Happy employees are more loyal to their workplaces – and get more done, too. A recent study found that happy workers are 12% more productive, while their unhappy peers get 10% less done. Non-traditional benefits are one way to keep spirits high in the office while recruiting and maintaining the best talent pool in your industry. Money advice from professionals is a perk you can offer employees to help them better manage their salaries and have a higher quality of life.
Owning a home is just one piece of financial wellness, but it’s a big one. The OECD Better Life Index reports that homeowners have higher levels of well-being than their renting counterparts. It is, after all, part of the American Dream to own a home.
So what financial advice can employers impart to workers to help them prepare for the milestone step of buying a home?
Check and Repair Credit
The numbers assigned to consumers through the three major credit reporting agencies (Experian, Transunion, and Equifax) play a big role in the amount of money consumers are extended to buy a home – and also the interest rate they receive on their mortgage. The better the credit, the more money available to spend on the actual home and not on interest. If there are some bad areas on a credit report, there are many do-it-yourself ways to fix it. Employers can also partner with credit repair firms and offer the services for a free or reduced cost to workers.
Take a Homebuyer Course
The home buying process is a complicated one, so prospective buyers should have all the information necessary to make smart choices. A homebuyer course will give advice that goes beyond the basics and shows buyers how to find the most affordable home for their families. In some areas, homebuyer credits are available based on income for first-time buyers but those funds are contingent on taking a certified homebuyer course.
In addition to getting credit in shape, having a sizable down payment to put towards a home will make a large difference in what is available to home buyers. Future home buyers should aim to save 20% of what a home costs, but even 10% to 15% is a reasonable goal. Advise employees to set aside a certain amount each paycheck to reach a certain goal within their home buying timeline.
Avoid Adding Debt
If purchasing a home is on the horizon, financing a new car or going into debt for a different cause (credit card, college courses) may not be a wise move. When it comes to financial advice, avoiding debt whenever possible is one of the most basic concepts and it’s a vital principle when it comes to home buying.
Pay Bills on Time
Encourage employees to pay close attention to the due dates of bills and to not let anything go past those dates. Payment history is factored into mortgage decisions and interest rates and impacts that overall credit score.
Don’t Change Jobs
Financial history is often scrutinized when it comes to issuing a mortgage and the more stable the information, the better. Of course, human resource departments want to keep employees anyway but this tip is one that many people don’t consider when it comes to preparing to buy a home and deserves pointing out.
Providing money advice to employees on things like home buying contributes to their overall satisfaction on the job and boosts company morale. Help your employees find their own home happiness and your whole company will feel the positive impact.