Having good credit is a vital part of financial health. If your score is not where it needs to be, it can impact your ability to take out a loan, to buy a house, or even your ability to get your dream job. Vicky's personal struggles were getting in the way of her ability to adequately care for her sick husband. She was constantly struggling to stay above water and not lose her house.

"Tom and I have a wonderful love story. He was the first boy that ever kissed me, and we ended up falling so madly in love! And then Tom got sick and it was just pitiful. He had a stroke. So I finally went to work and it didn't pay the bills at all. All his medication had to come out of our pocket. He started having seizures and I'd have to come home, and so in 2008 I applied for disability, and it took me five years to get it."

With nowhere else to turn, a friend told Vicky about CreditRepair.com. It's a service that evaluates your credit history and your report in order to get your credit score back to where it needs to be. The experts at CreditRepair work on a case-by-case basis to cater to individual needs. Not only do they work directly with the creditors to challenge the negative and unfair items in your report, but they also help train you to think about financial health by offering 24/7 credit updates and alerts. Many people, like Vicky, find the emotional and tactical support invaluable.

"It's unbelievable to have somebody reach out to you after everything that's happened. Because of CreditRepair, I feel more energetic and better about myself and Tom. I feel like we can hold our heads up again."

CreditRepair is more than just a service. Having the opportunity to have her credit evaluated so she could afford to care for her husband and stay afloat made Vicky renew her hope. The company is ran by caring individuals that are out to change lives and get you what you deserve. Bad credit can be a burden and prevent you from achieving your goals, financial or personal. With advocates that are passionate about making you succeed, you'll be well-equipped to get back on track.

Update: The folks at CreditRepair.com are extending a special offer to our readers. Follow this link, or call the number below to get your free consultation including your free summary credit report and score!

Call 833-334-5099 anytime between 7am and 11:59pm EST, and CreditRepair.com will give you a free consultation including your free credit report and score!

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What do you do when financial hardship hits and you can't make your monthly mortgage payments? This is a question on many homeowner's minds as nearly 17.8 million Americans are reportedly unemployed during the coronavirus pandemic.

When homeowners face financial hardship, such as the loss of a job, they often look to obtain a forbearance agreement from their lender. A forbearance happens when your lender grants you a temporary pause or reduction in monthly payments on your mortgage. Forbearance is not the same as payment forgiveness, in that you still have to pay the entire amount back by an agreed-upon time.

Mortgage lending institutions differ on their mortgage relief policies and qualifications; however, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act were signed into law in late March of this year to protect government-backed mortgages.

Federally backed mortgages include:

  • Fannie Mae
  • Freddie Mac
  • The Federal Housing Administration (FHA)
  • The US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA)
  • The US Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Under the CARES Act, homeowners with a federally backed loan who either directly or indirectly suffer financial hardship due to coronavirus automatically qualify for mortgage forbearance.

Even if your mortgage is not secured by one of these agencies, you still can call and see if you qualify, as many lenders will still offer the option in order to avoid foreclosures.

Under the CARES act, homeowners can claim mortgage forbearance due to financial hardship from COVID-19 for up to 12 months without requiring any documentation or verification. During the forbearance period, mortgage lenders cannot charge late fees or penalties.

Additionally, as long as your mortgage is current at the time you claim forbearance, the lender is required to keep reporting your mortgage as paid current throughout the entire period.

At the end of the forbearance, the CARES act protects consumers from having to make a lump sum payment. Instead, you will be given a repayment plan from your provider. Since repayment options vary, it's important you ask your provider about all of your repayment options.

Possible Repayment Options:

You may be eligible for a loan modification at the end of your forbearance. With modification, the mortgage terms are changed in order to add payments that were missed during the forbearance onto the end of the loan, extending the term.

Another option that may work for some is a reduced payment option. This allows you to keep paying monthly payments at a reduced amount. The amount missed is usually added back into the monthly payments at the end of the forbearance.

For example:

Regular payment: $1000 per month

Reduced payment: $500 per month

Payment after forbearance period: $1500 (until caught up)

Balloon payments, or lump sum payments at the end of the forbearance, are prohibited under the CARES Act. However, mortgage lenders may require homeowners who are not protected under the CARES Act to make a balloon payment at the end, so again it is best to check first with your provider.

Mortgage forbearance should only be considered in true financial hardship. In other words, just because of the pandemic, you should not take a forbearance on your mortgage if you can still afford your payments. Likewise, if you are able to start making payments before the forbearance period is up, it's best to do so as soon as possible.

The Next Steps:

Before you get in touch with your mortgage servicer, save time by gathering as much documentation about the mortgage as you can. Also, be ready to list your income and monthly expenses. Due to an influx in calls, financial institutions are experiencing extremely long wait times right now, and having your information at the ready will help.

Have questions ready to ask. Here are some questions you should be asking:

  • What fees are associated with the forbearance?
  • What are all the repayment options available to you at the end of the forbearance?
  • Will you be charged interest during the forbearance period?

If your forbearance is approved, make sure to keep all documentation pertaining to it. Make sure to cancel any automatic payments to the mortgage during the forbearance period, and keep tabs on your credit report to make sure your lender doesn't report the loan as unpaid.

For more information on forbearance, contact your lender and discuss your options. If you need more assistance with understanding your options, you can contact a local agent for the housing counseling agency, or call their hotline at 1-800-569-4287.