Saving for a down payment is one of the biggest impediments to homeownership, and while some lenders will extend a mortgage with a down payment as low as three percent, many low-income renters simply don’t have the means to come up with thousands of dollars to put down on a mortgage.
But mortgage lender CMG Financial has a division called HomeFundIt that’s tasked with coming up with creative ways to allow people to save. A year ago, the program, then called HomeFundMe, launched as a crowdfunding platform that lets prospective homeowners’ friends and family pave the way to their American Dream by contributing to a down payment fund.
HomeFundIt recently launched UpIt, a cash-back program that puts a percentage of your shopping bill with qualified retailers in an account that can later be used on a down payment for a house. Anyone can set up a fund and anyone can contribute so long as they shop through the platform, and the fund can stay active for as long as it takes to raise enough money.
“You’ve got somebody who’s really trying to become a homeowner in a low income area, but it’s likely their [personal] network is in a low income area, too,” said HomeFundIt’s Paul Akinmade. “So how do you reach that person? What other mechanisms out there exist that through creative engineering we could apply to this space and help a lot of people? That’s how we came up with the shopping component. Every demographic shops.”
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