Lenders may require borrowers to submit a financial letter of hardship which explains the circumstances causing them to require a loan deferment. Hardship letters are usually required with federal student loans and real estate transactions such as loan modifications.
Always obtain loan agreements in writing and read the fine print. One of the biggest mistakes borrowers make is entering into verbal agreements. If things go wrong there is no evidence to prove the case. Debtors should know the number of deferred payments, payment schedule, fees or penalties, and how the lender reports suspended payments to credit bureaus.
Borrowers should create a folder to store loan document records, along with a record of phone and email correspondence. Always keep track of phone conversations by writing down a summary of the call, date, time, and name of the bank representative spoken with. When important documents are mailed, invest in the extra protection of tracking receipts. Certified letters should be sent with a return receipt request in case it is necessary to provide evidence the documents were received.
It is important to note that some banks do report deferred payments as delinquent. Therefore, it is crucial to ask lenders how they report to credit bureaus before entering into a contract. Payments reported as past due can reduce FICO scores. Depending on credit scores, a reduction of ten points can place debtors in a lower credit category; making it difficult to obtain credit in the future.
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