Helpful ways to manage a mortgage

As many homeowners eagerly wait for improvements in the U.S. housing market, a number may be able to take a few steps to help improve their financial standings.

A recent MSNBC report highlighted a few key tips for consumers who are struggling to make their mortgage payments on time.

One suggestion is to ask for help as soon as mortgage bills become overwhelming and burdensome. Individuals who are at risk of missing a payment, should contact their lender and inform them of their financial troubles.

In addition, homeowners may benefit from connecting with a mortgage help hotline or a government-approved loan counseling agency to receive more assistance, the report said.

Many consumers may also want to try to refinance their original mortgage agreement to lower their monthly payments. However, refinance applicants generally need to meet certain credit score requirements to be eligible.

Homeowners who have bad credit may be able to improve their financial standing by taking a careful look at their credit report for any troublesome or problematic items.

In a number of cases, a homeowner may have a bad credit score because of a mistake or an unfair mark on his or her files. By working with a credit lawyer, the individual may receive assistance to strike the blemish from his or her reports and return to a clean credit standing. Taking this action may bring the person a step closer to qualifying for a refinance.