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Your Finances

Understanding how to manage finances is the foundation to help individuals achieve such long-term goals as buying a home. Without the basic knowledge of how to create a household budget, how to initiate a savings plan and most important, how to understand and manage debt and credit, it is difficult to achieve this long-term financial goal.

Understanding finances also helps people avoid making poor financial decisions, becoming a victim of fraud, spending too much money or becoming suddenly caught in a serious financial crunch. Understanding how to manage money enables people to know how to get help before that happens -- and mortgage payments cannot be made.

Home Loan Leaning Center provides in-depth explanations and an extensive set of resources for anyone who may be having difficulty making their mortgage payment or those who are just a little worried. This information is provided specifically to help people learn what to do before they find their home in foreclosure.

Take a look at our explanation of foreclosure , then read about 12 things you should know if you think you can't make your payments. Also view a list of "servicers" (the companies that send mortgage statements and collect mortgage payments) that have provided direct contact information to assist their clients who may be experiencing financial difficulty. Also, find out about the possibility of reducing foreclosure-related taxes .

Many other financial literacy topics for potential home buyers are covered in this section. Learn what a credit score is and why it is important to the mortgage application process. Credit counseling is available from many sources, including state and local government agencies, but not all counseling services are the same or even legitimate. Find out a good way to determine which counseling services you are likely to be able to trust.

For those who may be on the edge of buying but are still more comfortable paying rent, try comparing the costs of buying and renting in the areas you want to live. Learn how to gather a few bits of information that can help you make this calculation.

Finally, turn to the Related Links page and find dozens of additional resources providing a wealth of information on how to manage your money.


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