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Know Your Monthly Budget
Know Your Monthly Budget

The only way to know what monthly mortgage payment you can afford is to draft a monthly budget.   

 
  • The First Step to Developing a Budget is to List Income and Expenses

    You will find sample income, expense and asset forms as part of the
    Ohio Mortgage Help Workbook (pdf), beginning at page 13.  Taking control of your financial situation requires a realistic assessment of how much money you take in and how much money you spend.  Only then can you identify necessary expenses and prioritize the rest.  The goal is to make sure you can make ends meet on the basics: housing, food, health care, insurance, and education.  Self-help is a start, but there are also free and low-cost credit counseling experts who have the information, experience and insight you may need to reach your goals.  Don't hesitate to contact the experts for help.  You are not alone.

  • Get Help With Financial Debt and Budgeting

    It is critical to establish a financial plan and find solutions to credit and debt concerns which may include ways to increase income or decrease expenses.  Poor credit is fixable over time, but to fix it you must first know what is wrong with it and what you can do to improve it.  A visit to a non-profit credit counseling agency will help you understand the problem and how to go about fixing it.

 
Avoid Debt Elimination Scams

 
  • Non-Profit Does Not Guarantee Free or Legitimate Services

    Most reputable credit counselors are non-profits and offer services through local offices, online, or on the phone.  If possible, find an organization that offers in-person counseling.  Many universities, military bases, credit unions, housing authorities, and branches of the U.S. Cooperative Extension Service operate non-profit credit counseling programs.

    But be aware that “non-profit” status doesn’t guarantee that services are free, affordable, or even legitimate.  In fact, some credit counseling organizations charge high fees, which they may hide, or urge their clients to make "voluntary" contributions that can cause more debt.

  • Debt Relief Services

    A debt relief service like credit counseling or debt settlement can help you work out a repayment plan with your creditors or, depending on the type of service, you might get advice on how to deal with your mounting bills.  

    Before you do business with any debt relief service, check it out with the Ohio Attorney General's Office.  Their consumer complaint search website can tell you if any consumer complaints are on file about the firm you're considering doing business with.

    If you’re thinking about getting help to stabilize your financial situation, do some homework first.  Find out what services a business provides, how much it costs, and how long it may take to get the results they promise.  Don’t rely on verbal promises.  Get everything in writing, and read your contracts carefully
    .

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This website provides general legal information and not legal advice.  The law is complex and changes frequently. 
Before you apply any general legal information to a particular situation, consult an attorney. 
If you cannot afford an attorney call 1-866-Law-Ohio (1-866-529-6446) or visit OhioLegalServices.org for your closest legal aid office.

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