Down Payment Assistance – Making ‘Home’ Possible for More

May 4, 2017

You want to buy a home? Have you looked at prices lately!?  Do you know how much you need for a down payment!?!  You’ve got to be crazy!!! There is no way you can come up with THAT MUCH money right now.  I mean, come on.  Don’t you need like 20% down for a house?  That’s got to be like $50,000-$60,000 with where homes are priced.  Buying a home just is NOT an option for you right now.  Right?

WRONG.  Well, maybe it isn’t the right time for you to be buying a home right now.  But the premises above are probably not going to be what holds you back.  Let’s talk about why. Read the rest of this entry »

What to Spend on Your New Home

April 20, 2017


Tired of renting?  Tired of the landlord?  Tired of the crazy neighbors doing who knows what and all kinds of hours?  Tired of nothing but white walls in your living space?  Tired of someone else parking in your parking space?  Tired of paying every month and getting nothing (except maybe part of your deposit) back when you move?  Perhaps it’s time to move out of your parents’ house…..

OK, so this probably isn’t your parents’ house anymore.  But it may still be time to move on.  Perhaps it’s time to look at buying your own home.  As our clients consider a home purchase, one of the most frightening issues they face is determining exactly how much they should spend on a home. Read the rest of this entry »

Mortgage Paperwork – Why the Pain?!?

February 20, 2017

Pay stubs.  Tax returns.  Bank statements.  Lists of liabilities and assets.  Credit card statements. Loan documents.  Affidavits.  Investment statements.  Gift letters.  Purchase contract.  Property tax assessments.  Landlord/rental history.  Retirement account statements.  Driver’s license.  Social Security card.  And now that you have submitted all of that, you have to do it all again with updated copies.

As much work as it takes, it’s almost like mortgage lenders don’t really want to give you a loan.  I assure you, that’s not the case…… usually. Read the rest of this entry »

10 Questions – Are You Ready to Buy a Home?

March 3, 2016

I love Spring! The snow is melting. The days are getting longer. I wake up in the morning to hear the birds chirping outside my window. My tulips are even popping up along the west side of the house. I am getting antsy to get outside more. My kids are definitely getting antsy to get outside more. Even my wife (not so much an outdoorsy kind of person) is ready for it to be nice out.

You know who else is getting antsy? Anyone thinking about buying a home. Here in South Dakota, the winter brings a normal lull to home-buying. After all, who wants to move in the middle of a blizzard? But now that it’s getting nice out…..

While we encourage home ownership for anyone that is ready, willing, and able, we also realize that there are two groups that should not be so antsy about moving. First, there are those who don’t want to own a home – and that’s ok. Second, there are those who want to own, but just aren’t ready. Read the rest of this entry »

You Have WHAT WHERE???

October 7, 2014

I would like to introduce you to my friends Mike and Connie. After retiring from the Air Force, they felt the calling to go into couples and marriage ministry. Unless you have a weekly syndicated worship program, you probably don’t make a whole lot of money in ministry. This is certainly the case for Mike and Connie. But in making their career choices, they have had to make other choices to keep everything in financial balance. This is one reason I found them in the cozy little double-wide trailer they call home. They have heard all of the comments and stereotypes about people living in mobile homes. But hang on for the rest of the story as you may be surprised what they have where. Read the rest of this entry »

A Day in the Life of a Financial Counselor

September 29, 2014

Editors note: This week, each department is following the theme of “A Day In The Life Of…”. In order to help people better understand what we do, we want to share a bit of what each day looks like for us. Today is your opportunity to learn a little more about the Center for Financial Resources. Please check back each day to find out about a new department within the LSS family.

“I have so many bills from the hospital, they are piling up. I don’t even open them anymore since I have no way to pay for them.”

“I want to get my own place, but I can barely get by each month with my school loan.”

“I couldn’t take care of everything so I used my credit cards to make ends meet. Now I can’t pay for those either.”

“I am trying to get a fresh start, and I have no clue on what I should do. I need help.”

Everyday someone calls in or comes in with something different, and they areCassie finally ready to make a change. I get calls from individuals who just need a question answered about the apartment they are renting, or someone wanting to meet to see what their budget is, or where their debt is and get pointed in the right direction.

There is no such thing as a typical day as a financial counselor. Whenever somebody comes in their situation is different than anyone else’s, but the most important thing for anyone to remember is that everyone has something that they are working on improving. I have had days where I see a single mother or father raising kids on their own who need help finding assistance and taking care of their debt, I have seen married couples who did not know how far in the hole they were and need a budget to get back on track, someone wanting help looking at their credit report to see what’s out there, the list goes on and on.

When someone leaves my office they are ready to take the next steps to getting their finances in order. They may be starting on our Debt Management Program, consolidating their debt, going through the steps to refinance or modify their home, or just taking each step one at a time and remembering to breath.

In what ever way the day is going it is always filled with helping others, and it is truly something I enjoy. It is not easy for someone to share their situation, but just remember that walking in the door is usually the hardest part for making a change. Speaking for myself and all the other financial counselors out there, we just want to help get things moving in the right direction. So don’t be afraid to come see us!

I see:

  • College students looking at school loan consolidation
  • Single mothers/fathers raising a family on their own and struggling
  • Husbands or wives with a spouse on disability
  • Couples trying to get their budget/debt all figured out
  • Business owners barely breaking even
  • Individuals on the path to recovery from addiction and ready to get finances in order

I help:

  • All of these people alleviate some stress by knowing that they can do with their situation
  • They usually see that it wasn’t as bad as the thought… or even if it is, they have a betterunderstanding of what to do now.
  • Landlord/tenant phone calls
  • Filing bankruptcy and what to do after
  • Calling creditors and collections with the person
  • I help those on our debt management plan get their payments to creditors
  • I help look over Credit Bureau Reports to see what’s been reported

written by Cassandra Prusha
Image courtesy Cassandra Prusha

Are You inSUREd?

June 23, 2014

I used to love storms through the spring and summer. I found the towering clouds and lightning’s fireworks displays truly awesome to watch. The uncontrollable power of the weather can be so grand. Then, as if in an encore performance, the passing of the storm would usually greatly reduce the temperature, humidity, and wind making for a beautiful evening.storm

While the storms are still grand and powerful, my opinion has changed now that I am a homeowner and responsible for the cleanup bills after the storms roll through. I have had hail damage to our vehicle and shingles, water in my basement, and ice-storm damage that involved the removal of two huge trees, parts of two more trees, and 10 stitches in my head. In the grand scope of it all, however, I have been quite lucky. My home has never been completely or even partially destroyed as many in our area have experienced this spring. Read the rest of this entry »

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