How a Housing Counselor Can Help You During Financial Hardship or a Disaster
A HUD-approved housing counselor is a resource that you can access for housing-related support at no cost to you. No matter what your situation, their goal is to provide you with personalized advice that helps you reach your goals.
While housing counselors can help homeowners and renters in any situation, they can be particularly helpful for those who are experiencing financial hardship or have been impacted by a disaster.
If this sounds like you, here’s a quick overview of how a HUD-approved housing counselor can help.
How can HUD counseling help me?
Housing counselors help by:
- Assessing your situation.
- Identifying suitable mortgage relief options, including options to stay in your home while avoiding foreclosure.
- Developing a personalized action plan.
- Talking to your mortgage company or landlord on your behalf.
- Checking in with you regularly to support your recovery over time.
Get in touch with a counselor sooner rather than later. The earlier you reach out for help, the more options you may have available to explore.
What happens when I call a housing counselor?
Once you’re matched with a housing counselor, it’s time for a meeting. You can chat with your housing counselor virtually or face-to-face.
It is likely that your first interaction will last about one hour. The meeting typically starts with a privacy disclosure — to assure you that your information is confidential as per the Fair Credit Reporting Act (14 U.S.C. 1681) — before you dive into explaining your situation.
If you are experiencing financial hardship, you’ll want to share how much you owe on your mortgage and/or other debts, along with your income and expenses. This will help the counselor create a realistic budget and plan.
If you are recovering from a disaster, you’ll want to share the extent of damage to your property and whether you have home insurance. This will help the counselor suggest the best course of action toward recovery.
During the call, your housing counselor will ask you questions. If there’s time, they may start suggesting recommendations too. Either way, they will report back to you on certain resources and services that you would benefit from, along with a written action plan.
5 questions to ask your housing counselor
To get the most out of your housing counselor, there are several things you can ask. Find out what five questions we recommend here.
The answers will help you figure out how to prepare and what to expect along the way. With knowledge of the process, you’ll be less likely to experience any surprises, frustrations, or delays — allowing you to move closer to your goals as smoothly as possible.
More to explore
Mortgage Options to Stay in Your Home
If you're struggling to pay your mortgage but want to stay in your home, there are options that give you breathing room during times of financial stress.Learn more
Mortgage Options to Leave Your Home
If you're facing financial uncertainty and can no longer afford your mortgage, there are options that allow you to leave your home while avoiding foreclosure.Learn more
How to Find the Rental Assistance You Need
Learn what resources are available to you if you are having trouble paying your rent. A housing counselor can explain the programs and options available to you.Learn more