Woman and man proudly show off the keys to their new home. Woman and man proudly show off the keys to their new home.

Homebuyer Counseling and Education

Offering homebuyer counseling and education certificates to satisfy the requirements of most mortgage loan programs.

What is homebuyer counseling and education?

Homebuyer counseling and education courses are an opportunity to learn crucial skills needed to purchase and maintain your own home. Depending on your loan program, you may be required to acquire a homebuyer counseling or education certificate before you’re able to close on your mortgage.

The goal of these certificate programs is to help you know where you stand and what steps you'll need to take to save an adequate down payment, qualify for an affordable mortgage, and successfully manage the month-to-month costs of homeownership.

Do I need homebuyer counseling or homebuyer education?

Homebuyer counseling and homebuyer education courses cover slightly different topics and may be required at different stages of the homebuying process.

Check with your lender before starting any homebuyer counseling or education course to ensure that it will satisfy the requirements of your program.

Homebuyer counseling:

  • Is provided one-on-one with a counselor or as an instructor-led course,
  • Must be completed before closing and preferably before selecting a home, and
  • Is highly comprehensive with focus on understanding the entire mortgage process and the responsibilities of homeownership.

Homebuyer education courses:

  • Are provided as self-paced online course,
  • Are typically required during period between loan application and closing, and
  • Are an overall review of homebuying process with focus on budgeting and preparing for the financial challenges of owning a home.
  • What types of homebuyer counseling and education do you offer?

    We offer a variety of homebuyer counseling and education programs to satisfy most loan requirements. After successfully completing your program, you’ll receive an action plan and a homebuyer counseling and education certificate.

    Check with your lender to see what type of certificate you need before starting.

    Pre-Purchase / First Time Homebuyer Counseling

    • Intended for consumers planning on buying a home and interested in understanding more about the process.
    • Includes a complete review of the homebuyers’ current finances and an overview of the costs and considerations that come with owning a home.
    • The fee is $149.

    High-Cost Loan Counseling

    • Intended for consumers closing on a “high-cost” mortgage. The Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA) defines high-cost mortgages as loans where the annual percentage rate (APR) is substantially higher than the average prime rate offer for similar mortgages.
    • HOEPA requires that consumers receive homebuyer counseling to understand the costs and other implications of such a loan before the loan can be closed.
    • The fee is $159.

    HomeREACH Mortgage Prep Program

    • Designed for consumers interested in homeownership who may not currently qualify for a mortgage because of credit issues, a poor debt-to-income ratio, or other reasons.
    • Begins with an initial session to determine what needs to be addressed, followed by monthly check-ins to monitor progress, and capped with a final counseling session when you’re ready to purchase a home.
    • Fee varies depending on total number of check-ins.

    Online homebuyer education courses

    Self-paced online homebuyer education courses are available to begin anytime. For program details, visit our course listing.

    Check with your lender before beginning an online homebuyer education course to ensure that it satisfies the requirements of your loan program.

    Note: All online homebuyer education course links will direct you to another website.

    • Essentials for Buying a Home ($45) - This program meets HUD and National Industry Standards for homebuyer programs, and to provide the tools and education you need for successful long term homeownership. Learn the ins and outs of the home buying process from the experts at MMI.
    • Framework($75) - The Framework program meets all HUD and National Industry Standards for homebuyer programs and is mobile-friendly for your convenience. Learn how much you can afford, how to choose the best loan for you, how to close on your home, and more.
    • eHome America ($99) - This program meets the National Industry Standards for homebuyer education and designed to give you the knowledge to confidently manage the homebuying process. If you're a first-time homebuyer looking to understand the process or need a homebuyer education certificate in order to qualify for a loan, eHome America is the course for you!

    Frequently asked questions

    Need more information before getting started? Here are some of the top homebuyer questions we get asked.

    Is there a fee for homebuyer counseling?

    Is there a fee for homebuyer counseling?

    There are a variety of homebuyer counseling options available. The maximum fee for homebuyer counseling is $159. Some programs cost less. Certain loan companies may cover this cost. Check with your loan company before beginning your counseling session.

    Do you offer loans?

    Do you offer loans?

    No. MMI is not a lender. Completing a homebuyer counseling session does not qualify you for a loan, though it may fulfill certain requirements of a loan program.

    Do you offer down payment assistance?

    Do you offer down payment assistance?

    MMI as an organization does not offer down payment assistance. However, location-specific financial assistance programs may be available. Consult with your housing counselor to see if programs are available in your area.

    How soon will I receive my homebuyer counseling certificate?

    How soon will I receive my homebuyer counseling certificate?

    Homebuyer counseling certificates are available immediately at the successful conclusion of your program. They can be distributed via email, fax, or standard mail.

    Do you provide homebuyer counseling in Spanish?

    Do you provide homebuyer counseling in Spanish?

    Counseling services are available in English and Spanish. Interpreter services for many other languages are also available upon request.

    Will this be reported to the IRS?

    Will this be reported to the IRS?

    We do not report any information to the IRS. Your counseling session is confidential and your participation will not be disclosed to any third party without your permission.

    • Better Business Bureau A+ rating Better Business Bureau
      MMI is proud to have achieved an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), a nonprofit organization focused on promoting and improving marketplace trust. The BBB investigates charges of fraud against both consumers and businesses, sets standards for truthfulness in advertising, and evaluates the trustworthiness of businesses and charities, providing a score from A+ (highest) to F (lowest).
    • Financial Counseling Association of America Financial Counseling Association of America
      MMI is a proud member of the Financial Counseling Association of America (FCAA), a national association representing financial counseling companies that provide consumer credit counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling, bankruptcy counseling, debt management, and various financial education services.
    • Trustpilot Trustpilot
      MMI is rated as “Excellent” (4.9/5) by reviewers on Trustpilot, a global, online consumer review platform dedicated to openness and transparency. Since 2007, Trustpilot has received over 116 million customer reviews for nearly 500,000 different websites and businesses. See what others are saying about the work we do.
    • Department of Housing and Urban Development - Equal Housing Opportunity Department of Housing and Urban Development
      MMI is certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide consumer housing counseling. The mission of HUD is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD provides support services directly and through approved, local agencies like MMI.
    • Council on Accreditation Council On Accreditation
      MMI is proudly accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. COA’s thorough, peer-reviewed accreditation process is designed to ensure that organizations like MMI are providing the highest standard of service and support for clients and employees alike.
    • National Foundation for Credit Counseling National Foundation for Credit Counseling
      MMI is a longstanding member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), the nation’s largest nonprofit financial counseling organization. Founded in 1951, the NFCC’s mission is to promote financially responsible behavior and help member organizations like MMI deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.