The Housing Choice Voucher Program, often referred to as Section 8 housing, provides low-income families with the financial assistance necessary to afford shelter.
Participants in this program will have a portion of their monthly rent or mortgage funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and they will be responsible for paying the remaining balance on time. One of the main benefits of the Housing Choice Voucher program is that it allows for beneficiaries to choose from a variety of different places to live. A wide range of homes, apartments, townhouses and condos are eligible housing options under Section 8. After completing a Section 8 application and being approved for the program, beneficiaries will be able to move to a new home without losing their benefits as long as the new property qualifies for housing assistance.
Section 8 apartments, homes and townhouses are required to meet the HUD’s established standards for health and safety. Generally, a property must be safe, decent and reasonably priced in order to qualify for renting or purchasing under the Housing Choice Voucher program. Additionally, landlords must be willing to accept housing vouchers from tenants and have their property approved by a local Public Housing Authority (PHA) in order to participate in the program.
Unfortunately, Section 8 housing benefits are limited and eligible applicants can sometimes be placed on a waiting list for months or years before they receive a voucher. While applicants wait to receive their benefits, there are a number of different assistance programs and financial resources available that they can take advantage of.
Learn About HUD Loans
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provides homebuyers with the opportunity to purchase a home at an affordable rate by providing Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans. FHA home loans are sometimes referred to as HUD loans because these mortgages are insured by the FHA and the HUD.
HUD home loans are issued through approved lenders since the Department of Housing and Urban Development does not generate mortgages. You can typically fill out an application for an FHA loan through an authorized lender if you meet the eligibility requirements. The criteria to qualify for one of these loans is based on a number of factors including your income and the location you are moving.
There are a number of additional loans offered through the HUD that can help homebuyers finance their purchase. For example, the HUD’s Good Neighbor Next Door program provides discounted loan rates to first responders. Homebuyers are encouraged to speak with their lenders about potential discounts and access to various helpful HUD loan programs.
How to Check Your Credit Report
A credit report is a comprehensive financial statement that has information regarding your credit activity including your loan paying history and the status of your credit accounts. Credit reporting companies, sometimes referred to as credit bureaus or consumer reporting agencies, are responsible for collecting and storing your financial data. These reports will include credit information that is submitted to them directly from lenders, credit card companies and other financial institutions.
Typically, these credit reports are used by lenders in order to decide whether or not they will loan you money. The information on your report will also influence the interest rates you will be able to secure on loans. Your report will contain information such as the loans you have open, any late or missed payments, the amount of time your accounts have been open and more personal financial data.
Additionally, you have a credit score, which is a number that lenders can look at to evaluate if it would be risky to offer you a loan. There are a number of different factors that are used in order to determine your credit score, including:
- Your payment history – This includes paying bills on time or receiving any demerit marks on your credit report for being late on payments or being in default.
- Your credit utilization ratio – This ratio is comprised of the amount of money you owe in comparison to your credit limit.
- The types of credit accounts you have – This includes credit cards, auto loans, mortgages and more.
- The amount of hard inquiries on your credit – Hard inquiries represent the number of times that you have applied for credit and the lending institution checked your report.
- The age of your credit accounts – The amount of time that you have had your accounts open for.
American consumers are entitled to one free credit report from each of the three main credit bureaus each year. Furthermore, there are a number of different free or low-cost credit reporting sites that can also provide you with your credit score and history.
Monitor Your Credit With These Tools
Find Out About Discounted Services Available to You
If you are interested in saving money on your entertainment costs each month, you may want to look into finding a cheap cable and internet provider. Many Americans have started to subscribe to online streaming services for their TV shows and movies in order to avoid the high cost of cable. Those interested in streaming services for entertainment will still be required to purchase an internet plan to watch their shows and movies.
Learn About Government Grants
Government grants are essentially federal funds that are allocated to different federal, state and local departments and community outreach programs. A significant portion of federal grants are used to provide assistance to low-income households that meet the eligibility guidelines of the programs. These programs can provide necessary food, shelter, health insurance and financial assistance for beneficiaries. Some of the most popular programs funded using these grants include:
- The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
- The Special Supplemental Nutritional Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).
- The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
- Housing loans from the HUD.
Learn About Affordable Health Insurance
Individuals and families may be able to access affordable health insurance through government healthcare programs like Medicare or Medicaid if they meet the established eligibility requirements. Americans with low income may qualify for health insurance coverage through Medicaid. Senior citizens and individuals with disabilities can find affordable health care options by applying for Medicaid coverage.
In some cases, an applicant may be eligible to receive health insurance from both programs. Applicants who meet the requirements for both Medicaid and Medicare have the option to dual enroll. By enrolling in both programs, beneficiaries can have a majority of their medical expenses covered through insurance.