Financial Health
June 22, 2023

4 options for homebuyers and owners that could save you thousands of dollars

Whether you’re buying a house or need a hand to stay in your home, you might be eligible for one or more assistance programs.

A guy playfully pushes a child and some flowers in wheel barrel across the sidewalk.

Wherever you are on your homeowning journey, these programs provide assistance with buying a home or paying your mortgage and other housing costs. And you may be eligible for more than one program.

Wells Fargo offers and administers programs to help owners like you buy and stay in their homes, accumulate savings, and pass down wealth to future generations.

1. Dream. Plan. Home. closing cost credit

Closing costs, such as appraisal fees, processing fees, title-related fees, recording fees, and city, county, or state tax stamps, are a significant amount of cash often overlooked by buyers. The Wells Fargo Dream. Plan. Home.℠ closing cost credit provides up to $5,000 toward nonrecurring closing costs for borrowers with a combined income of up to 80% of the area median income in select areas across the U.S. This credit may be combined with other Wells Fargo down payment assistance programs and gift funds.

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage consultants are available to discuss your options with you. Find one near you or call 1-866-807-4154.

2. Homeowner Assistance Fund

If you’re facing a financial hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may want to look into the Homeowner Assistance Fund, a federal program that has provided funds to eligible entities in efforts to assist homeowners to catch up on past-due mortgage payments and receive potential assistance for costs such as utilities, insurance, or homeowner association fees or liens. Benefits are offered by most states and vary by state based on eligibility requirements.

In most states, the money from HAF is available as a grant, so you don’t have to pay it back. For example, the lifetime cap for HAF assistance in Washington, D.C., is $120,000 grant per household, while the state of Georgia offers up to $50,000 via a grant. However, some states may require the money to be repaid under some circumstances, such as if you sell your home before a specified date.

The HAF program does not preclude Tribes or Tribal Designated Housing Entities (such as American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian) from providing assistance to members, or individuals otherwise eligible for HAF, who reside outside the tribal government’s geographic jurisdiction. Tribal authorities will have to confirm that any such assistance can be provided consistently with the Tribe’s constitution and governing law.

3. Union Plus Mortgage Program

If you’re an active or retired union member or an eligible family member, you may be able to take advantage of the Union Plus mortgage assistance program, which provides special benefits and interest-free mortgage assistance loans or grants in the event you experience an unexpected loss of income. Call 1-866-807-4154 for more information.

4. Housing counseling agencies

Do you feel intimidated by the homebuying process and don’t know where to start? Or do you already own a home and are experiencing financial distress? You don’t have to go it alone. You can talk with a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development housing counselor in your area to get free counseling assistance related to buying or keeping your home. Search online or call 1-800-569-4287.

This article was originally published in the Homeownership Supplement – a special edition of the Washington Informer and Atlanta Voice.