| March 19, 2012

Are housing costs becoming too heavy a burden?

Housing generally makes up the largest monthly expense consumers take on, and the current economic atmosphere may be making it more difficult for individuals to keep up with the costs of a home. When it comes to owning a house, mortgage payments are not the only expense owners takes on, and the costs of maintenance and insurance can also make the investment more challenging.

But there are several options homeowners should explore if they find themselves at risk of falling behind on payments, and one of the first considerations is whether they are paying too much for their home. Experts agree that consumers should spend no more than 28 percent of their take-home pay on housing, and those who are devoting a large chunk of their income toward keeping a roof over their heads may consider downsizing to a more affordable property. This is especially true for city-dwellers who may find similar accommodations for a lower price by simply relocating outside a metropolitan area.

In addition, homeowners should also determine if refinancing their current mortgage contract is an option, according to SmartMoney.com. These agreements assign homeowners a lower interest rate or a longer term on their mortgages, both of which will reduce their monthly payments. However, owners who refinance to a longer term should understand that they will pay more in interest over the term of their loan. Credit counselors and financial advisers can help homeowners understand the terms of their new agreement, how it will impact their finances overall and which option may be best for their particular scenario.

In some cases, there are also smaller actions homeowners can take to save themselves money on housing. For example, many lenders will agree to give homeowners a break on their interest rate if the owner permits the bank to automatically debit their monthly payment from their bank account each billing cycle. Some homeowners insurance providers also make similar agreements and offer more affordable terms for members who bundle auto and home insurance packages with the same provider.

Lastly, individuals who are able to make their payments, but are having trouble saving money or paying down credit card debt as a result should consider credit counseling as an option. Working with professionals can provide homeowners with guidance regarding their budgets and spending decisions, which may have a positive impact on how they manage their income.

"We are really proud to recommend Consolidated Credit" Kathleen Cannon, President & CEO of United Way of Broward County. Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc. is pleased to announce our partnership with the United Way as a United Way Chairman’s Circle Organization.

"We are really proud to recommend Consolidated Credit" Kathleen Cannon, President & CEO of United Way of Broward County. Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc. is pleased to announce our partnership with the United Way as a United Way Chairman’s Circle Organization.

All Consolidated Credit counselors are certified personal financial counselors (CFC) We've helped 5 million people get out of debt! Call us today and see what we can do for you.

Consolidated Credit is honored to receive the 2012 Excellence in Financial Literacy Education (EIFLE) Nonprofit Organization of the Year award. The EIFLE awards acknowledge innovation, dedication and the commitment of organizations that support financial literacy education worldwide. See what Consolidated Credit can do for you.

Consolidated Credit is honored to receive the 2012 Excellence in Financial Literacy Education (EIFLE) Nonprofit Organization of the Year award. The EIFLE awards acknowledge innovation, dedication and the commitment of organizations that support financial literacy education worldwide. See what Consolidated Credit can do for you.

The National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling are a set of guidelines for quality homeownership and counseling services. Industry professionals who adopt these standards can be trusted to provide consistent, high quality advice.
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Time tested and customer trusted. Consolidated Credit Counseling Services has been a BBB Accredited Business since 1998 and has a current A+ rating. Call us today and see what we can do for you.

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Time tested and customer trusted. Consolidated Credit Counseling Services has been a BBB Accredited Business since 1998 and has a current A+ rating. Call us today and see what we can do for you.

View the Consolidatedcredit.org review status

Consolidated Credit is proud to be an ANAB accredited member. Accreditation by a recognized and respected body such as ANAB ensures the impartiality and competence of our company. To see what we can do for you, give us a call.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development - HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. Consolidated Credit is proud to be a member of HUD and also part of the Hope Now Alliance.

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