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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.

Mortgage lenders may also be open to negotiating the terms of a forbearance.

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.

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 were still in it as of March 2023. This was also in the midst of the pandemic.

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.

Officialhomeinsurance can help you do just that. Their 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.

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Refinance your mortgage

While mortgage rates have been high over the past year, some people may still be able to reduce their monthly payments 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.

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 your home enter 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.

When you’re 30 days late (or don’t pay at all), your mortgage lender may 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.

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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 Clever 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.

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 paycheck 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 also discover that you can free up some money by trimming non-essential expenses or optimizing essential ones.

For instance, 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 when dinner is on the line.

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James Battiston Content Specialist

James Battiston has been writing personal finance articles for various websites for the past four years. He has a background in film and TV production, and can often be found consuming far too much coffee.

Disclaimer

The content provided on Moneywise is information to help users become financially literate. It is neither tax nor legal advice, is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to the data provided, the timeliness thereof, the results to be obtained by the use thereof or any other matter.