Can you really pay off a mortgage in just 5 years?

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Paying off your mortgage ahead of time might sound like an incredibly savvy thing to do, and in some cases, it is. But it’s not the right money move for everyone.

 

Pay off a mortgage in five years? It’s an aggressive strategy that may or may not be the smartest choice.

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Related: How to afford a down payment on your first home

Benefits and Risks of Paying Off a Mortgage Early

Achieving homeownership is, well, an achievement. And since you’re here reading an article about paying a mortgage off early, you’re clearly an overachiever.

 

Paying off any kind of debt early usually seems advisable. But for most of us, our home is the single largest purchase we’ll ever make, and paying off a six-figure loan in only a few years could wreak havoc on the rest of your finances.

 

In addition, some mortgages come with a prepayment penalty, which means you could be on the line for additional fees that might eclipse whatever you’d stand to save in interest payments over time. (Mortgages tend to have lower interest rates than many other common types of debt anyway.)

 

That said, if you have the cash, paying off your home early can lead to substantial savings, not to mention helping you build home equity as quickly as possible.

 

Let’s take a closer look at the risks and benefits of paying off a mortgage early.

Benefits of Paying Off a Mortgage Early

The main benefit of paying off a mortgage early is getting out of debt. Even minimal interest is an expense it can be nice to avoid.

 

Additionally, paying off your home early means you’ll have 100% equity in your home, meaning you own its whole value, which can be a major boon to your net worth.

Risks of Paying Off a Mortgage Early

Paying off a mortgage early may come with risks, and not just prepayment penalties (which we’ll touch on again in a moment). In many instances, it can be a plain old bad financial move.

 

Depending on what your cash flow situation looks like, and what the interest rate on your mortgage is, you might stand to out-earn early payoff savings if you funneled the extra cash to your investment or retirement accounts instead. (You can use this handy dandy mortgage calculator to see how much interest you stand to spend over the lifetime of your home loan and then compare that to how much you might earn if you invested that money instead.)

 

Additionally, if you have other forms of high-interest debt, like revolving credit card balances, it’s almost always a better idea to focus your financial efforts on those pay-down projects instead.

Benefits & Risks of Paying Off a Mortgage Early

Watching Out for Prepayment Fees

One of the biggest risks of paying off a mortgage before its full term is up is the potential to run into prepayment penalties. Some mortgage lenders charge large fees to make up for the interest they’ll be missing out on.

 

Fortunately, avoiding prepayment penalties on home loans written after 2014 is easier: Legislation was passed to restrict lenders’ ability to charge those fees. But if your mortgage was written in 2013 or earlier (and even if not) it’s a good idea to read the fine print before you hit “submit” on your lump-sum payment, and ideally before you accept the contract at all.

Steps to Paying Off a Mortgage Early

You’ve assessed the risks and benefits and decided that paying off the mortgage early is the right move for you. Nice!

Now let’s take a look at how to get it done.

Pregame: Considering Repayment Goals When House Shopping

This option won’t work if you’ve already found and moved into a home, but if you’re still in the home-shopping portion of the journey, looking at inexpensive homes can be a great first step toward paying off your mortgage fast.

 

After all, if the home has a lower price tag, it’ll be easier to reach that goal in a shorter amount of time. Ideally, you want its value to appreciate, so you’ll still want to shop around before just choosing the lowest-priced house on the block.

 

Maybe you signed your home contract years ago and are just now considering getting serious about early mortgage repayment. Take heart! There are some easy steps to follow to vanish your mortgage in five years or so.

1. Setting a Target Date

The first step: figuring out exactly when you want the mortgage paid off. Choosing your target date will make it easier to figure out how much additional money you need to send to your lender each month.

 

Five years is a pretty tight timeline for this kind of debt repayment process, but it could be doable depending on your earnings and commitment.

2. Making a Higher Down Payment

The higher your down payment, the less loan balance you have to pay down, so if you can manage it, offer as much as you can right at the start. There are many assistance programs for down payments that might boost your offer and put you on track for paying down your mortgage early.

 

Also, realize that first-time homebuyers, who can be anyone who has not owned a principal residence in the past three years, and some others, often have access to down payment assistance.

3. Choosing a Shorter Home Loan Term

Obviously, if you want to pay your mortgage off in a shorter amount of time, you can consider choosing a shorter home loan term; most conventional mortgages are paid off over 30 years, though it’s possible to find loans with 15- or even 10-year terms.

 

However, your interest rate might be higher on those loans in order to make the deal worthwhile to the lender, so for many borrowers, choosing a longer home loan term and making aggressive additional payments is a better option.

4. Making Larger or More Frequent Payments

One of the most achievable ways for most borrowers to pay off a home loan early is to pay more than the monthly minimum, either by adding extra toward the principal in the monthly payment or by paying more than once per month.

 

Unless you’re due for a six-figure windfall, chipping away at the debt this way might be the smartest option.

But how does one come up with the additional money to funnel toward that goal?

5. Spending Less on Other Things

As with most debt repayment strategies, chances are you’ll need to find other budgetary items to cut back on in order to set aside more money to put toward the mortgage. This could be as small as ditching the daily latte or as serious as choosing to give up a car.

6. Increasing Income

Another option, if there’s just nothing left to cut? Find ways to increase your income, perhaps by starting a side hustle or asking for that long-overdue raise.

The Takeaway

Pay off a mortgage in five years? While paying off your home loan early could help you save money on interest, sometimes the money is better spent on other financial goals and projects.

 

Learn More:

This article originally appeared on SoFi.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

 

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These states have been hit hardest by rising foreclosures

 

Editor’s Note: Updated for May 2022

 

The number of U.S. properties with foreclosure filings in April was 30,674, according to ATTOM Data Solutions. This is up close to 160% from a year ago and makes April the 12th consecutive month showing year-over-year U.S. foreclosure activity increases. The Biden administration’s final extension of the pandemic-related moratorium on foreclosures ended July 31, 2021. The extension of the evictions moratorium for foreclosed borrowers ended September 30, 2021.

 

It is also worth noting that foreclosure filings decreased by close to 8% from March to April. The experts at ATTOM say this may be due to record levels of homeowner equity and the current hot housing market, allowing distressed homeowners the chance to sell their homes before going into final foreclosure. However, they say it may take a few months to see if this is what is happening.

 

According to ATTOM, year-over-year foreclosure increases will likely continue for the rest of 2022; however, they still expect foreclosures to stay below historic levels at least through the end of the year. Read on for the foreclosure rates in April 2022 – plus the five counties with the highest rates within those states.

 

Related: The safest cities in the US

 

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As just noted, foreclosures are up from last month, and up even more significantly compared to last year. Read on for April foreclosure rates for all 50 states — plus the District of Columbia — beginning with the state that had the lowest rate of foreclosure filings per housing unit.

 

 

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Ranking in population between Vermont and Alaska, the country’s 49th and 48th least populated states, Washington, D.C. had 10 foreclosures in April. With a total of 350,364 housing units, Washington, D.C.’s foreclosure rate was one in every 35,036 households, putting it in between the states of Kansas (#48) and North Dakota (#47).

 

 

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South Dakota once again nabbed the 50th spot; it had six homes go into foreclosure in April. Having 389,921 total housing units, the fifth least populated state had a foreclosure rate of one in every 64,987 households. Only three counties saw foreclosures in April. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Lawrence, Minnehaha, and Lincoln.

 

 

RiverNorthPhotography

 

In 49th place for population, Vermont claimed the 49th spot for its foreclosure rate. Of Vermont’s 334,318 housing units, seven homes went into foreclosure for a rate of one in every 47,760 households. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Orange, Franklin, Windham, Washington, and Rutland.

 

 

” DonLand”

 

Kansas took the 48th spot. With 1,275,689 homes and a total of 35 housing units going into foreclosure, the 35th most-populated state’s foreclosure rate was one in every 36,448 households. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Geary, Leavenworth, Seward, Shawnee, and Miami.

 

 

Michael Pham

 

North Dakota’s foreclosure rate was one in every 33,695 homes. That puts the fourth least populated state – with a total of 370,642 housing units, of which 11 were in foreclosure — in 47th place. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Morton, Stark, Ward, Cass, and Williams.

 

 

 

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The 44th most populated state ranked 46th once again for foreclosure rate. With 18 foreclosures out of 514,803 housing units, its foreclosure rate was one in every 28,600 homes. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Chouteau, Broadwater, Rosebud, Yellowstone, and Lewis And Clark.

 

 

YinYang

 

The 39th most populated state, West Virginia, ranked 45th. It has 855,635 homes, of which 56 went into foreclosure. That means the foreclosure rate was one in every 15,279 homes. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Tyler, Lewis, Fayette, Boone, and Cabell.

 

 

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The 27th most populated state ranked 44th for highest foreclosure rate. Of Oregon’s 1,813,747 homes, 130 went into foreclosure, making for a foreclosure rate of one in every 13,952 homes. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Morrow, Polk, Klamath, Washington, and Multnomah.

 

 

HaizhanZheng

 

With a total 1,994,323 housing units, Kentucky saw 148 homes go into foreclosure. That put the foreclosure rate for the 26th most populated state at one in every 13,475 households. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Martin, Grant, Washington, Lincoln, and Webster.

 

 

Thomas Kelley

 

Ranked 13th for most populated state, Washington came in 42nd place for highest foreclosure rate. It has 320,2241 housing units, of which 251 went into foreclosure, making the state’s foreclosure rate one in every 12,758 households. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Douglas, Chelan, Okanogan, Skamania, and Grays Harbor.

 

 

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Ranked 33rd for most populated state, Arkansas took the 41st spot for highest foreclosure rate. It has 1,365,265 housing units, of which 122 went into foreclosure, making the state’s latest foreclosure rate one in every 11,191 households. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Woodruff, Lincoln, Ashley, Grant, and Mississippi.

 

Recommended: Tips on Buying a Foreclosed Home

 

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Ranked the least populated in the country, Wyoming claimed the 40th spot for highest foreclosure rate. With 271,887 housing units, of which 26 went into foreclosure, the state’s foreclosure rate was one in every 10,457 households. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Crook, Carbon, Campbell, Sublette, and Big Horn.

 

 

AnujSahaiPhotography

 

In Tennessee, the 16th most populated state, there were 291 foreclosures out of 3,031,605 housing units. That put the foreclosure rate at one in every 10,418 homes. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Wayne, Hardeman, Bledsoe, Humphreys, and White.

 

 

NathanMerrill

 

The eighth least populated state took the 38th spot for highest foreclosure rate. A total of 51 homes went into foreclosure out of 483,474 total housing units, making the foreclosure rate for the Ocean State one in every 9,480 households. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Providence, Bristol, Newport, Washington, and Kent.

 

 

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The 40th most populated state, Hawaii came in 37th for highest foreclosure rate. Of 561,066 homes, 61 went into foreclosure, making for a foreclosure rate of one in every 9,198 households. Only three counties in the state had foreclosures. They were (from highest to lowest): Hawaii, Maui, and Honolulu.

 

 

Art Wager

 

The 41st most populated state, New Hampshire ranked 36th for highest foreclosure rate. Of 638,795 homes, 70 went into foreclosure, making for a foreclosure rate of one in every 9,126 households. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Cheshire, Sullivan, Grafton, Rockingham, and Strafford.

 

 

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Utah placed 35th for highest foreclosure rate. Of the Beehive State’s 1,151,414 housing units, 135 homes went into foreclosure, making the 30th most-populated state’s foreclosure rate one in every 8,529 households. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Sevier, Tooele, Morgan, Box Elder, and Emery.

 

 

AndreyKrav

 

Alaska saw 38 foreclosures, making the foreclosure rate one in every 8,356 homes. That caused the third least populated state, with a total of 317,524 housing units, to take the 34th spot. Only four counties saw foreclosures in April (from highest to lowest): Anchorage, Matanuska-Susitna, Fairbanks North Star, and Kenai Peninsula.

 

 

Chilkoot

 

The 38th most populated state, Idaho had 91 homes go into foreclosure. With 751,859 total housing units, the state’s foreclosure rate was one in every 8,262 households. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Lewis, Lincoln, Oneida, Benewah, and Shoshone.

 

 

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Ranked 18th for most populated state, Maryland took 32nd place for highest foreclosure rate. With a total of 2,530,844 housing units, of which 322 housing units went into foreclosure, the state’s foreclosure rate was one in every 7,860 households. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Prince George’s County, Charles, Garrett, Baltimore City, and Calvert.

 

 

James_Lane

 

With 392 foreclosures out of 2,727,726 total housing units, Wisconsin, the 20th most populated state, had a foreclosure rate of one in every 6,958 households. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Marquette, Kenosha, Douglas, Dodge, and Langlade.

 

Recommended: What Is a Short Sale?

 

FierceAbin

 

Ranked 37th for population, Nebraska claimed the 30th spot with a foreclosure rate of one in every 6,920 homes. With a total 844,278 housing units, the state had 122 foreclosure filings. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Knox, Madison, Jefferson, Cedar, and Lancaster.

 

 

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The 15th most populated state ranked 29th for highest foreclosure rate. Of Massachusetts’ 2,998,537 housing units, 446 went into foreclosure, making for a foreclosure rate of one in every 6,723 homes. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Plymouth, Hampden, Franklin, Berkshire, and Worcester.

 

 

 

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With 1,268 out of a total 8,488,066 housing units going into foreclosure, the fourth most populated state took the 28th spot. New York’s foreclosure rate was one in every 6,694 households. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Genesee, Suffolk, Washington, Montgomery, and Tioga.

 

 

Eloi_Omella

 

The 36th most populated state took the 27th spot for highest foreclosure rate. Of its 940,859 homes, 141 went into foreclosure, making for a foreclosure rate of one in every 6,673 homes. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Chaves, Cibola, Eddy, Valencia, and Torrance.

 

 

Davel5957

 

The 19th most populated state, Missouri came in 26th for highest rate of foreclosures. Of its 2,786,621 homes, 443 went into foreclosure, making for a foreclosure rate of one in every 6,290 homes. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Jefferson, New Madrid, Webster, Butler, and Gasconade.

 

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The 12th most populated state ranked 25th for highest foreclosure rate, with 581 homes going into foreclosure. Having 3,618,247 total housing units, the state saw a foreclosure rate of one in every 6,228 households. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Nottoway, Portsmouth City, Essex, Warren, and Greene.

 

 

DenisTangneyJr

 

In Mississippi, the 34th most populated state, there were 213 foreclosures out of 1,319,945 housing units. That put the foreclosure rate at one in every 6,197 homes. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Sharkey, Stone, Claiborne, Benton, and Adams.

 

 

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Ranked 25th for population, Louisiana took the 23rd spot, with 338 homes out of a total of 2,073,200 housing units going into foreclosure. That means Louisiana had a foreclosure rate of one in every 6,134 households. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): West Baton Rouge, Iberville, Beauregard, Tangipahoa, and Richland.

 

 

DenisTangneyJr

 

Ranked as the ninth least populated state, Maine placed 22nd for highest foreclosure rate. With a total of 739,072 housing units, the Pine Tree State saw 126 foreclosures for a foreclosure rate of one in every 5,866 homes. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Waldo, Aroostook, Somerset, Penobscot, and Androscoggin.

 

 

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Ranked 24th for most populated, Alabama came in 21st for highest foreclosure rate. Of its 2,288,330 homes, 391 went into foreclosure, making for a foreclosure rate of one in every 5,853 homes. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Dale, Barbour, Montgomery, Covington, and Conecuh.

 

Recommended: 4 Signs You May Be Ready to Buy

 

 

James Deitsch

 

Pennsylvania has the 20th highest foreclosure rate. The fifth most populated state had a total of 1,120 housing units out of 5,742,828 homes go into foreclosure, making the state’s foreclosure rate one in every 5,128 households. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Potter, Delaware, Philadelphia, Bucks, and Pike.

 

 

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The Lone Star State saw 2,297 foreclosures. With a foreclosure rate of one in every 5,045 households, this put the second most populous state with 11,589,324 housing units into the 19th spot – the same ranking it held in March. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Dickens, Ector, Collingsworth, Shackelford, and Nacogdoches.

 

 

DenisTangneyJr

 

In Arizona, the 14th most populated state, there were 614 foreclosures out of 3,082,000 housing units. That put the foreclosure rate at one in every 5,020 homes. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Graham, Yavapai, Cochise, Pinal, and Greenlee.

 

 

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The ninth most populated state took 12th place for highest foreclosure rate. Out of 4,708,710 homes, 967 went into foreclosure. That put the Tar Heel State’s foreclosure rate at one in every 4,869 homes. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Gates, Washington, Polk, Cumberland, and Hoke.

 

 

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Ranking 10th for population, Michigan took the 16th spot with a foreclosure rate of one in every 4,771 homes. With a total of 4,570,173 housing units, the state had 958 foreclosure filings. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Saint Joseph, Genesee, Macomb, Schoolcraft, and Shiawassee.

 

 

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Oklahoma claimed the ninth spot. With housing units totaling 1,746,807, the 28th most populated state saw 380 homes go into foreclosure at a rate of one in every 4,597 homes. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Washita, Canadian, Craig, Love, and Garfield.

 

 

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The eighth most populated state, Georgia ranked 14th for highest foreclosure rate. Of its 4,410,956 homes, 1,004 were foreclosed on. That put the state’s foreclosure rate at one in every 4,393 households. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Candler, Crawford, Polk, Baker, and Peach.

 

 

SeanPavonePhoto

 

Ranked 22nd for most populated state, Minnesota took the 13th spot for highest foreclosure rate. It has 2,485,558 housing units, of which 568 went into foreclosure, making the state’s foreclosure rate one in every 4,376 households. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Grant, Faribault, Mower, Clay, and Isanti.

 

 

JoeChristensen

 

The most populated state ranked 12th for highest foreclosure rate. Of its 14,392,140 housing units, 3,465 went into foreclosure, making California’s foreclosure rate one in every 4,154 households. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Lake, Siskiyou, Kern, Trinity, and Madera.

 

 

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With 377 of its 1,530,197 homes going into foreclosure, Connecticut had the 11th highest foreclosure rate of one in every 4,059 households. In the 29th most populated state, the counties that had the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Windham, Middlesex, New Haven, Hartford, and Litchfield.

 

Recommended: Your 2022 Guide to All Things Home

 

traveler1116

 

Iowa had the tenth highest foreclosure rate. With 353 housing units out of 1,412,789 homes going into foreclosure, the 31st most populated state’s foreclosure rate was one in every 4,002 homes. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Fremont, Cass, Winnebago, Wapello, and Tama.

 

 

JoeChristensen

 

The third most populated state in the country has a total of 9,865,350 housing units, of which 2,906 went into foreclosure. The state’s ninth highest foreclosure rate is one in every 3,395 homes. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Hamilton, Calhoun, Taylor, Gilchrist, and Union.

 

 

Elisa.rolle

 

The sixth least populated state in the country, Delaware ranked fourth for highest foreclosure rate. With one in every 3,138 homes going into foreclosure and a total 448,735 housing units, Delaware saw a total of 143 foreclosure filings. With only three counties in the state, the most foreclosures per housing unit were in (from highest to lowest): Kent, New Castle, and Sussex.

 

 

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With one in every 3,085 homes going into foreclosure, South Carolina moved out of the top three to take the seventh spot. Ranked 23rd for population, South Carolina has 2,344,963 housing units and saw 760 foreclosure filings. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Barnwell, Lexington, Dorchester, Marion, and Darlington.

 

 

SeanPavonePhoto

 

The 21st most populated state ranked 6th for highest foreclosure rate. Of Colorado’s 2,491,404 housing units, 812 went into foreclosure, making for a foreclosure rate of one in every 3,068 homes. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Pueblo, Delta, Mesa, Weld, and Morgan.

 

 

Jacob Boomsma / istockphoto

 

Ranking 32nd in population, Nevada took the fifth spot for foreclosure rate. With one in every 3,043 homes going into foreclosure and a total of 1,281,018 housing units, the state had 421 foreclosure filings. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest):Clark, Nye, Washoe, Elko, and Lyon.

 

 

AlizadaStudios

 

The 17th largest state by population, Indiana took the fourth spot with a foreclosure rate of one in every 2,660 homes. Of its 2,923,175 homes, 1,099 homes were foreclosed on in April. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Noble, Grant, Clinton, Lake, and Elkhart.

 

 

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Ohio claimed the third spot, with a foreclosure rate of one in every 2,585 homes. With a total of 5,242,524 housing units, the seventh most populated state had a total of 2,028 filings. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Cuyahoga, Huron, Muskingum, Logan, and Greene.

 

 

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With a foreclosure rate of one in every 2,292 homes, New Jersey held on to second place. The 11th most populated state has 3,761,229 housing units, of which 1,641 went into foreclosure. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Cumberland, Salem, Warren, Camden, and Gloucester.

 

 

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Illinois took the number one spot again in April. Of its 5,426,429 homes, 2,421 went into foreclosure, making the sixth most populated state’s foreclosure rate one in every 2,241. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (from highest to lowest): Will, Madison, Lee, Tazewell, and Mchenry.

 

 

ibsky

 

Of all 50 states, California had the most foreclosure filings (3,465); South Dakota had the least (6). As for the states with the highest foreclosure rates, Illinois, New Jersey, and Ohio took the top three spots, respectively.

 

The Great Lakes region had the largest presence among the 10 states that ranked the highest for foreclosure rates. These states were (from highest to lowest): Illinois, Ohio, and Indiana.

 

The Plains region and the Southeast region tied for the largest presence among the 10 states that ranked the lowest for foreclosure rates. The states in the Plains region were (from highest to lowest): North Dakota, Kansas, and South Dakota. The states in the Southeast region were (from highest to lowest): Arkansas, Kentucky, and West Virginia.

 

Learn More:

This article originally appeared on SoFi.comand was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

 

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SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp. or an affiliate (dba SoFi), a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law, license # 6054612; NMLS # 1121636. For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal.


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