Veterans Achieve Homeownership Through Lighthouse Program
The credit score is a crucial factor in qualifying for a loan. In most cases, life-changing purchases such as a home or car involve applying for a loan. What do lenders look at to determine loan eligibility? One huge marker is the credit score.
Lenders look to the credit score to determine who is and who is not a reliable borrower. The credit score is a reflection of one’s borrowing history, debt payments and overall financial situation in most cases.
Building and maintaining a fair and solid score can be especially difficult for service members. The demands of military life can be tough on a budget. Most service members don’t get to decide where they are stationed and living. Keeping a healthy credit score can be hard from overseas, and a service member may be stationed in a large city with a higher cost of living. Lenders often turn away loan applicants with lighter credit scores, thus making homeownership goals that much harder to achieve.
Fortunately, a program exists to assist military service members who have lower credit scores! The Lighthouse program at Veterans United Home Loans is a complimentary program that pairs home-buyers with their own Lighthouse credit consultant – an expert who is well versed in credit and debt management. These consultants work one-on-one with homebuyers and provide education, guidance and home loan information to them in order to help them improve their credit portfolio. Homebuyers receive access to online tools and resources so they may learn more about their credit portfolios and how to best manage them.
Lighthouse consultants help homebuyers identify and correct errors on credit reports. According to data from the U.S. Public Interest Research Groups, one in four credit reports contains errors serious enough to result in denial of a loan. Homebuyers and consultants work together to create a personalized plan for the homebuyer to help him or her strengthen the credit portfolio. Both the homebuyer and Lighthouse consultant communicate closely and frequently with the homebuyer, and the two work together to develop personalized objectives for debt reduction once and for all. Best of all, the Lighthouse program comes as a complimentary service to home-buyers.
“Being denied for a home loan because of a low credit score can be heartbreaking and devastating to a potential homebuyer,” says Sheri Kagimoto, home loan consultant at Veterans United Home Loans of Hawaii. “Our Lighthouse program helps with credit concerns and potential homebuyers look forward to participating in it. We see inquiries from all kinds of clients who are looking for direction and assistance in the confusing world of credit repair.”
Veterans United’s Lighthouse consultants also teach homebuyers how to avoid late payments and how to keep credit card balances under 50 percent of the card limit. The consultants educate their clients on basic credit knowledge and more complex solutions to long-time credit issues. Kagimoto knows firsthand how her homebuyers have been affected by credit issues from years past.
“Many Americans were hurt during the market downturn in 2006 and 2007,” says Kagimoto. “People filed bankruptcy, properties were foreclosed upon and bills were left unpaid. These issues wreaked havoc on credit reports for many people. Our team can help with even these longstanding issues.”
It’s Veterans United’s mission to help veterans and active duty service members become homeowners. The Lighthouse program opens doors for homebuyers who previously had been turned down by other lenders or never thought they’d be able to qualify for a home loan. Over the last two years, Veterans United has funded over 200 loans with the help of the Lighthouse program.
While the credit score may seem like an arbitrary number, it’s a huge factor in one’s homebuying success. The VA home loan’s flexible eligibility requirements and help from the Lighthouse program are making homeownership more attainable for veteran homebuyers in Hawaii.