Your home is a big part of your life—and most likely one of your largest expenses if you’re making mortgage or rent payments. If you’re having a tough time keeping up with housing payments, it can be a huge stress on your financial and emotional well-being. It may be necessary to make temporary or permanent changes to help you stay in your home. Or, you might need to find a completely new housing solution that better fits your budget. Considering different options can be difficult, but being proactive can help you stay in control and give you financial peace of mind.

Housing Options to Consider

  1. Look into mortgage assistance and relief options for homeowners. If you experience a job loss, serious illness or other unforeseen event that makes it difficult to make mortgage payments, you may be eligible for emergency mortgage assistance or a forbearance plan to suspend mortgage payments. Other borrower options may include loan modification or a repayment plan to make up for any missed payments. Contact your mortgage servicer as soon as possible to discuss options. Learn more about alternatives to foreclosure.
  2. Refinance your mortgage. If you have an active mortgage, you may be able to replace your current home loan with a new one at a lower interest rate or switch from an adjustable-rate to a fixed-rate loan. You’ll need to qualify for a new mortgage, just as you did with your original mortgage. You may also have to pay fees and closing costs on the new mortgage, so using a mortgage calculator or contacting a mortgage professional can help you run the numbers and see if a mortgage refinance will save you money.
  3. Become a landlord. If you want to stay in your current home and have extra space to spare, renting part of it to a tenant can help you pay for housing expenses. This option can be especially appealing for both you and a renter if you have a finished basement or other separate area from your main home. You might also consider renting your full home if you travel for work or live elsewhere during the winter or summer.
  4. Downsize. If your home is becoming unaffordable but staying in your current neighborhood is important, then downsizing may be a solution. A smaller home, condo or apartment could help with lower monthly payments as well as reduced utility and maintenance costs.
  5. Relocate to a more affordable neighborhood. Moving to a different area of town or even a new city or state could make a big difference in housing costs and/or property taxes. Commuting costs such as fuel or public transportation should be considered if your employer stays the same.
  6. Move in with a relative or friend. If you’ve been living on your own, it can be tough to consider having a roommate or moving in with a parent, child or sibling. But don’t rule it out if it’s a financial emergency. Talk with those you care about if it’s an option for you to stay with them until you get back on your feet.

We’re Here to Help

Communicating financial difficulties is important to finding solutions. Please let us know if you're having trouble keeping up with housing or other payments. We can look at mortgage refinance or debt consolidation options with you.

This article is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.