Perspectives

Bolstering Homeownership Education to Help Drive Sustainability

Jonathan LawlessWe can all agree: The homebuying process is complicated. Finding the right home — even deciding whether to buy a home at all — can be difficult, and many people struggle to understand all the different options they may have. With so many steps along the way, it can also be intimidating, especially for first-time homebuyers.

Homeownership is a long-term financial commitment, so it’s important to ensure that borrowers are better equipped to make well-informed decisions — something both lenders and borrowers value. At Fannie Mae, we’ve long believed that preparing borrowers for all stages of the homebuying experience is important and that quality homeownership education is critical to successful homeownership. Because of these factors, we are highly committed to making it an invaluable part of the homebuying journey.

To showcase our commitment, we're implementing multiple changes in the homeownership education space. Starting October 23rd, we'll be waiving the $75 homeownership education course fee associated with the Framework online course Fannie Mae uses as the dedicated resource to prepare and empower today's homebuyers. This will remove the cost burden and potential cost hurdle for borrowers.

In December, we'll be expanding the homeownership education requirement to apply to borrowers with loan-to-value ratios (LTVs) greater than 95%. This provision will specifically be applicable when all occupying borrowers are first-time homebuyers, thus helping to ensure that new homebuyers are well prepared for sustainable homeownership.

In 2020, Framework will be rolling out a new mobile- and web-based app which will offer streamlined, personalized content for borrowers as well as features for lenders that should improve the overall homeownership education experience. The new app won’t just be delivering education, but a powerful set of tools for consumers to use when shopping for a home, getting a mortgage and maintaining their home over time.

These three initiatives will expand the benefits of homeownership education to an even larger audience.

They will not only help to ensure that borrowers are ready to purchase a home, but that they're also prepared for the responsibilities of homeownership.

For more details on the upcoming changes, click here.

Jonathan Lawless
Vice President, Product Development and Affordable Housing

September 18, 2019

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