During the Jan. 13 Hazard Rotary Club meeting, David Brock, a representative of the JustChoice Lending (JCL) division of Fahe, spoke to club members about the products JCL offers that can help community members at any level of income become homeowners.
JustChoice Lending, said Brock, is a mortgage lender that matches clients to the loan that is right for them. JCL, he said, offers rates that are competitive with mainstream lenders and provides clients with the service and attention of a trusted partner. The program, said Brock, serves people of all income levels, but unlike many lenders, also has the resources, experience and knowledge to work with people from lower-income backgrounds.
JCL, said Brock, is able to apply for and receive state and federal grants that can be used for downpayments on houses. Every March, a $5,000 Welcome Home grant becomes available, said Brock. This particular grant, he said, helps clients with downpayments or closing costs on houses. That money, he said, is free if the clients stay in the house for at least five years. Additionally, he said, they have several other sources of help for people, including Project Reinvest, which allows JCL to offer clients a $10,500 interest free loan.
“We help people get financing to get houses, refinance houses,” said Brock. “The big loan that we do the most with, because most of our footprint is in Appalachia rural communities, is the U.S.D.A. Rural Housing Division. We do offer some loan programs that nobody else has access to, such as your local banks or your local mortgage companies, because of who we are.”
Brock said that mortgage rates are the lowest that they have been in more than 20 years, and this fact, along with JCL services, has helped many clients.
“Basically, we’re trying to help more of our communities become homeowners,” said Brock. “In these new times, a lot of area’s rents are getting as high as buying a house. A lot of my clients are actually buying houses now cheaper than they were paying rent. The main factor is the interest rates are better than they’ve ever been. I’ve been doing mortgage lending for 22 years and I remember my first house when I bought it in 1993 — it was a government backed loan, the interest rate was 8.75 percent. Right now we have them as low as 2-2.5 percent, 100 percent financing so a lot of people are taking advantage of that.”
In addition to serving low-income individuals and families, he said, no matter the income level, JCL representatives can also help clients with less-than-stellar credit improve their scores so they can find the home of their dreams.
“We help with credibility or credit repair at no cost to the borrower except for the initial credit report fee. What we do if they’re not quite credit ready, we take a look at what needs to be fixed. A lot of consumers just don’t know what’s on their credit report or they don’t know how to try and fix something on their credit report,” said Brock. He continued, “We’ll come up with a game plan and we’ll get you there. We take pride in that part of it. We’ve probably closed 20 loans a year that when the client first came to us they weren’t quite credit ready but they stuck with the credit game plan.”
Brock said that JustChoice Lending cares about helping clients benefit their selves, their families and their communities by becoming successful homeowners.
“We’re all about wanting our home buyers to be successful home buyers. We don’t want them to in three years end up in foreclosure for whatever reason,” said Brock. “We’re going to make sure they understand everything about the mortgage process, what they’re getting into, what they’re signing, that type of thing. We’re more customer-oriented, it’s not just about a number for our clients.
“When they become homeowners two things happen. They are building equity in their home, which is building their finance for the future, and number two, the more home owners that we have the more property taxes that they’re paying to help the communities with school districts and roads and everything that comes with that,” said Brock. “Truly becoming a home owner does help your community overall.”