Financial Wellness

Financial Wellness: A Strong Foundation for Homeownership

Achieving homeownership and having your financial house in order go hand in hand.

Pre-purchase housing counseling can help you become eligible for various financial benefits, as well as help repair any issues with your credit history. What’s more, trained housing counselors working through reputable housing counseling agencies can provide objective advice, since they have no financial stake in your decision to purchase a home.

Many mortgage incentives and programs require first-time homebuyers to take a HUD-approved housing pre-purchase counseling course. Be sure to check with the particular program to find out about their requirements and restrictions. Here are those most used by Maryland residents:

Maryland Mortgage Program Approved Courses

Homebuyer education, sometimes called housing or pre-purchase counseling, helps homebuyers prepare for purchasing a home and the many new challenges of being a homeowner. To qualify for loan products from the Maryland Mortgage Program, applicants must complete an approved homebuyer education course. Information on those courses can be found on the MMP website:

Freddie Mac CreditSmart

Want to know more about managing money and building good credit? Set your goals, track your progress and learn on your own time with CreditSmart Essentials. This is a free, self-paced online course to help you take control of your credit (note: this is not for use as a qualifying homeownership education class):

Freddie Mac CreditSmart Homebuyer U

If you need a certificate to qualify for a HomeOne® or Home Possible® mortgage, Homebuyer U is for you. This takes a deep dive into homeownership. Learn about bringing your credit up and keeping it there, lending and closing on a loan, managing your money and maintaining homeownership. Enroll at:

The Maryland Council on Economic Education

Looking for financial literacy tools for your children? The mission of The Maryland Council on Economic Education is to improve economic and personal finance understanding among Maryland’s children so that they leave school prepared to make informed economic and personal finance decisions as consumers, savers, investors, workers and citizens. Learn more about their student programs, or enroll as an educator or community partner at: