Want to own your own home?
Work with one of our licensed housing advisors to achieve your dream of homeownership. Through individual pre-purchase education sessions and group workshops, our staff will help you identify and overcome impediments to homeownership and create strategies that will help you purchase a home that you can afford. You may even be eligible for downpayment assistance!
Please Note: All group workshops are being held virtually at this time due to COVID-19 regulations.
We have multiple options to help you get started with the homeownership process. Choose the one that is right for you!
Intro to Homeownership: Gain a better understanding of the homeownership process – from the mortgage application to downpayment assistance.
First Time Homebuyer: Take advantage of this comprehensive HUD-certified workshop! Learn the latest from our licensed homebuyer advisors and meet trusted professionals in the industry.
Receive individual counseling with an experienced, professional homebuyer advisor. We will work with you all the way to the closing table. To make an appointment, call 843-628-3000 or email us.
Downpayment & Closing Cost Assistance Loans
Pending the availability of grant funding, you may be eligible to purchase your home through our Downpayment and Closing Cost Assistance Loan program.
1. Am I eligible for Downpayment and Closing Cost Assistance?
Origin SC will review all applications for qualified first time homebuyers, income restrictions apply. See our income guidelines to determine if you are eligible.
2. What are the fees, if any, for this program?
- Intro to Homeownership = FREE
- First Time Homebuyer Workshop = $10
- Individual Advising
- Financial Coaching = $56/one-time fee + cost of credit reports
- FHA Back to Work, or High-Cost Mortgage Loan Counseling = $189/one-time fee, individual or couple
- Online Homebuyer Course = $99/individual or couple
3. Will my lender accept the certificate I will receive upon completion of homebuyer education?
Many lenders accept certificates from our program. Please check with your lender or call us to learn more.
4. Where do I begin?
The best way to begin is by reviewing all three of your credit reports & scores with one of our home purchase advisors.
5. Do I need to be debt free?
No, but it is important to not take on any new or unnecessary debt unless it is needed.
6. What mortgage product can I apply for with my credit score?
There are many mortgage lenders out there that determine their own level of risk, but a home purchase advisor will be able to help you understand what options are available based on your circumstance.
7. Do I have the income to qualify for a mortgage loan?
Your home purchase coach can help you determine what loan products you may qualify for, and how much will be manageable, based on your income.
8. How much money do I need in the bank when I go to a mortgage lender?
It depends on the maximum sales price a mortgage lender is willing to extend to you as the borrower. Five percent of the sales price is a safe amount. This should pay for all upfront fees going into the home purchase, including any downpayment expected from the homebuyer.
9. Do I need to pay off all my collections?
Some mortgage lenders will forgive certain collection debts. Having a home purchase advisor review your reports will help you identify what is needed before pre-qualification is possible.
10. How can I get my credit scores to go up?
Pay your bills on time and keep balances low.
11. How long will it take my credit score to go up?
It depends what is already showing on your reports. There are no quick score recoveries. It takes time, and patience is the key.
12. Will my student loan debt affect me if I want to buy a home?
It depends on the mortgage products. Some lenders will include student loan debt into the total Debt-to-Income Ratio, even if those loans are currently in deferment or forbearance.
13. Have you seen other credit reports as bad as mine?
Never look at your reports as “bad.” ALL consumers can improve credit history.
14. How much home can I be qualified to purchase?
It depends on your gross income and the mortgage product you are interested in.
15. What is the difference between interest rate and APR?
The interest rate refers to the cost of borrowing money. Your loan’s annual percentage rate (APR) reflects the cost of your loan on a yearly basis. The APR is intended to give you more information on what you’re really getting. All lender fees are included in factoring the APR so you can better see the true cost of a loan and make a fair comparison.
16. I am trying to pre-qualify for a FHA mortgage loan after losing a previous home due to extenuating circumstances. Can you help me?
Yes. We offer housing counseling for the FHA Back to Work program. Please contact us at info@originSC.org or 843.628.3000 to schedule an in-person appointment with a licensed housing advisor.
17. I have been approved for a mortgage loan, but the SC Department of Consumer Affairs requires that I have housing counseling. Are you an approved agency?
Yes. We offer what’s called “high cost mortgage loan” housing counseling. Please contact us at info@originSC.org or 843.628.3000 to schedule an in-person appointment with a licensed housing advisor.
18. What services am I paying for with Origin SC?
Your home purchase advisor will educate and supply the tools needed to help you achieve your goals of homeownership. Our advisors also give you information on the current mortgage products available and their basic requirements.