Home|Realizing the American Dream: Homebuyers Education Class part of ABC’s Fundamentals of Good Credit Program

Realizing the American Dream: Homebuyers Education Class part of ABC’s Fundamentals of Good Credit Program

For many, owning a home is considered the American Dream. Unfortunately, not everyone can realize that dream because either they are not prepared financially to handle the responsibility of owning a home or because they are not prepared to go through the process of buying a home.
Fortunately, Catholic Charities of Southeast Texas has the resources to help. Under the Asset Building Case Management program, several classes, workshops and other programs help low to moderate-income families and individuals with overall financial literacy as well as meet their housing security goals.
For those who dream of owning a house, ABC’s Fundamentals of Good Credit program is a 15-hour class for individuals to start preparing for the homebuyer’s process. Topics include developing a spending plan, how to read a credit report, dealing with identity theft, how to correct credit issues, basics of homeownership, shipping for a home and shopping for a mortgage.
For those who are more advanced in their homebuyer’s process, the Realizing the American Dream: Homebuyer’s Education Class is available. This class is meant for those who are ready to buy a home within 12 months. In order to see which of the two classes an individual or family would best fit in, Matt Hopson, director of ABC, schedules one-on-one meetings to go over financial information and determine their financial stability.
Hopson has 40 years of experience helping people achieve their financial goals. A native of Beaumont, Hopson has worked 21 years in the banking industry in San Antonio, and another 19 in the nonprofit sector at the Southeast Texas Community Development Center.
“I’ve seen broke people who make $20,000 a year, and I’ve seen broke people who make $100,000 a year. If people don’t have a spending plan and are not financially literate, they will be part of the 95 percent of the country that has less $300 when they hit 65 years old,” said Hopson.
ABC has helped more than 50 people get new homes and several more people regain their financial stability. Hopson sees success in the program when individuals start living on spending plans and reestablish good credit. There’s even for individuals in fear of a foreclosure. ABC offers a Foreclosure Prevention program to help individuals who need assistance in keeping their homes.
ABC also offers other programs aimed at helping people with financial literacy. These classes cover topics such as budgeting, banking services, how to reconcile and balance a checkbook and how to set up a debt pay-off plan. Another service is the Individual Development Account which sets up a savings account and matches the amount saved dollar per dollar, up to $1000, thanks to a partnership with Covenant Community Capital out of Houston.
The first Thursday of every month, individuals striving for the same financial goals meet for the ABC Team Meetings where they discuss a specific topic every month. Topics vary monthly and cover different aspects of financial literacy.
As tax season starts at the beginning of each year, ABC begins preparing for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, a free tax preparation service for low and moderate-income families and individuals. This service is offered in both English and Spanish and saves people preparations fees that can be several hundred dollars if they went to another place.
For people who feel like they may not benefit from ABC’s programs, Hopson says to “recognize it’s never too late to start taking control of your financial future. It’s never too late to start a spending plan. If your dreams are big enough, you can do it. And never be afraid to ask for help.”
For more information on ABC programs, or any other Catholic Charities programs, you can call (409) 924-4400 or you can visit www.catholiccharitiesbmt.org.

By | 2017-05-03T15:23:03+00:00 October 4th, 2016|English, ETC Online, This Just In, Uncategorized|0 Comments
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