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Government Assistance for Homes
If you are interested in buying a home but not sure you can qualify, you should talk to a lender to learn more about government programs. One of the best things you have going for you is the Fair Housing Act. This was designed by the Federal government to ensure individuals interested in buying a home are not discriminated against for race or color, religion, gender, national origin, disability, or familial status, which includes any children under the age of 18 that are living with their parents or legal guardians, people seeking custody of children under the age of 18, or pregnant women.

This program is outstanding and is applicable for most homes. There are some exemptions regarding four-unit buildings or less occupied by the owner, homes being operated by private clubs or organizations, or single family homes that have been rented or sold without the services of a broker.

If you are a first time homebuyer, you could qualify for a penalty free IRA option where you could use distributions as long as they meet certain requirements. The distribution has to be used for paying qualified acquisition costs and before the close of the 120th day after the day received. Additionally, it must pay for costs for the main home of a first-time homebuyer for any of the following:
  • You
  • Your spouse
  • A child of you or your spouse
  • A grandchild of you or your spouse
  • Total distributions cannot exceed $10,000
If you are married and both you and your spouse are first time homebuyers, each of you can use up to $10,000 without having to pay a penalty.

Another great program that makes sure every person is given the same consideration to secure credit is the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, or ECOA. Keep in mind that while everyone has the opportunity, unfortunately, not everyone qualifies. With this government assistance program, you are guaranteed that any organization that extends mortgages loans has to try to obtain credit for you.

This and other government programs have very strict rules when you apply for credit. These rules must be adhered to and under no circumstance can any creditor do the following:
  • Discourage you from applying for a loan based on age, gender, marital status, national origin, and race

  • Request you to disclose your religion, national origin, gender, or race. You may be asked to offer this information but providing it is your discretion.

  • Ask about marital status if applying for an unsecured loan

  • Request personal information about your spouse

  • Ask about plans for having or increasing the number of children in the family

  • Ask about child support, alimony, or any other type of maintenance
Rather than feel discouraged about buying a home, find out what your options are. The government has put many different assistance programs in place to give all individuals the same opportunity. These are just a few of your options so to determine all the options, check with your local Housing and Urban Development office, or HUD.

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