March 8, 2013
Las Vegas, NV – As part of the National Consumer Protection Week Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto encourages consumers and potential homeowners to learn what credit restoration and down-payment assistance programs may be available to them.
“Decisions about credit involve many factors that may not be familiar to consumers,” said Masto. “One of the steps towards financial success is understanding how credit works.”
Credit Restoration Programs
Programs are available to assist consumers who have experienced a foreclosure, short sale, or bankruptcy. In certain cases, credit may not be available immediately after weathering a personal financial storm, though becoming creditworthy within a few short years can be accomplished through guidance and assistance.
The first step toward restoring credit is learning exactly what is contained in your credit report. Each consumer is entitled to a free copy of their credit report annually from each of the major credit reporting agencies and may be accessed at www.AnnualCreditReport.com. Though the report is in ‘plain English’ a consumer may receive assistance in interpreting the contents and determining a plan of action to dispute any incorrect or obsolete data and learn what steps may be taken to increase their credit score by contacting nonprofit organizations such as Financial Guidance Center.
“Nevada homebuyers should know that there are resources to help make purchasing a home less stressful,” said Masto. “I advise anyone who is working towards buying a home to reach out to these organizations, programs and services to take advantage of the benefits which may be available to them.”
Down Payment Assistance Programs
Financial Guidance Center and other nonprofit organizations, including Neighborhood Housing Services of Southern Nevada, Chicanos Por La Causa, Community Services of Nevada, and Housing for Nevada, offer a variety of financial resources for potential homeowners to assist with expenses related to down payment and closing costs.
Programs and resources that are available include:
- Home of My Own: 8-hour HUD approved first-time homebuyer education class.
- Grants to assist with down-payment and closing costs
- Individual Development Account (IDA): Match funds of $3 for each $1 contributed by the participant is designed to assist in saving towards home ownership while addressing credit challenges
- WISH Program: Provides a match of $3 for every $1 contributed by the homebuyer
As part of the Home Again program, which was officially launched by AG Masto’s office in January 2013, some services specifically address households working toward home ownership.
Tomorrow, Saturday, March 9, State Assemblyman Elliott Anderson will host a community event about Home Again from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at Winchester Community Center, 3130 McLeod Dr., Las Vegas. Attendees must RSVP by calling 702-992-0831.
This consumer alert is part of National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), March 3-9, 2013. Starting Monday, March 4 and running through Friday, March 8, the Nevada Attorney General’s Office will issue daily consumer alerts relevant to Nevadans.
More information about NCPW is also available at ncpw.gov. Consumer Protection information can also be found on the Attorney General’s website (ag.nv.gov), and the Federal Trade Commission’s website (ftc.gov).