By Emma Moore
on July 11, 2021
Read in 3 min

If you are like most people, the COVID-19 outbreak has caused you to either lose your job or experience reductions in your household's income. A lot of people are now facing the harsh realities of having to make ends meet with significantly fewer funds. Or worse yet, defaulting on loans and not being able to pay those bills at all! This is where mortgage relief for homeowners in the United States comes in.

Many individuals live with the fear that they will lose their homes if they can't afford to pay their mortgages. Some states and lenders are working to aid people who have lost their income. If you would like to get mortgage relief so that you don't have to lose your home, the first step is to determine what type of loan you have. You can start by looking at your closing statement to find that information. You can also try contacting your lender directly to see what options they have to accommodate your particular circumstances. 

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has created an entire webpage, linked here, dedicated to answering consumer questions regarding mortgage relief for homeowners in the United States and COVID-19. Additionally, the CFPB passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act abbreviated to the CARES Act. This law has instated two protections for homeowners, as stated on their website: 

"A new federal law, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, puts in place two protections for homeowners with federally backed mortgages:

1. A foreclosure moratorium.
2. A right to forbearance for homeowners who are experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 emergency.

If you don't have a federally backed mortgage, you still may have relief options through your mortgage servicer or from your state." 

In this post, we'll discuss the options you have.

Freddie Mac

If you obtained your loan through Freddie Mac, they are offering consumers a massive sigh of relief. As a federally backed mortgage, you have the option to go up to 12 months without making a single payment and not lose your home. Additionally, Freddie Mac is also allowing consumers to waive any costs associated with their late and missing payments. That means you won't have any late fees accumulated whenever you can start making payments again! This extra measure helps people get back on their feet once the situation improves. Late and missing payments won't show up on your credit report during those 12 months. This offers some respite for those that have been most affected by the economic crisis brought on by the outbreak. Having your credit score be in the right place will help you return to business, as usual, a lot faster!

Fannie Mae

Fannie Mae, just like Freddie Mac, is suspending payments on home loans for individuals impacted by COVID-19. They are offering this type of forbearance because they are also backed federally. If you lost your job, you won't have to make any payments for up to 12 months. If you are worried about your credit score going down for missed payments, like most consumers, here's some excellent news. You will be happy to discover that late or missing payments won't impact your credit report. If you can't afford to make your payments, ensure that you contact your lender the first chance you get. 


The Federal Housing Administration has several programs in place for those who have lost their jobs or face income losses. In most cases, the FHA's forbearance programs last for 6 months. While the FHA's relief program doesn't prevent missed payments from showing up on your credit report, it offers an alternative. It suggests that lenders consider the impact of the outbreak when reporting missing payments.

Contact Your Lender

If your home loan is not through one of the loan companies, that does not mean you have no options. Unlike federally backed programs, there are no specific guidelines, nor are they automatic. Some lenders offer their own relief programs to help people during this national crisis. Reach out to your lender with any questions you might have. You might be surprised to discover that your lender will still work with you during this difficult period. That said, you will have to call to be considered, they will not go into effect automatically. If they don't have programs, they will probably want to work something out so you don't default on your loan. While it may seem like the opposite, lenders would prefer you to not default on your home. When they repossess your property, they are trying to mitigate their losses, so use that knowledge to your advantage!

Final Thoughts

Going through a global crisis is challenging enough on its own. It's a scary and unpredictable thing to go through! The problem is further exacerbated if you lose your job or can't work as you did before the outbreak. While it's understandable to feel immense fear in the face of these scary headlines and constant uncertainty, don't lose hope!

There are plenty of solutions out there for you, all you need to do is inform yourself. You must discover the type of loan you have so that you can decide what relief programs could be available to you. Even if it's backed by a disaster relief program, contacting your lender is still a critical piece of the puzzle you can't overlook. Doing that will give you a clearer picture of where you stand, so you can plan ahead for the months ahead. While we all hope that this crisis is short-lived, there's no certainty. It's better to arm ourselves with knowledge of what helps is out there to weather this storm.

This is not legal, financial or professional advice. Please consult a legal, financial or professional advisor for your specific situation.