCASA program was designed to increase home ownership among the Hispanic Community, support community development and increase access to affordable housing free from discrimination. The program is intended to eliminate confusion by streamlining the home loan and home buying process and by matching the individual with the best program available, based upon the specific needs of the individual and their family.
Your EDUCASA agent will help you locate the right home and negotiate the lowest price possible. Our team will handle all of the purchase, finance and closing paperwork for you.
What programs are available? For home purchases, there are many different Federal, state and local programs available, including the HUD Good Neighbor Next Door Program, the State Housing Initiative Program (SHIP), Keystone Challenge Fund, USDA Rural Program and other specific programs available through HUD, FHA, VA, USDA, Fannie Mae and other local agencies.
In addition, EDUCASA offers private money GRANTS. These grants may be funded, all or in part, by our agent and lending partners and may be used towards your closing cost. Programs vary by city and state.
Do GRANTS have to be repaid? NO. Grants available directly through EDUCASA and the other programs we utilize, do not ever have to be repaid. Grants are subject to availability.
Do you offer down payment assistance? YES. In addition to our grant programs, we have down payment assistance of up to $10,681.00. These programs are available in all 50 states and may include, Home in Five Advantage, Home Plus, Georgia Dream, Golden State Platinum, Florida First, Military Heroes, First Home, Chenoa and Unison, just to name a few. Your EDUCASA Program Specialist is trained in all of the various programs and will explain your eligibility. Programs are each structured differently and eligibility varies by city and state.
Do I have to be Hispanic? NO.
Can I only buy certain homes? NO. You may purchase ANY home on the market, in ANY neighborhood, as long as it is within the guidelines of your loan approval.
Is there an application fee? NO. There is NEVER any application fee.
Are there any up-front fees? NO. There are NEVER any up-front fees charged by EDUCASA or our preferred lenders.
Is there a fee for using the EDUCASA Program? NO. There is NO FEE at all for using the program. In fact, individuals can expect to save money based upon lower fees charged for the various programs we offer. Plus, individuals may receive additional discounts on title insurance, home inspections and other services.
Do I have to live in the home for a certain period of time? NO. (Except for one or two down payment assistance programs that require a three or five year commitment.)
Will you pull my credit? NO. EDUCASA will never pull your credit or have access to your personal financial information. When you click APPLY NOW and complete the short Pre-Application, you will be contacted by a Program Specialist who will go over the program with you, answer any questions and discuss your options, including any GRANTS and down payment assistance you may be eligible for. Your credit would then be pulled during the mortgage application process.
Is there a First Time Home Buyers Program? YES. Our First Time Home Buyers Program allows buyers the unique opportunity to combine GRANTS and down payment assistance with the other programs we have available, including Fannie Mae's HomeReady, Freddie Mac's HomePossible and HomeOne programs. Down payment assistance programs may include state specific programs such as Arizona Home in Five, Georgia Dream, Florida First and others or may include national programs such as Chenoa and Unison, depending on which has the greater benefit.
Do I HAVE to be a First Time Home Buyer? NO. If you own a home you may still take advantage of all EDUCASA programs and benefits except for the HUD Good Neighbor Program, which prohibits you from owning any property for 3 years prior to placing a bid.
How does the Free Home Buyers Service Work? Once approved, one of our licensed Realtors will work with you to help find a home in your area. We will let you tour the inside of the homes, negotiate the purchase contract and handle all of the paperwork for you.
Am I required to take a HUD First Time Home Buyers Class? NO. You are NOT required to take a 4-hour or 8-hour HUD First Time Home Buyers class. EDUCASA does not require any classroom home buyer counseling in order to utilize the program.
How do I know what program(s) I qualify for? Your licensed Certified Program Specialist will help place you in the appropriate program and guide you through the process based upon your individual circumstance including credit, down payment (if any) and the location of property.
Can I buy with NO Money Down? YES. But there are some restrictions for some of the zero down programs. The most common of which is the area in which the home is located. If a zero down loan is not available, the typical minimum out of pocket expense is approximately three to three and a half percent (3 – 3.5%) of the purchase price. This typically includes down payment and other fees such as insurance, appraisal etc. This may come in the form of a gift or 401(k) disbursement. Your Loan Officer can explain additional options.
Can I put more money down if I choose? YES. You may put down any amount you like. If you put 20% or more down, you will typically be able to avoid PMI and you could qualify for a lower interest rate.
Are there any income restrictions? NO. However, you must make enough to cover the payment. Also, some local down payment assistance programs may have a maximum income you may earn in order to qualify.
What if I own another Home? No Problem. If you own a home you may still take advantage of all EDUCASA programs and benefits except for the HUD Good Neighbor Program, which prohibits you from owning any property for 3 years prior to placing a bid.
What is the minimum loan amount? We accept all applications, regardless of the loan amounts. Our Preferred Lenders are required to offer loans down to the individual state minimums, which in most cases is $10,001.00. However, lenders must also meet all other regulations and some lower loan amounts may not meet these regulations, due to individual borrower and loan characteristics.
What is the maximum loan amount? There is no maximum loan amount. In many states, the maximum conforming loan amount is $417,000.00. This number is higher in other states. Our preferred lenders also offer Jumbo Loans. Please discuss specific loan amount questions with you Program Specialist.
Is EDUCASA a Lender? NO. EDUCASA utilizes two national preferred lenders, Americasa Home Loans (License No. NMLS 1822931) and NMB Mortgage (License No. NMLS No. 819382). EDUCASA does not collect, store or have access to your personal financial information and we do not receive compensation from mortgage loan transactions. When you complete the online pre-application, you will be contacted by a licensed Program Specialist from our preferred lender who is knowledgeable in all of the programs available to you, including the EDUCASA Grant and various down payment assistance and other programs.
What will my interest rate be? Since EDUCASA is not a lender, we do not set interest rates. Our preferred lenders have agreed to provide you with an extremely competitive rate for your loan based upon your individual loan application and loan program. Your interest rate will be adjusted by the Federal underwriting guidelines based upon risk factors, as well as compensating factors.
What is a risk factor? As with insurance, underwriter guidelines contain upward adjustments to the interest rate based upon risk factors. These may include: low credit score, high loan-to-value, first time home buyer, no rental history, short time on the job, etc.
What is a compensation factor? Whenever possible, underwriters use compensation factors to counter other risk factors to help keep the rate low. These may include, high credit score, long time on the job, recent college grad, good rental history, large down payment, etc.
Can I get a high interest loan? NO. EDUCASA's preferred lenders must adhere to Federal conforming guidelines. They do not offer sub-prime loans.
Do I need to use a EDUCASA Agent? YES. Since our Agent Partners agree to contribute a portion of their commission towards your closing cost, to receive the full benefit of the EDUCASA Program, you need to be exclusively represented by a EDUCASA agent. Our Agent Partners are all highly trained, state licensed professionals and members of the National Association of Realtors. Upon loan approval, we will assign one of our knowledgeable agents in your local area who will work directly with you to find the right home and handle all of the paperwork. If you decide to use a non-EDUCASA agent, you may not receive the agent rebate, as they are not required to contribute any of their commission.
What if I already have an Agent? Your agent may contact our business office in order to become an Agent Partner of EDUCASA.