If you can’t afford your home, what do you do? Many people find themselves in this situation. Whether it’s because of a job loss, medical problems, or some other unforeseen event, not being able to afford your home is a stressful situation. Fortunately, programs and financial assistance are available to make renting or buying a more affordable option for you. Here we will explore some options if you can’t afford your home.
If you have a low-interest mortgage, refinancing is one option that can help you manage your payments and make your monthly bills more affordable. This option is best for people with good credit, steady incomes, and decent home values. You may be able to get a lower interest rate if you refinance your home, or you may qualify for a longer term, which will make your monthly payments smaller. If refinancing your home, it’s essential to understand that you can’t use the equity you’ve built up in your home, such as cash you’ve saved in a home equity line of credit (HELOC), to pay off other debts.
Sell your home for cash.
Selling your home and using the cash to pay off your mortgage can be a quick and effective way to eliminate your debt. Consider selling your home to a fast buying company such as DougHopkins if you have a house worth more than what you owe on your mortgage. Keep in mind, though, that selling your home may require you to move. You may want to consider renting out your home before choosing to sell, so you can keep some of the cash from the sale in your wallet if you don’t plan to buy a new home immediately.
If you’ve fallen behind on your mortgage payments, you may qualify for a modification under the federal government’s Making Home Affordable program. A modification is a change to the terms of your mortgage. If you have had a difference in your financial situation and need to lower the amount you pay on your mortgage, you may be able to get a modification. If you don’t qualify for this program, other options can help you avoid foreclosure. A HUD-approved housing counselor can help you explore your options.
A forbearance is a temporary break from paying your mortgage. If you have a verifiable financial hardship, such as a job loss or medical emergency, your lender may grant you a forbearance. Forbearance can help you gain more time to pay your mortgage and avoid foreclosure. To qualify for a forbearance, you must show that you qualify financially, have made a good-faith effort to pay your mortgage, and have documentation that shows your inability to pay and the cause of your failure.
A short sale happens when you sell your home for less than what you owe on your mortgage. You may be able to short sale if you owe more than your house is worth. Short sales are expected when homeowners have become financially overextended, often because of job loss or medical issues. A short sale can be a quicker and less costly alternative to foreclosure. But because of the complexities involved in the process, it’s best to work with a real estate agent specializing in short sales.