WASHINGTON - The Federal Reserve Board is reaching out to first-time and low-income homebuyers with educational videos on the purchase process.
Two hourlong videos on the subject will be telecast via satellite nationwide from the Dallas County Community College on Oct. 14 and 21.
The Fed, which administers an array of consumer regulations, is developing the programs to help consumers negotiate the mortgage process.
"A house is the largest transaction you'll ever make in your life," Fed Governor Lawrence B. Lindsey said at a press conference last Tuesday. "Having an understanding of what's involved is very, very useful."
"We're in the credit business," a Fed spokesman added. "It's important that people who don't have too much knowledge of the markets, if they're going to apply for credit, have some knowledge of what to expect."
The programs will help borrowers tackle several key questions, Mr. Lindsey said. Among them:
*How much of a house can a buyer afford, while still budgeting for unexpected expenses?
* How can buyers clean up their credit reports to pass review by a home lender?
*What kind of a loan product, adjustable or fixed rate, is best for a given buyer?
The programs will also prepare borrowers for the long and complex mortgage application, and the settlement and closing process.
After each of the live telecasts, industry experts will be available to answer questions by telephone. And the Fed hopes that the information will be widely viewed on videotape in the future, at community colleges, nonprofit groups, and small banks.
The programs are being designed in conjunction with the National Foundation for Consumer Credit and the USDA Cooperative State Research Education and Extension Service.