MONEY SMART NHS HomeOwnership Services
The mission of the NHS Home Ownership Department is to make home ownership opportunities available to low- and moderate-income individuals and families. NHS is a HUD-certified hous- ing agency and the NHS HomeOwnership Consultants provide quality homebuyer training and educa- tion, assistance in obtaining financing, and post-purchase services including budget and credit counseling for current homeowners.
HomeOwnership Education, Pre-
Purchase NHS offers a free HomeOwnership Education seminar. This four part class covers everything in the home buying process from improving credit to reading closing documents. The seminar is offered at several different locations in English and Spanish.
On-line HomeOwnership Education NHS is now proud to offer an on-line home buyers education seminar, eHome
America. NHS joins more than 100 coun- seling agencies offering online education. A convenient alternative to NHS's free classroom seminars, eHome allows you to take home buyers education from the comfort of your own home for only $50. This 8 hour online course covers the ins and outs of the home buying process. After completing the course a certificate of completion will be available to print. HomeBuyers Club
The HomeBuyers Club is a monthly meeting for home buyers. Through the guidance of counselor individuals will have the opportunity to discuss home buying issues with industry professionals and peers. Join us to discuss topics like budgeting, credit reports, and home buyer
programs. NHS has teamed up with Money Management International to offer an expanded financial capability curriculum through the club. One-one-One Counseling Pre- Purchase Counseling
NHS HomeOwnership Consultants work one-on-one with potential home- owners. Aconsultant can evaluate a fam- ily's needs and help them meet their goals through credit counseling, budgeting and pre-qualification. Foreclosure Intervention Counseling NHS is committed to helping home- owners stay in their homes. One way this is done is through one-on-one foreclosure intervention counseling. Through the help of HomeOwnership Consultants home- owners can apply for various government and servicer programs for mortgage assis- tance. One-on-one sessions address budg-
eting issues to help establish an afford- able and sustainable solution. Hardest Hit Fund
NHS is a participating agency for the Illinois Housing Development Authority’s (IHDA) Hardest Hit Fund Program. Through funding from the U.S. Department of Treasury, IHDA is able to offer temporary mortgage payment assis- tance to households that are struggling with income loss due to unemployment or underemployment, but are working to regain sufficient income to keep their homes. As a participating agency, NHS works directly with homeowners to review their program eligibility and to complete and submit an application to IHDA. To register or for more information visit www.nhschicago.org
or call 773.329.4243.
Money management tips for college students
Belinda Whitfield, CEO/President of Covenant Bank
The only subject they don’t teach in college is Life. And they never warn you that most of the cool things in life need to be purchased with a commodity called 'Money'. College is a great time to learn the basics of money management and develop habits of savings and investment. Here are some great tips to begin manag- ing your money during your college years.
1) Set Your Financial Goals - Consider what you would like to accom- plish financially over the next year, two years or even five years.
Then write it
down in a journal and think about what it will take to accomplish those goals. Start saving a specific amount each month, even if it’s as little as $10. The key is to get into the habit of saving. 2) Track Your Expenses - Record keeping is important in managing your money. You can prepare a simple work- sheet to list your monthly expenses and due dates for bills and expenses. Take advantage of online bill pay.
help you pay bills on time, avoid late fees and build good credit. Managing your finances come with a bit of paperwork. Stop by your local office supply store and you'll find filing solutions to keep up with your important receipts, bills, and other
documents. 3) Protect
Information - Be cautious about reveal- ing your personal information such as bank account number, debit or credit card number, date of birth, etc., since identity theft is wide-spread. Consider using Paypal® and other online services to pro- tect your credit card and bank account information from online retailers. If you feel that an identity theft has occurred, inform the relevant authorities and your bank immediately.
4) Use a Debit Card or Checks Whenever Possible - Having cash on hand creates a temptation to spend. Checks are great because they leave a paper trail. Monitor your bank account through online banking to ensure that there is sufficient amount in your account and that checks will clear. Returned checks, overdrafts and the related fees can drastically affect your finances and your credit score. But with proper planning, you’ll find greater savings in using a bank account over more costly alternatives. 5) Evaluate All Financial Aids - When you know the types of financial grants, aids, scholarships, etc. that you are eligible for, you can avail as many of them as possible and reduce the financial burden of your parents considerably. If you maintain good grades during high school, it is easier to get grants and schol- arships. Student loans are another alterna- tive, but compare interest rates, repay- ment period, and repayment deferral peri- od and choose the financing terms most suitable to you. Finally, you’ll want to consider limit- ing your dining out and entertainment costs, working a part-time job, and con- verting hobbies or other special skills into streams of income. These are just a few of many ways to help make ends meet and achieve your financial goals during your college years.
2 CHICAGO DEFENDER / APRIL 18-24, 2012
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