Mortgage payments can be a challenge for many homeowners. According to the website mortgagenewsdaily.com, in March 2018, “the average mortgage rate was 4.44%, up from 4.42% in February. The 30-year fixed rate averaged 4.55% in March.” This increase can make it more difficult for homeowners to stay on top of their mortgage payments.
The website also reports that “in March 2018, 1.94 million U.S. borrowers were at least one month behind on their mortgage payments, a decrease of 27,000 from February 2018.” While this is good news, it is still troubling that many people struggle to keep up with their mortgage payments.
There are many reasons why people may struggle to make their mortgage payments. Some people may have lost their jobs or seen their incomes reduced. Others may have taken on too much debt and are now struggling to keep up with their payments.
Whatever the reason, it is essential to seek help if you have difficulty making your mortgage payments. Here are a few tips to help you with the process.
Seek Help from a Relative or Loved One
Your mortgage payment problems might be a one-time thing, especially when you are usually on a budget for most of your adult life. It isn’t surprising to encounter emergencies like sudden job loss or medical bills. If this happens and you have no other savings to cover the mortgage, it may be time to ask for help from a relative or loved one.
It can be challenging to ask for money, but many people would be willing to help if they know you are struggling. Make sure you plan to repay the money as soon as possible. You don’t want to put your relationship at risk by not being able to repay the debt. It will also be necessary to fulfill your promise to pay on the said date.
Use Your Emergency Fund
Every adult with financial responsibility knows the importance of having an emergency fund. You should have enough money to cover three to six months of living expenses. This includes your mortgage payment, car payment, credit card debt, and other bills.
The primary purpose of an emergency fund is to help you during tough times like job loss or medical emergencies. If you have been able to save enough money, you may be able to use it to cover your mortgage payments until you find another job or get back on your feet. After all, getting thrown out of your home because of missed payments and high-interest rates can become an emergency. There will be plenty of other expenses to pay for, so ensure you have enough in your emergency fund.
Unfortunately, your emergency fund might need replenishing after you have used it to cover your mortgage payments. You will need to focus on rebuilding your fund as soon as possible. This way, you will have a safety net the next time something unexpected happens.
Refinance Your Mortgage
Refinancing your loan might be good if you have difficulty making your mortgage payments. This will help you get a lower interest rate and monthly payment. It may even be possible to extend the term of your loan.
Of course, this isn’t an option for everyone. You must have good credit and a steady income to qualify for refinancing. Fortunately, you can partner with a company specializing in affordable refinance mortgage loans. These companies are more likely to offer you a good deal on your mortgage.
However, refinancing will require you to pay closing costs. These costs can be anywhere from 2% to 5% of the loan amount. You will also need to factor in the time it takes to close the loan. It may take several weeks or even months to get approved for refinancing.
Filing for bankruptcy should be your last resort. This is a big decision that will have a significant impact on your life. It will also stay on your credit report for seven to 10 years.
There are two types of bankruptcies: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 bankruptcy will discharge your unsecured debt, including credit card debt and medical bills. However, you may still have to pay secured debts like your mortgage and car payment.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy will allow you to keep your property and assets. You must create a repayment plan to pay off your debt over three to five years. This option may be more feasible if you have a steady income.
You will need to consult a bankruptcy attorney to see if this is the right option. They will review your financial situation and help you make the best decision for your future.
No one wants to have difficulties making their mortgage payments. However, life happens, and sometimes, we face unexpected financial challenges. If you find yourself in this situation, it is essential to seek help as soon as possible. There are many options available to help you get back on track. Be sure to consider your options and make the best decision for your unique situation.