Refinance your mortgage
While interest rates have been high over the past year, you may still be able to reduce your monthly payments by refinancing.
For example, if you first took out a loan in 2008, there’s a chance that your mortgage rate is higher than today’s rates. By refinancing, you might be able to lock into a slightly lower rate, which would save you money each month.
Likewise, if your credit score has improved since you first took out a mortgage, you may now qualify for a lower rate. Be sure to speak with your mortgage lender to see if they can re-evaluate your credit score and offer you better loan terms.
You might also consider refinancing your mortgage. if you’re looking to get a shorter term, or want to change your mortgage type from an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) to a fixed-rate one.
While historically ARMs have offered cheaper interest rates, fixed-rate mortgages provide stability and predictability when it comes to payments.
Stop overpaying for home insurance
Home insurance is an essential expense – one that can often be pricey. You can lower your monthly recurring expenses by finding a more economical alternative for home insurance.
SmartFinancial can help you do just that. SmartFinancial’s online marketplace of vetted home insurance providers allows you to quickly shop around for rates from the country’s top insurance companies, and ensure you’re paying the lowest price possible for your home insurance.Explore better rates
Set up automatic payments
When you miss a mortgage payment, the best case scenario is that you owe late penalties. In the worst case, you might see your credit score drop, or end up with your home in foreclosure.
Of course, there’s a few steps in between missing a payment and losing your home, but late fees can wreck an already tight budget. Typically, you have a 15-day grace period to catch up on missed payments. When you’re 30 days late (or don’t pay at all), your mortgage lender will report it to the credit bureaus, and your credit score may be damaged.
A no-brainer way to make sure you never miss a payment is by setting up automatic payments. While you have to make sure the cash is in your account each payment period, the stress of remembering to pay your mortgage will be lifted from your shoulders.
Downsize your home
If you’re finding your house payments unmanageable, it might be time to consider a smaller home.
While there are costs associated with buying a home and moving, a less expensive home means smaller mortgage payments and money saved in the long term.
A smaller home can also save you money on monthly costs like heating and electricity. Additionally, it could mean lower maintenance costs, which 47% of survey respondents identified as a source of anxiety and stress.
If downsizing isn’t in the cards, it may be worth considering ways to use any extra space to boost your monthly income. You could become a landlord by renting out part of your home, or you could make use of one of your unused bedrooms as a short-term guest rental on a platform like Airbnb.
Need cash? Tap into your home equity
As home prices have increased, the average homeowner is sitting on a record amount of home equity. Savvy homeowners are tapping into their equity to consolidate debt, pay for home improvements, or tackle unexpected expenses. Rocket Mortgage, the nation's largest mortgage lender, offers competitive rates and expert guidance.Get Started
Look into a forbearance plan
Forbearance is when you temporarily pause or reduce your mortgage payments. This can let you get your finances on track without affecting your payments in a substantial way.
Most mortgage lenders don’t charge additional fees or penalties for forbearance, nor will they charge additional interest.
It’s important to note that forbearance doesn’t mean your mortgage payments are eliminated. You’ll have to repay these missed payments according to the terms laid out by your lender.
For most people, forbearance is temporary. According to the Risk Assessment, Data Analysis, and Research Group, less than 5% of mortgage holders who entered forbearance since September 2021 are still in it (as of March 2023).
Make a budget and stay within it
Four out of five Americans are stressed about the cost of living, while 73% are worried about inflation, according to Clever Real Estate’s survey. Even if you think you have a handle on your spending, the high prices of essentials — combined with high inflation — means your paycheque isn’t going nearly as far as it used to.
Knowing where your money is going is a key step to easing the burden of house payments.
If you don’t already have a budget, take time to create one. Lay out all your expenses on a spreadsheet or document and see how much income you have each month, along with how much you’re spending.
Once you have a balanced budget, stick to it. You may discover that you can free up some money by trimming non-essential expenses.
For instance, you can lower the temperature on your thermostat ever so slightly to cut back on energy costs. Similarly, if your energy provider offers better rates during off-peak hours, doing regular tasks such as laundry or running other big appliances at night can be less expensive and save you on your monthly bill. You can also try installing smart outlets throughout your home to reduce electricity expenses. Every penny counts, especially when dinner is on the line.
Follow These Steps if you Want to Retire Early
Secure your financial future with a tailored plan to maximize investments, navigate taxes, and retire comfortably.
Zoe Financial is an online platform that can match you with a network of vetted fiduciary advisors who are evaluated based on their credentials, education, experience, and pricing. The best part? - there is no fee to find an advisor.