In the initial interview, clients will have an individual intake session where they will turn in basic financial information and the housing counselor will create a file for each client. The housing counselor will review the client's sources of income and establish whether they are adequate to support home purchase and how much house payment the family can afford. If the income is inadequate, the counselor will work with the client to discuss options to increase their household income, cut expenses, or locate a more affordable property.

The counselor will pull a credit report, do a financial review of the file, and counsel the client on issues within their credit report if required. For clients with credit problems, the counselor will work with them on establishing good credit, payment plans, negotiating with creditors, and writing letters of explanation.

All clients with credit and budgeting problems will be referred to our colleague, Mississippi State Extension Service "Money Mentors", who provide one-on-one counseling and classes around the actual budget of the participating family or individual. The classes will assist the client in setting realistic financial goals, developing savings and repayment plans, and establishing a solid understanding of credit and their responsibility in obtaining it. Each client will receive a personalized financial plan from the counselor, which will consist of achievable goals to move them toward home ownership.

New clients will be scheduled to attend our homebuyer education class where they will learn the basics of homeownership (banking, borrowing basics, saving, budgeting, debt management, understanding credit, financing a home, home maintenance, mortgage loans, insurance, taxes and much more) and will also be given a review of available programs that are designed to match their individual need.

If you are in need of an appointment to speak with one of our housing counselors please call the City of Vicksburg Housing Department at 601-634-4528 and ask for Gertrude Young (Housing Director) or Angela Turner (Housing Coordinator).