Buying a Home? Get CreditSmart

FreddieMac Executive Perspectives

By VP of Housing and Community Outreach Christina Diaz-Malone on June 3, 2013

Freddie Mac June is National Homeownership Month, so it’s an appropriate time  to ask: Have you ever thought about buying your own home? With mortgage rates near all-time lows, it may be the perfect time to get started. 

Owning your own home can help you build a strong foundation for the future. It can bring financial security for your family and stability for your children. It creates community stakeholders who have a vested interest in their neighborhoods.

Freddie Mac provides you the tools you need to start on the path to becoming a successful homeowner through our financial education curriculum, CreditSmart®. It’s free, available in five languages, and widely used by lenders, educators, nonprofits, and consumer organizations. And now, with our new self-paced online version, it’s more accessible than ever. 

Through our trusted intermediaries, CreditSmart has provided more than 3 million consumers with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their credit, their money, and their homes.

CreditSmart has a lot to offer. It can help you build or repair credit, create a budget, decide if owning a home is right for you, make sound financial decisions, and avoid costly scams. You’ll learn what types of mortgages are available and how to shop for a home loan. You’ll even get tips on finding a real estate agent who’s right for you. 

If you need some free, reliable answers, visit CreditSmart online or attend an instructor-led training class with a HUD-approved housing counselor.

Take our quiz to find out how CreditSmart could help you become a more informed consumer (answers below):

  1. How much should my mortgage payment be?
  2. What are the four primary factors lenders and creditors consider in determining my creditworthiness?
  3. What should my down payment be?
  4. True or false:  If my credit report has errors, the law puts the responsibility on the credit reporting agency to conduct an investigation and correct any errors. 
  5. What is the most important component of my credit report?

Is homeownership right for you? Don’t just guess. By becoming a savvier consumer, you can make smart financial decisions to help you build a sound future. 

When you are ready to get started, contact me before you begin your home search. I will help answer your questions and provide you with financing options available to you. Our team of professionals at Guild Mortgage will stay with you through the loan application process, answering your questions and keeping you and your real estate agent informed every step of the way. As a Direct Lender to Freddie Mac, we can often close more loans and open more doors to homeownership than others.


1. Less than 28 percent of your monthly gross income  

2. Capacity (ability to pay back the loan), Capital (money and savings to close on your home loan), Collateral (the house you are pledging as security for getting the loan), Credit (your credit history)

3. Expect a down payment to be between 5 to 20 percent of the purchase price for a conventional mortgage, in today’s market

4. True 

5. Whether or not you make your payments on time. Late payments (30, 60, or 90 days) are “red flags” and you may risk being denied credit or pay more to get it in the future.

clip_image001Author: Christina Diaz-Malone is Vice President of Housing and Community Outreach. She engages with national and local organizations to encourage, promote, and support housing and homeownership for low- to moderate-income, minority, and under-served communities. Diaz-Malone has spent nearly 30 years in mortgage banking and community development. Before joining Freddie Mac, she worked in Fannie Mae’s National Housing Impact Division following a career with a national mortgage insurer. She has served in such organizations as the Association of Professional Mortgage Women, NeighborWorks America, MANA, and the Maryland Governor’s Commission on Hispanic Affairs.

Source: Freddie Mac Executive Perspectives blog

Michelle Castle provides mortgage loans to all of North Texas and Southern Oklahoma. Call Michelle Castle at (903) 771-2617 if you are looking for a home loan in North Texas and Southern Oklahoma.  Click here to visit Michelle’s website and apply for a loan.

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