Loan Zone: Creating options for first-time home buyers

Pittsford FCU builds on FHLB program

Danielle Castro was inspired to help her credit union develop a loan program for first-time homebuyers after learning about the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York’s First Home Club program and watching the experiences of people she knew.

Pittsford Federal Credit Union’s Community Relations Specialist, 25-year-old Castro first heard about the FHC program in 2012-2013 while an intern for the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Rochester, which aids with the counseling portion of the program for some institutions that offered it. She learned more while working at First Niagara Risk Management in 2014-2015, which offered FHC loans through the banking portion of the company.

Launched in 1995, the First Home Club offers an incentive for households with incomes at or below 80 percent of area median income to save toward the purchase of a new home. FHC subsidy funds of up to $7,500 can be used to provide down payment and closing cost assistance. These subsidy funds grant $4 for each $1 saved to qualified first-time homebuyers who follow a systematic savings plan and participate in a homebuyer counseling program.


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