If You’re Struggling to Make Mortgage Payments, This Is the Worst Thing You Can Do

A growing number of Americans are having a hard time making their mortgage payments, with troubling data from TransUnion showing a 16% increase in mortgage-holders who were at least 60 days past due in the fourth quarter of last year.

If you’re having trouble finding the money in your bank account to pay your home loan, you are definitely not alone. Rising mortgage interest rates, surging inflation, and high housing prices all created a perfect storm that has made homeownership seem less affordable than ever.

It’s a big deal to fall behind on your mortgage, though, as there is a serious risk of foreclosure if you miss several months of payments. If you want to avoid financial disaster when you’re having trouble, there’s one thing you absolutely do not want to do, as it could only serve to make your situation a whole lot worse.

Don’t do this if you are having a hard time with your mortgage

If you are struggling to pay your home loan costs, the absolute worst thing that you can do is to try to hide the problem from your lender. It’s a bad idea to ignore the problem and not let your lender know right away about the difficulties you’re facing.

Instead of just letting things go or continuing to struggle until you can’t any more, the best thing you can do is to reach out to your mortgage lender immediately — as soon as you know that making a payment on time might not happen.

That’s because many mortgage lenders have programs in place that are designed to help homeowners to stay in their homes. For example, lenders may be willing to allow you to put your loan into forbearance and temporarily pause payments during periods of financial hardship. Or they may be able to assist you in working out a payment plan that lowers the monthly costs you’re facing.

The specific options that are available to you will vary depending on what programs your lender offers and whether the financial hardship you’re dealing with is likely to be resolved quickly or to persist for a long period of time. But you won’t know about the options if you just ignore the problem.

If you don’t tell your lender about your troubles right away, your life is likely to only get harder as you absorb late fees and penalties. Plus, your lender could possibly start the foreclosure process, which could mean you need a lawyer and a huge lump sum payment in order to keep your home.

Take action right away when you’re facing hardship

If you can’t make your mortgage payments, the lender is going to figure it out very quickly when the money stops coming.

Rather than waiting until you get into these dire straits, call your lender as soon as you realize there’s a problem. You may find yourself pleasantly surprised by the options available to keep your home. You have nothing to lose and everything to potentially gain by seeing what your lender will do for you.

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