6 ways a mortgage is like a relationship

Is your financial health being damaged by a toxic relationship with your mortgage?

Many years ago, every date had a chaperone. Today, though a chaperone is no longer required, some of us still like to have input from friends and family as to how suitable a potential partner is for us. The same goes when getting a mortgage. Friends and family are your relationship experts, while mortgage professionals are your mortgage experts. Below are some helpful tips for keeping your relationship with your mortgage going smoothly.

Communication is key

It’s never a bad idea to discuss a problem with your partner; you should feel as though you can share your stress with them so you don’t have to deal with it alone. The same goes with your mortgage lender if you’re experiencing any financial difficulties and you can’t make a payment, or you need additional funds to consolidate debts. Talking with your lender is in the best interest of both parties involved. This is especially true if you anticipate a problem, as making sure everyone is aware of the situation makes a solution more likely than if you go into the silent treatment mode.

Don’t let your past poison your present

If you’ve had some credit hiccups in the past, don’t let it stop you from moving on and establishing new positive credit habits. We are all allowed to make bad decisions as long as we learn from them, it’s important to take action and establish good credit as soon as possible to offset the bruised repayment habits. In order to qualify for the lowest rates and most favorable terms, you need to show a potential lender that you’re a good catch. You can do this by moving past the bad and changing your ways, or pay higher rates and a potentially larger downpayment.

Are you really ready to commit?

It can be tough if you get into a relationship and realize a ways into it that you weren’t ready to commit, the same goes for a mortgage. Entering into a commitment that is unaffordable or not sustainable can spell trouble for both partners. A borrower who can’t pay their mortgage is stressed out; a mortgage lender who isn’t receiving payments is calling you non-stop acting like a clingy ex. It’s important to thoroughly analyze whether you’re ready for the commitment you’re about to make.

The good thing is there isn’t as much variety among mortgage options as there is with potential life partners. You can read more online about a mortgage than you can about the person you are thinking of dating, though wouldn’t it be nice if potential partners came with reviews? Is that an app yet?

Revisit the questions you asked in the beginning

Don’t let comfort stop you from meeting any goals you have set for yourself before you enter into a relationship as it’s never too late to keep trying and the same goes for your financing targets. Make sure you’re scheduling regular mortgage check-ups to ensure the terms still align with your lifestyle. The mortgage you had at 25 may not be ideal at age 40, so don’t be afraid to challenge old ideas and explore new options. You may want to consider a more mature home equity line of credit, rather than the trusty default 5-year fixed term. Get into the habit of asking yourself ‘what are you hoping to accomplish in the next year, 5 years, or 10 years, and make sure your financing fits those objectives. 

The first option isn’t always the best choice

Dating a few different people before you decide on the best choice is normal practice; the same should apply to shopping for a mortgage. Exploring the products available while you assess the pros and cons is in your best interest as it ensures you’re getting a solution best suited to your present and future needs. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to gain a thorough understanding of what you’re getting into and feel confident you’re making an educated decision before you enter into any agreement.

Lying can lead to a break-up

Mortgage fraud has been in the headlines more than a few times lately. With that in mind, falsifying information in a new relationship can lead to negative discoveries and a corresponding break-up if it’s a big secret. The same goes with mortgage lenders, if they find out they were lied to, they’re not happy. It’s extra bad because they’ve been burned before and now protect themselves with a clause in their contract stating they can pull back any financing offers immediately if deception is discovered. Don’t take any chances, be honest and upfront and avoid a potentially nasty split.

There’s no magic formula for forging the perfect relationship, the same can be said for finding a mortgage. There are a few key ingredients that go into making it work, like a steady income, good credit and a healthy downpayment or equity position. With all of the little extras that make or break the success of the relationship between a borrower and lender, it comes down to the desire to make it work through persistence, education, and patience.

Source: GoldenGirlFinance.com – February 8th, 2016

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