Housing market may see improvement in 2011

The U.S. housing industry has been slow to regain momentum since its recent collapse, causing many homeowners to face foreclosures and other financial troubles.

However, a new report from Fitch Ratings indicates that the health and growth of the housing market is dependent on improvements of other sectors of the U.S. economy.

"If the economy continues its advance and a moderate number of jobs are added, housing metrics should, for the most part, rise at a single-digit pace this year," said Bob Curran, managing director and lead home-building analyst for Fitch.

Curran says if other industries and sectors begin to decline again, then the housing market will return to the unfavorable state it reached a year ago.

Falling home values and high unemployment caused many consumers to struggle with foreclosures and short sales, both of which can lower a person's credit score by more than 100 points, according to a recent FICO study.

Individuals who have been able to handle their mortgages effectively should make sure to check their credit report to make sure their payment history is accurate and isn't showing a foreclosure or short sale by mistake. Homeowners who spot this kind of an error may want to work with a credit repair company to make sure the credit company is reporting in compliance with federal laws.