The Housing Choice Voucher Program is a federal welfare program that provides financial assistance to qualifying families through housing vouchers that are paid directly to landlords to reduce the housing costs of Section 8 beneficiaries.
Funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), this program is administered on a local level through Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) that are located throughout each state. Eligibility for the Housing Choice Voucher Program is primarily based upon income. However, income guidelines vary by county or metropolitan areas, as income limits are set based upon the median income for the area. To be considered low-income, a family’s income cannot exceed 50 percent of the median income for the county or metropolitan area.
In addition to income guidelines, applicants must also meet other requirements, including family composition and rental history qualifications. Generally, a family must include a dependent child, senior citizen or disabled person to potentially qualify for Section 8.
If approved for the Housing Choice Voucher Program, your family will either begin to receive housing assistance immediately or be placed upon a waiting list until aid becomes available. If the Public Housing Agency is unable to assist your family promptly, you will be contacted once the PHA reaches your family on the waiting list.
How to Check a Credit Score & Get a Full Credit Report
Your credit score is a three-digit number that provides potential lenders an indication of whether or not you would be a risky customer. Your credit score is derived from the information that can be found in your full credit report. There are several factors on your credit report that will impact your credit score, including:
- Your payment history and whether or not you make payments on time or have a history of late payments or defaults.
- Your credit utilization, which refers to the amount of money that you owe compared to your current credit limits.
- Your age of credit, which is the amount of time that you have had your credit accounts.
- The types of credit that you have, such as mortgages, auto loans or credit cards.
- The number of hard inquiries on your credit report, which is the number of times that you have recently applied for credit.
Tips on Raising Your Credit Score
Improving your credit score does not have to be a challenge. If you are actively trying to improve your credit score, there are a few ways you can do so. Fortunately, listed below are some tips you can follow to raise your score. Remaining consistent will have your credit score rise steadily.
- Pay off your debts on time. When you do not pay your credit cards or any loan you have on time, it shows up on your credit report. Your lenders will examine your credit report to see how reliable you are to pay them back. Since your score is calculated using your credit report, paying your bills on time will better your score.
- Dispute inaccuracies on your credit report. Checking your credit report frequently, you will be able to grasp any inaccuracies. If incorrect information is left on your credit report, it can lower your score. Make sure to get any errors corrected immediately.
- Do not apply for new credit. When applying for new credit, the bank needs to run your credit in order to establish your credit limit. This is only in extreme cases when your credit is poor. If you must apply for new credit, do not apply for too much.
Your credit score and history not only impacts whether or not you will be approved for any type of loan but also the interest rates that you will likely receive. The higher your score, the higher your odds of qualifying for a loan, and the lower your interest rates will probably be.
You may be able to view your credit score through your current lenders, such as a credit card lender. Additionally, you can obtain your credit score and history report in several ways, including:
- Directly from one of the three credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, for a fee or for free once per year.
- By utilizing free or low-cost credit monitoring services.
This informative guide provides a wealth of information that can be utilized to review and understand the programs that may be available to you. Our team of experts have gone ahead and condensed the information that you will need to move forward to share with you over the next several days. Be on the lookout for this information in your inbox. In the meantime, you can review other resources that may be available to you, including discounted services, affordable health insurance opportunities available government grants and housing loan programs that are provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Discounted Services That May Be Available to You
The best way to obtain cheap cable and internet is by taking the time to compare the prices and services that are available with each provider within your area. When searching for cheap cable TV for low income, it is also crucial that you review channel packages to ensure that you are not overpaying based upon your desire to keep one or two channels. Alternatively, you could cut the cord entirely and subscribe to a streaming service.
Low income car insurance is obtainable through price comparison, minimizing coverage options and taking advantage of any insurance discounts that you may qualify for. No two policies are alike, and the price that a company will offer you will be based upon your risk factors and the amount of coverage that you want. Coverage options should be reviewed carefully, as it is not uncommon for a policy to include far more coverage than what is required. Additionally, taking advantage of discounts, such as defensive driving or safe driver discounts, can substantially reduce your bill.
Low income home loans are available through several government programs, including through the USDA, VA and FHA. Loan programs, such as FHA loans, provide low-income families with the opportunity to purchase a home despite having a lower income and less money to put forth towards a deductible.
Obtaining Government Grants
A government grant is a financial gift that does not generally need to be repaid, so long as grant funds are used towards the purpose that they were intended for. The type of grant that you receive will determine what you may use provided funds for. As an example, if you were approved for financial aid for higher education, the grant money must be used towards the cost of tuition and other education-related expenses. Should you ever misuse grant funds, your grant will likely be converted to a loan that must be repaid.
There are several types of grant programs available through the federal government. However, each type of grant will require applicants to meet specific eligibility requirements, such as income guidelines, age limits or military service history. Therefore, it is vital to review the grant requirements carefully before submitting an application. Depending on your personal circumstances, you could qualify for federal grant programs such as:
- Financial aid for higher education, including the Pell Grant and the Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG).
- VA housing grants.
- USDA Section 504 Rural Housing Repair and Rehabilitation grants.
Student financial aid reduces the overall cost that students can expect to pay for college. To qualify for a grant, students must exhibit a financial need and meet citizenship status and academic-based eligibility requirements.
VA housing grants assist disabled veterans in retaining their independence by providing financial aid towards the purchase of a home or renovations to an existing home to better accommodate a disability. Eligibility requirements are based on several factors, including military service, discharge status and the service-connected disability that the veteran has.
The USDA Section 504 Rural Housing Repair and Rehabilitation grant is available to low-income senior citizens with homes that require certain repairs or renovations. Financial awards can only be used to eliminate a health or safety hazard or to make a home more accessible to those with disabilities.
Finding Affordable Health Insurance Opportunities
Cheap health insurance may be available to you based upon your income, age, where you live and other qualifying factors. Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for federal programs such as Medicare or Medicaid, or you may be eligible for tax credits that can reduce the premiums of the health insurance options that are available to you.
If you have not done so already, it is essential that you complete an application on the Health Insurance Marketplace. In doing so, you will be provided with a comprehensive list of health insurance quotes and options that are available to you. The quotes that you receive will be based upon several factors, including the state and county that you live within and your income level. Each available option may have different coverage and fees, so it is crucial to take the time to review each opportunity to make an informed decision on your healthcare.
If you are part of a low-income household, you may qualify for Medicaid health insurance. Medicaid is a federal and state health insurance program that offers qualifying low-income households health care opportunities at little to no charge. Eligibility requirements vary by state but are primarily based upon income, citizenship status, and potential categorical qualifications.
If you are a disabled person or a senior citizen, you could qualify for Medicare. Medicare is a cheap health insurance program offered by the federal government to qualifying individuals. If qualified, you would be allowed to build your own Medicare plan by selecting the “Parts” of Medicare that you wish to enroll in. The cost of your policy is partially based upon your income but primarily based upon the type of coverage you select. If you qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid, Medicaid will assist you with the costs of Medicare.
Health Care Marketplace Calculator
If you cannot afford health care in other ways, then it is possible to find low cost options on the Health care Marketplace. The Marketplace online has many options which makes it difficult to decide if these plans are right for you. Fortunately, there is a tool that can help you decide. The Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator can provide an estimate on the premiums you will have to pay. The calculator gives these results using the financial information you provide.
Applying for HUD Loans
HUD home loans are programs that assist low-income families in qualifying for a mortgage to purchase a home for the first time. These programs include but are not limited to FHA loans and the Good Neighbor Next Door Program.
If you require bad credit home loans, the FHA loan program may be able to help you qualify even with poor credit. You may be able to get qualified for a home with bad credit with an FHA loan because this federal loan program insures your mortgage and, thus, reduces the risk that a lender takes in providing financing. By reducing that risk, lenders can accept lower credit scores, lower income and even lower down payment amounts.
If you are considering a HUD home loan application, it is essential to learn more about HUD homes, including their advantages and drawbacks. HUD homes are properties that are acquired by the HUD after a homeowner has foreclosed upon an FHA-insured loan. Properties are sold as-is and are generally offered below their market value to sell quickly and regain some of the financial loss that the foreclosure caused.
The HUD also provides the Good Neighbor Next Door program to qualifying first responders and teachers to further the development of a community. Qualifying participants can receive up to 50 percent off of a HUD home.
Typical mortgage loans for HUD homes include FHA loans, traditional mortgages and other loan programs. The HUD does not provide financing directly. Instead, applicants must find an HUD-approved lender if interested in the purchase of a HUD home.