White House launching new foreclosure assistance plan

As part of an effort to help more Americans stay in their homes, the Obama administration is trying to launch a new assistance program that will give financially troubled homeowners more options for keeping their property.

President Barack Obama's State of the Union address earlier this month outlined the mortgage plan, which includes a Homeowner's Bill of Rights. That's in addition to a refinancing plan that could help those who have seen their home values slip below the amount they owe on their mortgages but have continued to make responsible, on-time payments.

"There are more than 10 million homeowners across the country right now who, because of an unprecedented decline in home prices that is no fault of their own, owe more on their mortgage than their homes are worth," Obama said during a speech in Falls Church, Virginia, to unveil the plan. "It means your mortgage, your house is underwater."

Missing even a single mortgage payment can have a negative impact on a consumer's credit score, but one of the keys to protecting finances is regularly checking a credit report. By doing so, consumers may be able to identify problematic, score-lowering entries.