Going through a foreclosure can have a negative impact on a person’s life in many ways. In addition to the financial damage of a lower credit score and a foreclosure on your record, you could also experience a wave of emotional damage, shame, depression and other problems that aren’t easy to solve. If you have gone through a foreclosure or going through one right now, you aren’t alone and you can come through the experience in a better position. Here are some ways to survive a foreclosure and make the experience less damaging financially, mentally and emotionally.
1. Get help. With all of the government programs charitable programs available to troubled homeowners, there really isn’t an excuse to avoid getting financial help with your mortgage. But emotional help may be more important. Seek out trusted friends who will take the time to listen to you vent about your foreclosure problems. Or if you prefer to talk to a stranger, programs like Good Grief America (www.goodgriefamerica.ning.com) offer support groups for people in your situation. Sometimes just venting and talking about things can be a huge relief and it can take a load off.
2. Stay calm and do what you have to do. Once you’ve gone through a foreclosure, you may find yourself homeless. On the bright side, it should be easier to save up money for a rental since you no longer have a house payment. But until then, you may have to suck up your pride and ask some family and friends if you can sleep on their couch for a couple weeks (or months) until you can get back on your feet. If all else fails, you may have to consider living in a shelter for a couple weeks until you can get your finances straightened out.
3. Rent for awhile. Renting isn’t the worst thing in the world and it can be a big help if you are in a pinch. With renting becoming more popular, many landlords and property managers are offering great deals, such as one or two months free rent, a smaller security deposit and other specials. You also don’t have to worry about closing costs, property taxes, maintenance costs and other fees that you had to pay when you were a homeowner.
4. Focus on improving your credit score. The better your credit score is, the better chance you will have of owning a home again. A foreclosure will bring down your credit score dramatically – as much as 200 points in most cases. It will take some time to fix that damage but it can be done. Make sure you pay your bills on time, pay down your credit cards and avoid opening up any more credit accounts while you are building up your score. Before long, you may be a good financial risk for banks and you may be able to buy another home while putting the lessons you’ve learned throughout your foreclosure process to good use.
Going through a foreclosure doesn’t have to be the end of the world. These are just a few things you can do to help make the experience make you a more educated person when it comes to home ownership.