Financial Education

Are you concerned about budgeting, debt, or credit problems?  Do you have questions about refinancing or reverse mortgages? Your first call should be to Home Repair Resource Center. We don’t charge for our services, and we’re a trusted, local organization. Our counselors will arrange an individual, confidential appointment to answer your questions and help you take control of your financial situation.

Financial Counseling

Home Repair Resource Center is a HUD-approved counseling agency that serves all Ohio residents. We provide one-on-one counseling to help people with many kinds of financial issues:

  • Budget and finances — If there are too many bills and not enough money, we’ll help you get a handle on your debt obligations, understand your credit report, and develop a plan for improving your “personal balance sheet.”
  • Buying a home — We’ll help you understand types of mortgages and determine a workable payment that will fit with your budget.
  • Questions about your existing mortgage — We can look over the papers with you and help you understand terms and options, such as whether the rate is fixed or adjustable, or if there is a balloon payment and/or prepayment penalty.
  • Refinancing or reverse mortgage — We can help you sort through your choices and come up with a good decision for your situation.

Homeowners concerned about foreclosure should contact HRRC’s foreclosure prevention counselors.

Home Repair Resource Center also provides a series of Home Buyer Education Classes designed to prepare you for buying a home and keep you up to date on available down payment assistance programs and eligibility requirements (including the City of Cleveland Heights’ Down Payment Assistance Program).

Check Your Credit

It’s a good idea to check your credit record on occasion, just to make certain it’s correct. Mistakes do happen! Certainly, if you’ve had a credit problem in the past, but have paid the debt, it’s important to confirm that your report shows the item paid.

Ohio residents can get one free report from each of the national credit reporting agencies every 12 months. The three agencies are using one web site, one toll-free telephone number, and one mailing address where you can order your free annual report. (Do not contact the reporting company individually.) Because you do not have to order reports from all three agencies at the same time, you may wish to space out your requests during the year, ordering from a different company every 4 months or so.

Here are the three ways you can request a free report:

Online: Go to www.annualcreditreport.com and fill in the information required. Your credit report will be emailed to you.

By telephone: Call (866) 322-8228. Once you have verified your identification (including Social Security number), your report will sent by mail to the address listed on the report.

By mail: Print out the form on the above web site, or write a letter with your full name, Social Security number, date of birth, current address and previous address (if you have moved in the last two years) to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. List the report(s) you wish to receive (Equifax, Experian and/or TransUnion).

Corrections: If you need to correct an error or outdated information, follow the instructions that you get with the credit report to tell the credit reporting agency about the mistake. A phone call to the agency alerting it to the error will often take care of the problem. (It’s a good idea to contact the creditor, as well as the three bureaus, to be certain all records are clear.) If you have an item that remains in dispute, you have the right to ask the credit bureau to insert a sentence or two explaining the reasons for the dispute, so that the explanation becomes part of your report. It can make a difference!

Note: The free credit report you will receive will not include the credit score that creditors use to help determine whether to give you credit and how much you will be charged for it. You can get your credit score from the three reporting agencies, but you will have to pay a fee for it.

If you need help interpreting or disputing your credit report, we encourage you to use our financial counseling services.  Call Sharra Thomas (ext 13) or Denise Black (ext 14) at 216-381-6100 for assistance. 

YOU CAN TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR FINANCES!

Call Sharra Thomas (ext 13) or Denise Black (ext 14) at 216-381-6100 for assistance.