Operation HOPE workshop teaches financial literacy

Published 10:49 pm Tuesday, February 20, 2018

By Oniska Blevins | The Selma Times-Journal

Operation HOPE is hosting a workshop next week to help people that are thinking about purchasing a home.

The workshop is scheduled for Feb. 27 from 1-3 p.m. at the Dallas County Family Resource Center.

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Stephanie Tarver, a financial well-being coach for Operation HOPE, said the organization has been providing financial literacy to the public for many years.

“Operation HOPE is a 25-year-old nonprofit four-star charity, and in Central Alabama we partner with Regions Bank,” Tarver said.

“We provide credit counseling and small business/entrepreneurial training programs free to the community. All of our workshops give participants an overview of that particular topic and anyone can attend.”

Tarver said the workshop is an overview of home ownership and will cover the basic pre-qualifications of owning a home. She said the better the credit score the lower the interest rates will be.

“It starts with credit, because you’re not going to get pre-qualified if you don’t have a good credit score,” she said. “You will want to have at least a 620 and above. I work with my clients to have a 680 and above.”

Tarver also said income and affordability are two important aspects of home ownership.  She said saving for the down payment plays a huge part in buying a home.

“They need to have at least three percent of the purchase price of the home saved up,” she said.

She also advises buyers to save an additional $2,000 to $3,000 just in case they have to pay closing cost.

When it comes to home ownership, Tarver feels that often times buyers lack the financial knowledge needed to make such a large purchase. However, she believes that with proper guidance and resources, purchasing a home could be a success.

“I have found that, especially in our community, a lot of people are just in need of some resources,” she said. “They’re in need of tools and that involves the proper financial literacy education, so they need to learn what is required.”

Since its beginning in 1992, founder John Hope Bryant, felt that it was important to reach and teach people in the community that need financial literacy, according to Tarver.

“We have helped more than 2.5 million individuals in under wealth communities,” she said. “I hope that in learning something new they walk away feeling empowered. Our main goal is to help individuals achieve financial independence and empowerment, and so that’s what we strive for.”

For more information on the Operation HOPE and the home ownership workshops visit www.operationhope.org.