Tips for refinancing

Because of the credit crunch, the percentage of homeowners in the U.S. who suffer has escalated and foreclosure numbers have risen. For troubled owners or those who cannot pay their mortgages, the following advice from the government might help.

1) Maintain an open communication with the lender. The worst thing that a homeowner can do is ignore letters and other forms of communication from their lender. The problem will not go away by ignoring it. Keep in mind that lenders might be more lenient if a homeowner is cooperative and shows signs of wanting to keep his home.

2) Seek the help of a counseling agency. One of the ways by which the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development is assisting homeowners in foreclosure troubles is by offering the services of HUD-approved housing counseling agency. The agencies can offer advice and information regarding programs from government agencies and private entities that can provide relief to homeowners.

3) Refinance. A lender might allow changing the terms of the loan by including the back payments to the loan balance and by re-amortizing the loan. There are also instances when lenders allow borrowers to take out another loan at higher interest rate to pay off the original mortgage loan. A group of mortgage lenders have also joined forces with the US government to help troubled owners. If a lender is included in the government’s list, the owner will have an easier time negotiating deals that could prevent foreclosure.

4) Selling the property. If the trouble of paying for the house is too much for an owner and he or she does not want to be burdened by a foreclosure, then selling is another option that can be explored. The problem with foreclosure is that it is not just about losing one’s home; it is also about downgraded credit ratings. The lower an individual’s credit rating is, the more problem he or she is going to encounter when it comes to seeking financial help or loans from financial institutions. Selling with the help of a real estate agent or short-selling are two options that are open to an owner.

5) Look for a government-sponsored refinancing program. Because of difficult economic times, the government has enacted various programs to help homeowners. One of these is FHASecure which offers owners a chance to refinance their mortgage with the government acting as insurer. Inquiring about this program is one of the best steps that a troubled house-owner can take.

Federal foreclosure help programs are options that homeowners should consider. Despite the difficult economic times, there is always a way for families and individuals to keep their homes without resorting to drastic measures.

Tips on Debt Consolidation


If your credit card payments are out of control, and your getting tired of calls from collection agencies, it may be time to consolidate some of your debt. As with any financial move, each situation is different and requires special planning before taking action.

There are several different options available to consolidate your debt. Many are helpful but some can leave you further behind than when you started. A few of these alternatives are listed below.

Credit Card Offers: While your credit cards may be the problem, many companies are very successful at talking you into paying off your existing debt using their card and an incredibly low interest rate. The problem with these offers is that the low interest rates are usually temporary and subject to change.

Bill Paying Service: There are institutions available that will essentially act as a bookkeeper. Don’t be fooled into thinking that they will lower your debt. They simply work to pay your bills on time and charge you a portion of your total bills to do the work. In many instances, these companies cannot work effectively enough and bills are paid late or neglected.

Finance Companies: These companies will offer a loan to pay off all of your debt. The benefit to this type of relationship is that you will be accountable to one institution. However, the interest rates charged by a finance company are often very high. To make matters worse, many creditors consider finance companies a last resort for someone in financial distress giving you a negative credit report.

Rather than resort to loans and paying others to pay your bills, look to credit counseling services. In many cases these services are provided free of charge. It should be your first step before taking drastic measures with your already damaged finances.

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