Sometimes, no matter how hard you try or how much you juggle your income and bills, you just can’t seem to make the monthly mortgage payments. Whether it was a calculation error on your part when you took out the mortgage or a major life event beyond your control, not being able to afford your mortgage can be very unsettling.
The tendency for some people is to panic when something like this happens, but that isn’t going to help anyone. If you’re having trouble making your mortgage payments, you do have some options.
1. Be Honest with Yourself
The first thing you should do in this situation is to recognize and admit to yourself that there is a problem. Many homeowners choose to ignore it or sweep it under the rug for a while, but that never works out. You know your financial situation better than anyone, so if you can see you’re going to have trouble moving forward, just accept it.
2. Explore Your Options
Once you’ve accepted that there’s an affordability issue, get in touch with your lender, broker or a financial counselor and start exploring your options. Not everyone will have exactly the same options, so it’s important to find ones that are actually doable within the boundaries of your mortgage and your financial situation.
3. Can You Refinance?
Sometimes, refinancing is the answer. Hopping into a new mortgage to replace the one you can’t afford may not sound very logical, but if you’re able to get a different term and lower rates, there might be enough of a change to make it affordable moving forward.
4. Make Room for an Income Suite
Another option that can help is to create an income suite in your home and rent it out. You’ll likely have to incur some expense to get a space up to code and acceptable for someone live in, but you’ll also have most, if not all of your mortgage payment taken care of each month by the rent.
Even if you can’t afford renos for a full apartment, you can probably rent a room out and get enough in rent to make up the amount you’re short each month. Either way, if you don’t mind giving up some space it could ease the burden.
5. Consider a Sale
No homeowner likes the thought of having to sell their home because they can’t afford it, but sometimes that is the best option. If you realize this early on in the process and the market is favorable, you may be able to take care of your existing mortgage and have some left over after the sale.
Everything is easier if you act quickly and don’t allow the situation to linger. Financial issues aren’t anything to be embarrassed about, so if you know you can’t afford your mortgage, take action as soon as possible.