NAB informs tribal citizens on home loans, insurance

BY LINDSEY BARK
Reporter
07/27/2018 08:30 AM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Cherokee Nation citizen Betsy Swimmer is the owner and operator of Native American Benefits, a consulting and referral agency that helps Native Americans with housing loans and health insurance. COURTESY
OWASSO – Cherokee Nation citizen Betsy Swimmer, a licensed real estate broker and insurance agent, recently started Native American Benefits, which serves tribal citizens by providing free consultation and referrals for home loans and health insurance.

“We specialize in providing information on Native American 184 home loans that tribal citizens are eligible to apply for,” Swimmer said.

She said there are income and credit guidelines for the home loans, but a 184 lender looks at each application and will attempt to find a way to approve the loan.

“Often, we can make recommendations to a home buyer that will improve their approval process,” she said. “I personally have provided my real estate customers with information on the 184 loans for the last 20 years, and I have customers who have been approved and received 184 loans in amounts ranging from $30,000 up to $300,000.”

Once individuals qualify for a home loan, they are provided with information for closing the loan and repayment terms before moving forward with purchasing.

“There are some tribes that assist members with their down payments. So once you are pre-approved for the 184 loan you can seek that information from your tribal government. Each tribal government has their own set of qualifying guidelines for down payment assistance,” Swimmer said.

The CN helps its citizens with home loans through its Mortgage Assistance Program. For more information, visit http://www.hacn.org/map or call 918-453-5536.

As for helping people with health insurance, Swimmer said it’s based on income and family size to determine eligibility.

For example, she said a family of four earning less thank $70,000 annually could be eligible with no premium or deductible.

“We also provide qualifying information for health insurance for Native Americans. Many are eligible for health insurance at no cost and pay no deductible and they are still able to use the Indian health clinics and tribal health facilities. It just adds an additional option,” Swimmer said.

She added that NAB provides consulting and referral service free of charge, and there are no requirements to apply. But if qualified, the loan and insurance applications must meet provider guidelines.

“What we help with is collecting qualifying information and helping applicants submit their application to the provider. Often, a successful outcome is a result of proper preparation and submission of appropriate information. Not everyone will qualify,” she said.

Swimmer said she started NAB because she saw a need for tribal citizens to know about these possible benefits. “Providing information, opportunities and encouragement to others gives me a great deal of satisfaction. It has provided me with many customers who thank me for helping them buy their own home, improve their lifestyle and enjoy success.”

For more information, call 918-277-2278 or email bswimmer@cctulsa.com.
About the Author
lindsey-bark@cherokee.org • 918-772-4223
Lindsey Bark grew up and resides in the Tagg Flats community in Delaware County. She graduated from Northeastern State University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication, emphasizing in journalism. She started working for the Cherokee Phoenix in 2016. Working for the Cherokee Phoenix, Lindsey hopes to ...

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