A majority of homeowners have to make regular mortgage payments. According to figures offered by FiveThirtyEight, only about one out of every three American homeowners have paid off their mortgages in full.

At one point or another, many homeowners need to go through mortgage loan modification. This is a process in which the homeowner and bank change certain aspects of the initial agreement to make it easier for the homeowner to make timely payments. It can be crucial for you to undergo this under specific circumstances, so it is important to debunk certain myths that persist regarding the practice.

Myth #1: You need to already be behind on your mortgage to apply

There is no need to wait until you are already several months behind on your mortgage payments before seeking a modification. Even if you are only in danger of falling behind, you can ask your bank for a restructuring. It is advantageous to seek modifications before falling behind or else the bank may begin foreclosure proceedings before you even get a chance to inquire about it.

Myth #2: The only way to show you have a hardship is if you have negative income

Most people believe that displaying a hardship requires showing the bank how you are in the red every month. Similarly to the last point, you do not want to wait until it gets to that point. If you are currently in the red, then it may work to your benefit to cut back on certain superfluous expenses until you can get back into the black.

Myth #3: A loan modification will not affect your credit score

You should expect your credit rating to take a hit after modifying your mortgage agreement. However, it can certainly be worth it. The reason your credit score goes down is that the bank often forgives a portion of the debt during a modification. Therefore, the bank may say you paid for “less than owed” to the credit bureaus.