Your Guide to Affordable Housing Through Section 8

Section 8 housing, currently referred to as the Housing Choice Voucher program, enables many low-income families to afford shelter.



Under this program, households are only required to pay a portion of their rent while the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) pays for the remaining amount.

Recipients receive a discount on their rent through a vouchers system.

However, Public Housing Agencies may place applicants on waiting lists since there is a high demand for housing assistance. Certain applicants may be placed higher on a waiting list due to their income or household situations. 

About Section 8 Housing and the HUD Rental Application 

Unlike other HUD housing assistance programs, Housing Choice Voucher recipients are able to select from a larger variety of dwellings to rent. Many apartments, homes and townhouses meet HUD Section 8 standards.

The primary qualifications include the cost of rent and whether the rental is safe and decent. The landlord must have their property approved by the local Public Housing Authority (PHA) and be willing to accept Section 8 vouchers. 

Another benefit of the Housing Choice Voucher program is the portability of it. This means that the voucher is connected to the benefiting household rather than the apartment complex or rental home.

Therefore, if the recipients decide to move to a new dwelling, they can as long as the new landlord’s property qualifies for the program. 

In addition to selecting a rental property that meets HUD’s requirements, beneficiates will need to successfully apply for a rental as a tenant. This means a landlord may check an applicant’s credit and housing history. 

Unfortunately, many eligible residents on the Section 8 waiting list for months or years before they obtain a voucher.

In the meantime, beneficiaries can live in other forms of government housing such as public or subsidized housing complexes. 

Why You Need to Check Your Full Credit Report

Your credit score and history is an important consideration to lenders. Whenever you apply for a home or auto loan or new credit card, you would be evaluated by your credit score. There are a number of factors that determine your number including:

  • Types of credit accounts that you possess.
  • Payment history. This component takes into account whether you have any missed or late payments. Too many missed payments result in points reductions.
  • Age of credit. This category refers to the length of time that you have had active credit accounts. The longer that your accounts have been open, the better your score will be.
  • Amount of credit report hard inquiries. This factor pertains how recently you have applied for credit.
  • Credit utilization ratio. Your ratio is determined by the amount that you owe to creditors compared to the credit limit. 

Lenders will take your financial history and determine your risk assessment. This information will determine if you are eligible for a loan or credit as well as influence the terms of the agreement with the lender.

In some cases, employers will also look into your financial history to determine if you are a good candidate for a job.

If you want to learn about what is on your credit report, you can receive your free credit report online. Every year, you can request a credit report from each credit bureau.

When you order it online from the Annual Credit report website, you will receive your report from each credit bureau. This will ensure that your credit report remains up to date with the correct information.

You will receive a wealth of information now that you have downloaded your guide. Our experts have consolidated everything you need to know about the programs that are available for you to take advantage of.

You can expect all of this information to arrive in your email inbox in the next few days so keep an out an eye for it. In the meantime, you can read about the resources that can help you reduce your monthly living costs.

In addition, you can learn about finding affordable health insurance and housing. 

Learn About Low Income Home Loans and Other Discount Programs 

If you earn a low income, it is possible to obtain cable and internet services at a reduced cost. One way to reduce your monthly payment on your cable package is by reviewing your current package.

You may be paying for a higher-tier channels package, which typically costs more. 

By obtaining a package with fewer channels and premium services, you can significantly reduce your cable payment.

You might find that a higher-tiered package is not worth it especially if you are only receiving an extra one or two channels for a high cost. 

Can you apply for grants from the government? 

Individual residents and households are usually not eligible for government grants. This type of funding is reserved for local and state departments and organizations and other outreach programs so that they could provide aid to eligible low-income families.

However, different departments, organizations and programs require applicants to meet different qualifications before they can receive benefits or aid. 

The programs offered by these organizations provide assistance with housing costs, grocery shopping, health care and utility payments.

Thus, if you are experiencing financial hardship, it can be beneficial to reach out to your local state department office and find out if you qualify for any assistance. Some benefit programs include: 

  • The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
  • Medicaid.
  • The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
  • The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).

You should contact your local Department of Health and Human Services to learn about their specific requirements and criteria for the various programs that are offered.

Public Housing Agencies are also great resources if you need assistance with rent or housing. Both departments have numerous additional resources to help you through your hardship.

Moreover, a number of local community centers and organizations provide emergency food supplies and access to food banks. These resources are typically available to households that meet low-income requirements.

Eligible families are then able to obtain nutritious meals and foods weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. 

Find Out About Low Income Health Insurance 

You may be able to apply for low-cost insurance depending on your age, income and other factors.

One way to discover what health insurance you qualify for is by completing an application HealthCare.gov. This government website enables you to view various health coverage options. 

Medicaid is a federal health care program that is available to eligible low-income residents. It is a federal program administered by the state that enables beneficiaries to obtain health care services at low or no cost. 

Alternatively, health insurance under Medicare may be available to you if you have a disability or are elderly. If you qualify, you can select the level of coverage you want or need.

Policies are partially based on income. Moreover, it is possible to be eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid at the same time and have even lower health insurance costs. 

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About HUD Home Loans 

HUD provides homes at reduced costs to a variety of homebuyers. These homes can be bought at discounted prices because they were foreclosed.

Moreover, these houses were part of the FHA home loan program or another federal program. The cost of the foreclosed homes offered through HUD is typically less than market value. 

If you are looking for a HUD home loan, you will have to apply through a lender that is approved by HUD. The Department of Housing and Urban Development does not provide mortgages directly.

These lenders provide HUD loan applications and can inform you if qualify for other government home loans such as FHA and VA loans. 

For residents with bad credit, there are home loans options available. You may be able to qualify for FHA loans and obtain a mortgage. The FHA requires that your credit score is at least in the 500s.

To find out if you meet the eligibility criteria you should meet with a local lender that is approved to provide FHA loans. 

Learn About Calculators for Home Loan Preparation

When you are deciding to buy a home or put an offer, it is important to have a budget in place. Aside from keeping a budget, knowing personal finance details like credit score are crucial to finding a suitable loan.

These calculators will have you better prepared when looking at home loan options.