FORBEARANCE MORTGAGE: Meaning and How It Works

FORBEARANCE MORTGAGE: Meaning and How It Works
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Forbearance Mortgage is a relief program that allows homeowners to pause or reduce their mortgage payments for a few months or longer. When the forbearance period ends, borrowers have several options for repaying what they owe, including tacking missed payments and principal to the back of the loan.

In this article, you will learn what Forbearbace Mortgage means and how it can help homeowners ease financial struggles. 

What Does Forbearance Mortgage Mean?

A Forbearance is an agreement between a mortgage lender and a deviant borrower. When your mortgage servicer or lender grants your forbearance, you can temporarily lower your mortgage payment or temporarily stop making mortgage payments. The payment reduction or the paused payments must be repaid at a later date. 

Its main purpose is to help borrowers who are having trouble paying their bills. Lenders and mortgage servicers can use it as one tool to help homeowners ease their financial burden and avoid defaulting on their loans.

For example, if you are experiencing health issues and had to pay more for healthcare, forbearance can help you get through a difficult time. Your mortgage debt is not canceled out by forbearance. Any missed or lowered payments are your responsibility to make up. Beginning March 18, 2020, in the USA, forbearance assistance was required due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

What Does Forbearance Mean on a Mortgage?

The length and terms of a mortgage forbearance plan differ by the type of loan you have, your lender, and your circumstances.

There are two common types of forbearance plans, and you can apply them to different types of loans.

  • Pause payments. A pause in payments entitles you to temporarily stop making your regular monthly mortgage payments. Depending on your situation, this may last a few months or longer. During this period, interest may accumulate on missed payments until you repay them.
  • Reduced mortgage payments. A decrease in mortgage payments means that your lender will lower your monthly payment by an amount that is affordable to you for a predetermined period of time. For three months, your lender might lower your monthly payment from, say, $1,000 to $500.

Similar to how forbearance plans vary based on specific lenders and loan types, so does repay your forbearance. Therefore it is crucial to discuss your options with your lender.

Is Loan Forbearance a Good Thing? 

Mortgage forbearance loans are a type of short-term financial aid that enable homeowners to continue living in their homes and postpone their monthly payments as they work to recover their financial stability. 

Therefore, it has pros and cons, including potential effects on your credit score, as with many typical real estate-related decisions.

Pros of Loan Forbearance

#1. It gives you time and space: 

Forbearance enables you to manage temporary financial difficulties. This will enable you to take care of any other necessary expenses that come up during this difficult time. While you concentrate on paying for groceries, utilities, or other essential expenses, you will still be able to maintain your home.

#2. It is a show of kindness from your lender: 

Your lender wants to make sure you are okay, even when you are going through a trying time. Lenders offer forbearance as a way to help borrowers keep their loans because they want to help people keep their loans. Most lenders would rather know about your financial problems as soon as possible than have you miss a payment without telling them.

Cons of Loan Forbearance

#1. Payments could increase:

Your agreed-upon repayment plan may include increased payments for the remainder of the term of forbearance. Remember to discuss these terms and conditions with your lender to make sure you can afford your new payments.

#2. It is just a short-term solution:

Forbearance should only be used as a temporary fix. You should research alternative mortgage options if you are struggling to make on-time mortgage payments. If you are unable to make your payments, you might need to sell your house.

#3. It negatively affects your credit score: 

You run the risk of having your Forbearance Mortgage Credit Score score suffer if you enter forbearance because your Mortgage forbearance information is shared with the credit bureaus. But this is not as detrimental to your score as repeatedly missing monthly payments.

How Mortgage Forbearance Works 

You will be required to make up any missed payments after the forbearance period has ended using one of these four payment options.

  1. Repayment plan. Your regular monthly mortgage payments will be increased by a small amount of the outstanding balance until it is paid off, which could take several months.
  1. Loan adjustment or modification. Your lender might agree to raise the balance owed and lower your monthly payment to one that is more manageable. This option should only be taken into consideration if you are no longer able to make your regular mortgage payment because it may lengthen the term of your loan.
  1. Reinstatement. You might be able to make up your missed payments all at once in a lump sum if you have the money available.
  1. Deferment. If you can make your regular payments but cannot afford a higher payment, your lender might agree to push any missed payments to the end of your loan.

Requirements for Forbearance Mortgage Loans

Your mortgage lender may require specific documentation and information if you wish to apply for forbearance, such as:

  • Information about your take-home pay per month. 
  • A breakdown of your monthly household spending. 
  • Information on any available unemployment benefits. 
  • A description of your current financial situation, including any underlying causes.
  • When you anticipate your current financial difficulties will end.

Is Forbearance Same As Foreclosure? 

No, forbearance is not the same as foreclosure because foreclosure means you lose your rights to your home through the legal process when you are unable to make your mortgage payments. The property would then become the property of the bank or lender.

Unlike forbearance, foreclosure is the very last step before you lose ownership of your home. Therefore, before your home is foreclosed on, you should contact your lender if a forbearance plan doesn’t help you get your finances back on track.

You might be able to avoid foreclosure with the aid of a new payment schedule. You can also discuss a short sale with your lender, in which the home is put on the market and sold for less than what is owed on the mortgage.

Although all of the money paid by the buyer will go toward your outstanding mortgage balance, this might help you out financially.

So, in a situation where the lender is unwilling to work with you or you’ve been silent about a payment plan for too long. You should get ready for the foreclosure procedure. 

What Is Mortgage Deferment?

Deferment refers to a break in payments where interest is not still being accumulated. In other words, a deferment enables you to temporarily stop paying off your debt while keeping the interest from accruing.

The terms forbearance and mortgage deferment are frequently misunderstood, occasionally even by servicers.

Deferral, also known as a partial claim, entails setting aside a number of payments that you might have missed throughout your forbearance to be paid when your loan is finished.

To give a homeowner who is already falling behind on their payments some breathing room, that is why deferment is frequently used. Lenders also stop charging interest on these overdue payments in an effort to further assist struggling homeowners.

How Mortgage Deferment Works

A mortgage deferment option is available to homeowners who require assistance in making up missed mortgage payments as a result of unforeseeable financial difficulties. This can help you save money on late fees and avoid having a missed payment reflected on your credit history.

Then, if your circumstance qualifies for a deferment, your lender will let you know the terms of the arrangement, including the length of the deferral period and future payment due dates.

Following approval, any regularly scheduled payments made during the time frame and any past-due sums will be added to the remaining loan term. The amounts owed won’t accrue interest during this time.

Mortgage deferment periods typically last between three and six months. In addition to mortgages, other financial obligations like personal loans also allow you to postpone payments.

Pros of mortgage deferment 

Any past-due payments are added to the loan term when your loan is deferred. Lenders consent to deferments to help borrowers avoid foreclosure and continuing late payment penalties, both of which hurt your credit score. 

Consequently, payments remain the same because, typically, interest does not accumulate during the deferral period.

Cons of mortgage deferment 

One advantage of deferred payments is that you agree to continue making mortgage payments after the original loan term has expired. You should carefully consider whether your current financial situation is temporary and can be resolved by the time you resume your payments before deciding to defer your loan; else, you run the risk of falling behind on your loan once more.

What is Mortgage Forbearance vs Deferment?

There are two main differences between forbearance and deferment which is basically interest accrual and how/when you repay.

  • Interests: 

Even when payments are suspended, interest always continues to accrue in a forbearance. Depending on your lender, interest may not be incurred when you choose to enroll in deferment.

  • Repayment:

When the forbearance period expires, the paused amount is usually repaid in one lump sum. Therefore, if you put a three-month pause on your payments, you would pay off everything you owed all at once at the end of that time.

Both of the deferment two repayment options let you pay back the borrowed money gradually. Your lender may require you to make the repayment over time with increasing monthly payments, or your payments may be added to the remaining time on your loan. 

What Happens to Your Loan During Forbearance?

While loan payments are suspended, no interest will accumulate, and efforts to collect any past-due payments on those loans have also been put on hold.

Borrowers with federally backed loans will still have access to relief clauses in their loan agreements after that period of time is over. These take the form of forbearance, which typically involves the accrual of interest fees, and deferment, which suspends payments while subsidizing accrued interest payments.

Federally subsidized loan borrowers may be eligible for loan deferments due to hardship or unemployment.

Your loan’s interest will continue to accrue while you are in forbearance. If the accrued interest is not paid by the end of the forbearance period, it will be capitalized or added to the loan balance, increasing the payoff amount.


In the event of financial difficulty, loan forbearance is a type of temporary relief that can be extremely helpful. Although it usually comes with a price in the form of additional interest fees, the peace of mind it offers can be priceless.

Just make sure you are aware of the conditions and what will occur when the forbearance period on your loan expires so that you are ready for what comes next.


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