Forbearance

Are you in a situation that requires special consideration for the difficulties you are experiencing, such as a recent job loss or reduced income? Many times, homeowners simply need short-term payment relief to get back on their feet. A Forbearance may be an option.

"We are facing a temporary hardship,
we just need help for a few months."

What is a Forbearance?

With this option, you and your mortgage company agree to temporarily suspend or reduce your monthly mortgage payments for a specific period of time. This option lets you deal with your short-term financial problems by giving you time to get back on your feet and bring your mortgage current.

Forbearance may be an option if:

  • You are ineligible or do not want to refinance
  • You are facing a temporary hardship

Forbearance Calculator
Use this tool to estimate how a forbearance might help you.

What are the benefits?

  • Lower or temporarily suspend your monthly payment—giving you time to improve your financial situation and get back on your feet
  • Less damaging to your credit score than a foreclosure
  • Stay in your home and avoid foreclosure

How does it work?

Forbearance reduces your monthly mortgage payment—or suspends it completely—during the forbearance period. If you qualify for forbearance, you and your mortgage company will discuss the forbearance terms:

  • length of forbearance period,
  • reduced payment amount (if the payment is not suspended), and
  • the terms of repayment.

After the forbearance period has ended, you will need to repay the amount that was reduced or suspended. However, there are a few options available if you qualify— making a one-time payment for the amount due (reinstatement); adding a specific amount to your payments each month until the entire amount is repaid (see Repayment Plan for more information); or moving the delinquent payments to the end of your mortgage, which will lengthen the term (see Modification).

Forbearance Calculator
Use this tool to estimate how a forbearance might help you.

Next steps

Step 1

Gather your financial information—Make sure you have your basic financial and loan information on hand when you call your mortgage company. You’ll need:

  • your mortgage statements, including information on a second mortgage (if applicable);
  • your other monthly debt payments (e.g., car or student loans, credit card payments); and
  • your income details (paystubs and income tax returns).

Step 2

Explain your current situation—Be ready to outline your current hardship and explain why you are having trouble making your mortgage payment and if this is a short-term or long-term problem. Your mortgage company will need to understand the reasons why you are having difficulty in order to find the right solution for you.

Step 3

Contact your mortgage company or a Fannie Mae Mortgage Help Center—Tell them you are interested in a Forbearance and you want to see if you qualify.

Use these helpful forms to help you prepare

The biggest mistake you can make is to wait any longer to take action. Contact your mortgage company today to see if a Forbearance is an option for you. If you need further assistance (before or after contacting your mortgage company), contact a Housing Counselor.

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FAQ

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GLOSSARY

TERMS

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