What can I do about my current mortgage?
Here is a checklist of things you should do if you anticipate mortgage troubles:
Determine if you can refinance your ARM to a fixed-rate mortgage
Determine what your new monthly payments will be when your current ARM resets
Contact your lender before missing any mortgage payments
Contact a certified credit counselor to discuss your situation and options
If you know your current FICO® score,
select your state and enter your current loan amount into the chart below to help you figure out what your monthly payment would be if you refinanced to a traditional 30 year fixed-rate mortgage. Remember, over 50% of homeowners that have a subprime ARM have FICO scores good enough to qualify them for non-subprime mortgages, so see if you can afford to refinance to a fixed-rate loan.
Look at the rate for a traditional 30 year fixed-rate mortgage, and then compare that to what your mortgage payments will be when your loan resets. Here's a
calculator from Bankrate that can help you determine your mortgage payments when your loan resets.
If you determine that you cannot afford your current mortgage (or if refinancing to a fixed-rate loan is still too expensive), then you should contact your lender. Explain to them that you want to make your payments, but cannot do so under the current terms.
It's better to contact your lender before you begin to miss payments. Missing payments is a sure fire way to damage your credit standing and possibly lose your home.
If your lender is unwilling to work with you there are a few resources available to help you understand your options. First, you might contact one of the certified credit counselors found in the
Consumer Resource Section. They may be able to guide you towards the best course of action based on your situation.
If you feel that you aren't going to be able to make your mortgage payments, take action. Seek advice from a certified credit counselor, speak to your lender, research your refinance options or do all three. The worst thing is to ignore the problem and continue missing payments; this has the double whammy of hurting your credit standing (leaving you with fewer options), and also putting your home at risk of foreclosure. Here are some
helpful tips for avoiding foreclosure from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.