Local lenders hope to reach thousands of potential low- and moderate-income customers next weekend during the second annual ACORN & Friends Bank Fair.
Help will be available for potential homebuyers and others seeking home improvement or small business loans or looking to refinance a mortgage -- even for those who've been turned down before, say sponsors ACORN, the Association of Community Organization for Reform Now, and 15 area banks.
"If people are paying $250 or more a month in rent, they can buy a house rather than pay a landlord," said Kelley Collings, head organizer for Maryland ACORN. About 2,000 people attended the group's first bank fair last June, she said.
Lenders will be available to talk one-on-one to potential borrowers and will lead seminars including, "How to Fix Up Your Credit," "Budgeting & Basic Banking," "How to Buy a House," "Home Improvement Loans" and "Small Business Loans."
ACORN, a national advocate of fair lending laws and bank investment in low-income neighborhoods, hopes to channel potential borrowers into its loan counseling program. The group has mortgage lending agreements with NationsBank and first Fidelity, in which qualified borrowers can get lower closing cost, below market interest rates and more flexible down payments and credit requirements.
dTC The fair will run from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday in the cafeteria of Frederick Douglass High School on Gwynns Falls Parkway, across from Mondawmin Mall. For more information, call ACORN at (410) 685-9000.