Q: I have heard a lot about government agencies and other organizations offering help for people facing foreclosure. I hate to admit it, but I lost my job six months ago, and am only working part time. My family really loves our home, so what can I do to keep it?
A: Call your mortgage company immediately, and ask to speak to the loss mitigation department. Provided you're able to prove sufficient income for making lower mortgage payments, you may qualify for a loan modification, which can provide lower mortgage rates, and other mortgage loan terms that can help with saving your home. Run your loan through a mortgage calculator. If by dropping your rate to 2% and stretching out your balance over 40 years you can get your payment to 31% of your gross household income, you stand a good chance of getting a modification. Good luck.
Q: I'm graduating from college next week, and my parents are already bugging me to buy a home. My dad says I might miss out on the best mortgage rates if I don't buy right now. Actually, I'm happy sharing a rented condo with my best friend. My parents are willing to help with a down payment, but I'm not ready to buy a place, as my career might take me away from here.
A: Congratulations on graduating! The only reason to consider buying a home is because you're ready and financially prepared to take on the responsibility of a mortgage and other expenses owning a home requires. It sounds as though you're not interested in taking on a mortgage or sinking roots at this point. Have a heart to heart with your parents and explain your reasons for delaying buying a home, and ask if you can postpone accepting their generous gift until you're ready to buy.