Homebuyer Education and Counseling Requirements
All homebuyers accessing the Downpayment Plus Program (DPP®) or Downpayment Plus Advantage® Program (DPP Advantage®) are required to complete both pre-purchase homebuyer education and pre-purchase counseling.
Pre-purchase education and counseling requirements include:
- Education must be delivered by a HUD-approved housing counseling agency in pre-purchase homebuyer education, or an online provider approved by FHLBank Chicago.
- Counseling must be delivered by a HUD-approved housing counseling agency in pre-purchase homebuyer counseling.
- Counseling must be completed one-on-one, but does not have to be face-to-face; telephonic or videoconference (e.g., FaceTime, Skype) counseling is acceptable.
- Upon completion of education and counseling, homebuyers will receive one or two certificates of completion (depending on the provider), which must be submitted prior to a member receiving reimbursement for a DPP grant.
- Although participation in education and counseling is strongly encouraged for all borrowers in the household, a certificate of completion is only required for one of the borrowers.
There are three options to meet the pre-purchase education and counseling requirement. These options are the surest way homebuyers and participating members know the education and counseling meets our requirements.
To access an option, select the corresponding image below.
Option One: A HUD-Approved Housing Counseling Agency
HUD-approved housing counselors can provide advice on buying a home, renting, defaults, foreclosures, and credit issues. The counseling agencies on this site are approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Each HUD-approved counselor has undertaken rigorous education and has passed a certification exam. Homebuyers should inquire about the costs of these services prior to receiving them.
Option Two: An Approved Online Provider
Framework is one of two online homebuyer education providers that will also connect homebuyers with HUD approved housing counseling agencies. Homebuyers may complete online education through Framework followed by face-to-face, telephonic, or videoconference counseling from a Framework partner. Because the counseling does not need to be provided face-to-face, the location of the provider should not be a barrier or deterrent for the homebuyer. Upon completing education, homebuyers must schedule counseling with the selected Framework partner; the agency is expected to respond within 48 hours. The certificate of completion will not be released until the homebuyer completes counseling so please plan accordingly. The cost for education is $75 if accessed through this webpage; an additional counseling fee may apply. Please note there are fewer counseling agencies from which to select if pursuing this option.
eHome America is one of two online homebuyer education providers that will also connect homebuyers with HUD approved housing counseling agencies. Homebuyers may complete online education through eHome followed by face-to-face, telephonic, or videoconference counseling from an eHome partner. Because the counseling does not need to be provided face-to-face, the location of the provider should not be a barrier or deterrent for the homebuyer. eHome America partners are expected to contact the homebuyer within 48 hours of completing the education component to schedule the counseling session. The certificate of completion will not be released until the homebuyer completes counseling so, please plan accordingly. The cost for education is $99 if accessed through this webpage; an additional counseling fee may apply. Please note there are fewer counseling agencies from which to select if pursuing this option.
Option Three: Alternatives
A homebuyer may complete online education directly through eHome America or Framework (i.e., not via the links on this webpage) or through a portal provided by an eHome or Framework partner, and complete counseling through a provider that is a HUD-approved housing counseling agency. In these instances, the cost(s) will vary.
A homebuyer may complete online education through Fannie Mae HomeView. However, a direct connection to a HUD approved counseling agency will not be made through HomeView, and homebuyer will need to arrange their own HUD approved counseling.
Up to $500 of the DPP grant may be applied toward costs associated with meeting the pre-purchase education and counseling requirement. Additionally, any money the homebuyer spends on meeting the requirement may be applied toward their minimum "homebuyer contribution" of $1,000 (so long as it's properly disclosed on the settlement statement).
These requirements are designed to prepare consumers to successfully navigate the homebuying process. In selecting an option, it is important to also consider the pre-purchase education and counseling requirements, if any, of the first mortgage lender and/or secondary purchaser.
If you are a member of FHLBank Chicago and have questions related to the DPP programs, please contact FHLBank Chicago Community Investment at 312-565-5824 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you a homebuyer? Please contact a participating lender to inquire about the DPP grant.