Penn offers credit-counseling workshop

Some people bristle at talking about personal money matters, but if you are planning to purchase a home in the near future, your credit score will play a major role in the financing.

For example, in order to qualify to participate in one of Penn Home Ownership Services’ (PHOS) programs, applicants must have a credit score of 630 or higher from all three major credit-reporting agencies: Experian, Transunion, and Equifax.

To help prospective homeowners better understand the issues surrounding the real estate buying process, Penn is offering a free credit-counseling workshop for members of the University community.

Prospective Penn homeowners can see where their credit stands at the workshop, provided by Intercultural Family Services (IFS), a local non-profit human services agency, and sponsored by PHOS in collaboration with Trident Mortgage Company.

The workshop will be held from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 19, in Houston Hall’s Golkin Room. After an informational presentation, those in attendance will have an opportunity to meet one-on-one with a credit counselor from IFS. To register for the workshop, visit the Penn Home Ownership Services website.

“Part of the mission of PHOS is to provide education about home ownership and the issues that affect it, such as credit,” says PHOS manager Nicole Hudson. “While talking with prospective homeowners, we realized that their credit report was sometimes a barrier to home ownership.”

The workshop is open to all Penn faculty, staff, and students, along with employees of the Health System, and will include information on how individuals can improve their credit scores.

“PHOS has always provided our clients with credit-counseling referrals directly to agencies that can help,” Hudson says. “But now we’re broadening that effort with the workshops that are open to the whole Penn community. Anyone can have issues with credit; it doesn’t have to be just about buying a home.”

Those who cannot attend the workshop can find basic tips for improving their credit score, including behaviors that can have an adverse impact, at the PHOS website.

“In addition to our regular housing fairs, we’re planning to do workshops on a variety of topics with one of our mortgage company partners about once a month, such as we did with Trident for this event,” Hudson notes.

Credit Score