Short Sale Or Foreclosure: Which Is The Better Options For Protecting Your Credit?

Thomas Bladecki asked:

Homeowners that are facing a foreclosure have a number of options available to stop the foreclosure process. One of the options available on is a “short sale”; this is where the lender will allow you to sell the home for less then what the current amount owed is. Many homeowners simply let their home go into foreclosure because they are not sure about the options, or just give up. Before giving up and letting your home go into foreclosure keep in mind that you do have options, and depending on which one you choose, there are a number of pros and cons for each.

Short sales can help lenders avoid the costly and sometimes lengthy process of a foreclosure. One of the key benefits to a short sales is the long term affect on your credit score, a foreclosure is much worse then a short sale with regards to your credit score and ability to recover from your hardship quickly.

Short sales are a simple concept; lenders agree to allow you to sell your home for less then what the current mortgage is on the property. Many lenders will accept a short sale and relief you of the balance of the mortgage, this is good news for homeowners facing foreclosure. Most states allow the lender to attempt to collect the shortfall after a foreclosure is processed; a short sale may relieve you of this additional burden.

Bear in mind that not all lenders will agree to short sales, if the circumstances are right, some lenders will not do short sales at all. If you are current on your mortgage payments, you have very little chance to have a short sale approved. In most cases, you will need to be several payments in the rears in order to have a lender consider a short sale.

Foreclosures will have a greater impact on your credit score. You can typically expect your credit score to sink at least 200-300 points. The long-term affect of a foreclosure on your credit may hinder your ability to make purchases with credit for up to 10 years. Lenders may not offer competitive rates on a new mortgage loan for three to five years, after a foreclosure.

Doing a short sell will have far less repercussions on your credit report; generally your score will fall between 75-100 points. With a short sale, lenders will typically offer reasonable interest rates on a new mortgage after about 18 months.

During a foreclosure you credit should be your primary concern. Repairing bad credit and getting back on your feet is much easier if with choices that offer the least amount of impact on your credit score. The savings on interest alone with credit cards, auto loan and mortgage loans in the future should be enough to convince you, if not think about the strength of your buying power in the future.

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