Credit Impacts on a Short Sale? You Make the Call

I try to help people with this question: short sale or foreclosure, which is the better option? For most people, my reaction is, “Short sale, of course!” This has been mostly because I was always under the impression that a short sale, although still a ding on your credit, was easier on the score than a foreclosure.

But for some time, other sources have been saying, and according to a recent blog post by FICO Banking Analytics, that there is no real difference in the effect a short sale or a foreclosure has on your credit score. Supposedly, both the impact in points and the time to fully recover is about the same for both events.

But all this time I believed that the short sale was superior to foreclosure, largely because of its less adverse effects on credit. So I was forced to do further research into which was the better option. In doing so I learned about benefits of a short sale I wasn’t even aware of, and found that the FICO blog was not true all the time for everyone.

The fact is, each borrower’s credit situation is different, and the way that a creditor reports a short sale to bureaus is different. The reality is that hundreds of thousands of distressed homeowners who have chosen a short sale have experienced a lesser impact on their credit than those who have chosen foreclosure. One of the differences, for example, is how long the borrower had been delinquent on payments prior to the short sale, along with other credit factors.

And, another very big mitigating factor is that in a short sale, a distressed homeowner may be able to obtain another mortgage sooner than someone who has a foreclosure on his or her record. Did you know that more and more employers pull credit before hiring a potential employee, and a foreclosure might keep you from getting a job. Some employers pull credit reports on existing employees, and a foreclosure may not bode well for job advancement in certain industries.
To see a special report, go to www.juliahuntsman.com/briefcase/29690_526201142402PM32754.pdf  which can be downloaded.

These benefits stacked against the negatives of foreclosure, including the embarrassment of public announcement and literally being kicked out of your home, make, in my opinion, short sale the reigning champion.

Now you make the call!

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