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Working With A Housing Counselor

A HUD-approved housing counseling agency can help you make the right
financial decision, and avoid an expensive mistake!

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 Find a Counselor

If you face a major financial decision, you need advice you can trust. A HUD-approved housing counseling agency can provide the trustworthy guidance you need to make the right decision.

A housing counselor can help you:

  • Decide if it’s smarter to buy or rent your home — and how much you can afford.
  • Avoid foreclosure if you’re behind on your mortgage payments.
  • Prevent homelessness if you’re at risk of losing your home.
  • Understand and determine if a reverse mortgage is right for you.
  • Recognize and avoid scam artists.
  • Get your finances under control with a budget plan.
  • Manage your credit.

What does housing counseling cost?

  • If the counseling is to help you avoid foreclosure or homelessness, the service is free.
  • For all other types of counseling, there may be a reasonable fee; however fees may be waived for clients who are unable to pay.

Get started now with a housing counselor

  • Find a housing counselor near you with HUD’s easy-to-use search tool.
  • Choose a counselor from the options provided, and visit the counselor’s website for instructions on how to contact them, and how to prepare for your counseling session.
  • Read the instructions on the counselor’s website carefully — there may be documents you need to gather and forms to fill out before your session can be scheduled.

What to bring when you meet with a housing counselor

You’ll need to bring the following items when you meet with any type of housing counselor:

  • Your driver’s license.
  • Your last three years’ federal tax returns.
  • 60 days worth of pay stubs and proof of other income (self-employment, child support, etc.).
  • Bank statements for the last three months.
  • Documentation of your monthly expenses.
  • Documentation of any paid judgments or collections.

Also bring the following if you need foreclosure prevention counseling:

  • Documentation of all communications from your mortgage servicer.
  • Copy of a recent mortgage statement.
  • Copy of closing documents (HUD-1 Settlement Statement, Deed of Trust, Deed of Trust Note).
  • Explanation of your inability to make mortgage payments.

What type of housing counselor do you need?

  • Pre-purchase counselors can help you determine if you are really ready to buy a home, and how much you can afford, by reviewing your budget, spending, savings and credit.
  • Post-purchase and reverse mortgage counselors are helpful if you’ve already bought a home and need to update your spending and savings plan, go over closing documents, manage credit or avoid foreclosure. They also help seniors understand the requirements of reverse mortgages.
  • Foreclosure and loss mitigation counselors can advise you if your mortgage payment has become unaffordable. They will explain programs and options that may be available, and can serve as a mediator between you and your lender.
  • Rental housing counselors can help you prepare for successful renting by advising you on the application process, security deposits, rental assistance, moving expenses, and your finances.
  • Homeless services counselors assist people in finding the transitional housing they need to move toward a permanent place to live.
  • Financial and credit counselors will assess your current situation including credit, spending and savings, and help you set realistic financial goals.


You can search on HUD’s website for a housing counselor with overall knowledge of housing and financial issues, or you can search for a counselor who has a specific area of expertise. Use the links below to search for a housing counselor that meets your needs:




Contact Us

Homebuyer Department

Toll Free: 800-227-8432
Local: 804-783-6725


Homeownership Education

Phone: (800) 235-6938


Customer Service

Toll Free: 877-VHDA-123
Local: 804-782-1986


Virginia Relay

In Virginia: 711
Toll Free: 800-828-1140


Virginia Housing Fraud, Waste or Abuse Hotline

Phone: 804-915-3146
Website: Reporting Fraud, Waste or Abuse