The national unemployment rate rose to 8.1% in February 2009. It’s the highest unemployment rate the nation has seen in 25 years. Though many of the nation’s jobless qualify for state unemployment benefits, the pay often isn’t enough to cover all the necessary expenses, including a home mortgage. One mortgage lender has decided to give a helping hand.
CitiMortgage Homeowner Assistance Program
Citigroup recently announced a program to temporarily reduce payments for some of its unemployed mortgage holders. Under the Homeowner Unemployment Assist program, borrowers with qualified mortgages can have their payments reduced to $500 for up to three months while they look for a new job. That amount is based on the average rent for a one-bedroom residence in the United States.
The reduced mortgage rate will give newly unemployed homeowners the opportunity to look for a new job without worrying endlessly about making ends meet.
Do You Qualify for the Program?
You could qualify for the program if you have a loan through CitiMortgage, you’re involuntarily unemployed, and your mortgage payments are more than 60 days delinquent. You can qualify even if your home is in foreclosure. The mortgage must be on your primary mortgage (the home you currently reside in). CitiMortgage is the only Citigroup lender participating in the program.
Certain documentation will be required when you apply for the CitiMortgage program. You’ll need to provide proof that you’ve been involuntarily unemployed for less than six months and you are actively seeking a job.
Good News for Your Credit Rating
The CitiMortgage program may save your credit rating from taking a complete nose-dive. True, if you qualify for the program then your credit might already have quite a few dings in it (being two months delinquent on your mortgage will do that). But if a reduced mortgage payment lets you meet your other monthly bill obligations and keeps you from foreclosing or declaring bankruptcy, then your credit score will stay fairly level until you can find new employment. Maintaining your credit score is important for your future financial health; a good credit rating helps you qualify for new loans and lines of credit at lower interest rates.
To find out if you qualify and to apply for the program, call CitiMortgage at 1-800-283-7918. If you don’t think you meet the requirements but still need mortgage advice, visit the CitiMortgage Homeowner Assistance website to take a short quiz and find options tailored to your particular situation.