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SELF-HELP CREDIT UNION ANNOUNCES $50 MILLION IN HOME LENDING PROGRAMS FOR LOW- AND MODERATE-INCOME PERSONS ACROSS NORTH CAROLINA

SELF-HELP CREDIT UNION ANNOUNCES $50 MILLION IN HOME LENDING PROGRAMS
 FOR LOW- AND MODERATE-INCOME PERSONS ACROSS NORTH CAROLINA
 RALEIGH, N.C., April 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Self-Help Credit Union, a statewide community development lender, has made available $50 million in home lending programs for low- and moderate-income North Carolinians. In a unique partnership of federal, state and local organizations, these programs will give families greater flexibility and lower their downpayment costs. In the demonstration phase, Self-Help made 226 loans to low- and moderate-income North Carolinians for a total of $9.6 million. These programs have a potential to reach 1,000 families who desire to purchase their first home.
 Sen. Terry Sanford (D-N.C.) said: "This is partnership at its best, an effort joined by federal, state, local and private interests for the great and good purpose of helping people help themselves. I'm proud to see this program blossom in North Carolina."
 The leadership of the North Carolina General Assembly, including Sen. J.K. Sherron Jr. and Speaker of the House Daniel Blue, initiated the programs by making a $2 million appropriation in 1990, which leveraged $48 million in additional funds from private sources. Sherron said: "As legislators, we need to ensure that the programs we support benefit North Carolinians in every corner of the state. Self-Help Credit Union's home lending programs' track record has been superb in bringing access to credit to all regions of this state, and they have created economic opportunity by lending to citizens of modest means."
 Self-Help's lending programs have been especially effective in meeting this need: 100 percent of the loans were made to low- and moderate-income families, 88 percent to minorities, 61 percent to single parents and 22 percent to families in rural areas. "Affordable housing is essential to lift many North Carolinians out of the cycle of poverty," remarked Blue.
 Sanford has been instrumental in creating the innovative partnership between Self-Help and the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) (NYSE: FNM). Fannie Mae purchases the loans, thereby making a greater pool of money available for the programs. The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA) is another key partner. Eligible borrowers can use a Mortgage Credit Certificate provided by the NCHFA, making the program more affordable.
 Among Self-Help's lending programs is NC-HOME, which, in the words of Lori Jones Gibbs, Self-Help's vice president of home loan programs, "addresses the primary obstacle to homeownership for low- and moderate-income families: downpayment costs." For example, traditional mortgages require a minimum of a 5 percent downpayment, but the Fannie Mae program tested by the Self-Help Credit Union demonstrated that a 3 percent downpayment would help overcome this obstacle without increasing the risk of loan defaults. NC-HOME is available through a network of local credit unions across the state.
 Sam and Peggy Wadsworth and their two children are among the first beneficiaries of the program. "We never thought we would be able to afford a home. This program made it possible for us to achieve our dream," said Peggy Wadsworth of Durham, N.C., who heard about the program from a fellow church member. The Wadsworths were impressed by Self-Help's flexibility, homeownership counseling and commitment to providing access to credit for potential homebuyers.
 In addition to the NC-HOME program, Self-Help offers several innovative loan products to meet the needs of low- and moderate- income homebuyers. For example, borrowers can utilize rent-to- purchase options, or recruit sponsors to help with downpayment costs. For prospective borrowers who want more information about Self-Help's homeowership programs, contact Steve Reardon or Lori Jones Gibbs at 800-476-7428.
 "The Self-Help program is targeted at individuals who have the means to make monthly mortgage payments but are unable to meet the conventional qualifying standards. Fannie Mae is pleased to work with Self-Help in helping low- and moderate-income borrowers overcome their major obstacles to homeowership," said Glenn T. Austin Jr., senior vice president of Fannie Mae's Southeastern Regional Office based in Atlanta.
 Fannie Mae's participation in the NC-HOME program is part of its commitment to invest $10 billion in low- and moderate-income and special needs housing. Fannie Mae is a congressionally chartered, shareholder-owned corporation and the nation's largest investor in home mortgages.
 The Self-Help Credit Union has been cited by the United Nations and the Ford Foundation, among others, as a national model for community development lending. As a statewide lender which serves the homeownership and entrepreneurial needs of low- and moderate-income North Carolinians, Self-Help targets rural families, minorities, women and single-parent households.
 Since 1987, Self-Help Credit Union has made nearly $13 million in loans to homebuyers, three-quarters of which were made possible by the General Assembly. The majority of these new homeowners have incomes less than $25,000. In addition to homeownership loans, Self-Help has made over $15 million in small business loans. Self-Help has offices in Charlotte, Durham and Asheville, N.C., and services Eastern North Carolina through relationships with other community-based organizations.
 -0- 4/13/92
 /NOTE: The Wadsworths are available for interviews and pictures at their home by appointment. Call contact below to schedule or for more information about the Self-Help organization./
 /CONTACT: Everett Harper of the Self-Help Credit Union, 919-956-8256, ext. 162/
 (FNM) CO: Self-Help Credit Union; Federal National Mortgage Association ST: North Carolina IN: FIN SU:


MH -- DC016 -- 7826 04/13/92 13:52 EDT
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Date:Apr 13, 1992
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