How do foreclosures affect your credit?

Right now, millions of people are going through the pain of foreclosure as the sub-prime mortgage crisis sweeps across the United States. As a result, those millions of people will learn first hand what can happen to their credit score when a foreclosure is put on it.

When a foreclosure happens, it means that the homeowner can no longer make payments on their loan. The property is then seized and sold. The owner of the property receives no money for this sale, and all the money goes to paying off the mortgage for the bank, with whatever is left over going to the bank. This will all happen after about six months of missed payments and a Notice of Default to the homeowner. After three months more of not paying, the sale date for the foreclosure is set and the house is up for sale due to foreclosure.

Everybody knows just how bad a bankruptcy can be for your credit score, but what about if you suffer a foreclosure? First, a foreclosure will stay on your credit report for seven years, while a bankruptcy will be on it for as much as ten years. In regards to your FICO score, it will plummet about 100 to 200 points. This means that if you have great credit at 700, you will most likely fall to about 500. However, if you had perfect credit of 850, you will fall to average credit of 650. It may seem that you can still get credit if your score is at 650 and the foreclosure may not be that bad, but it is. When you apply for credit, credit holders will see the big evil word ‘Foreclosure’ on your credit report. That means for the next few years, there will be no way you will get credit as many lenders will fear you could default on your loan to them, as you did with your mortgage loan.

Foreclosure is a very difficult situation to be in, but thankfully it is not the end of the world. As many people know, credit is ever changing and it is not set in stone. Therefore, over the seven years that you have to deal with a foreclosure on your credit report, you will be able to slowly repair your credit. To do this, you need to make sure you pay back your bills and credit card payments as you get them. You should slowly try and apply for credit as you go through the years, and you should even go to debt counselling as it will look good on your credit report.

Do not fear that everything is over when you go through a foreclosure. Millions of people have gone through the same thing and millions more will go through it as well. All you can do is dig your feet in, work hard to get through it and learn from the mistake of foreclosure and ensure it never happens to you again. Repairing your credit is at an all time importance and something that you can do yourself. Everything is determined by your credit score, so be alert, be prepare and fix your credit today.