Independent Bank announces that it is partnering with Freddie Mac in an effort to expand outreach for homeownership counseling. Freddie Mac will be donating an operating grant and counseling materials while Independent Bank associates will donate additional support for two counseling initiatives provided by Freddie Mac.

The first program, “Get the Facts” is a dynamic outreach and education initiative intended to dispel common misconceptions about buying and owning a home. The second initiative, “Get Credit Smart” is a comprehensive consumer financial literacy curriculum that was developed by Freddie Mac in partnership with various local and national nonprofit agencies. Freddie Mac’s generous donations come at a time of great need as nonprofit counseling agencies face challenges from increased demand and shrinking budgets.

Several nonprofit organizations have been selected statewide to receive the grants, materials and counseling support. The organizations that will receive the grants and support include Neighborhoods Inc. of Battle Creek, the Center for Financial Health, with offices in Lansing and East Lansing and Circle of Love CDC in Saginaw. Neighborhoods Inc. of Battle Creek is a chartered member of NeighborWorks America.

“This initiative demonstrates our commitment to the nonprofit organizations and communities we serve,” said Russ Daniel, senior vice president of mortgage lending at Independent Bank. “We are one of only a few banks to engage in this sort of initiative. There is a great need for this type of education right now, and we are proud to go above and beyond to make sure people can get that education.”

The goal is to reach at least 100 people at each agency over the next 12 months through counseling seminars. To help reach that goal, Independent Bank Loan Officers will donate their time to assist with the seminars.

For more information on Independent Bank or the joint initiative, contact Russ Daniel at 231.799.4000.