Start 2017 knowing where your credit stands after foreclosure

It is very important to know where you stand after a foreclosure or any other financial crisis.

Foreclosure hurts your credit, but things may not be as bleak as they seem. After a financial crisis, it may be necessary to take some time to heal. However, when a person is deemed ready, it is helpful to take an assessment of your financial situation. Yes, a foreclosure hurts your credit score. Yes, this negative information stays on your credit report for 7 years, but having a foreclosure on your credit report or other negative information may not stop you from getting a mortgage. Therefore, it is very important to know where you stand after a foreclosure or any other financial crisis.

You may find it very helpful to access the Starting Over After Foreclosure Toolkit, a publication of Michigan State University Extension. The toolkit contains eight units that cover:

  1. Getting a Fresh Start After Foreclosure
  2. Reimagining Your Future: What Direction Do You Want to Go?
  3. Assessing Your Financial Situation
  4. Rebuilding Your Financial Situation and Credit History
  5. Finding a Place to Call Home
  6. Knowing Your Rights and Responsibilities
  7. Getting Prepared, Getting Organized; and
  8. Returning to Homeownership

Each unit is self-contained and can be used in any order. You may find the toolkit helpful and filled with excellent resources for any financial crisis that you have experienced (e.g. Bankruptcy, a major expense or change in income or other life event).

In addition, you should get a copy of your credit report as soon as you are able. There are a number of online sources, but I recommend that you visit www.annualcreditreport.com. You can access a free copy of your credit report from each reporting agency (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) once a year (certain conditions would allow more than one). Another trick is to order from only one bureau every four months in order monitor your report throughout the year (most of your major information is contained on all three, but not everything). However, the key is to get a copy from each agency. Be careful not to check any box or give any information related to payment. You are not seeking a credit score at this point; you want the report containing the specific information detailing your creditors, personal and public information. It is a good idea for everyone to check their individual credit reports on a regular basis to be aware of any changes. Be wary of incorrect information or potential fraud.

If you have suffered a foreclosure, information will be listed on your credit report associated with the original mortgage lender. Alongside the foreclosure, will be other negative information related to your use of credit including judgements and liens. Once you know where you stand, you can make a plan to attack the problems. The toolkit contains a lot of useful information and worksheets that will help you make a plan.

Overcoming financial emergencies can take time and be challenging. Sometimes it helps to have help from a professional. To contact an expert in your area, visit http://expert.msue.msu.edu

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