Unfortunately, a large percentage of Americans live literally paycheck to paycheck. For the most part, they are able to cover their bills, but have no ability to save a significant emergency fund. Without that emergency fund, a sudden event or job loss could lead to extreme financial hardship. However, such a hardship may not need to lead to bankruptcy. You may have a few options that could help you get through this time with your credit intact.
If you find yourself in this situation, one of the first things you should do is take a close look at your expenses; it may be time to make some hard decisions. You may find there are many things that you can cut out of your budget as they are things you want, but don’t truly need to survive. Next, it is time to negotiate. You may be surprised how open cell phone, cable, and internet companies are to negotiating their rates. If you are making payments on a loan, you may be able to work with the company to defer or reduce your payments. In these cases, it is much better to be proactive in contacting the companies than waiting until you fall behind.
In the case of a job loss, as you start your search for employment, start the process for filing for unemployment benefits. It takes some time to start receiving benefits, so the sooner you start the process the better. Of course unemployment will not replace what you were making, but it will give you some cash flow as you search for new employment. The unemployment office may also offer some employment assistance such as workshops to help you with your resume and interviewing for a position. Living in the digital age that we do, make sure to not overlook setting up your LinkedIn profile to showcase your skill set as well as advertise that you are looking for work. It is also a good tool for building networks with people who are working in your career field.
When meeting people, don’t be shy. Let them all know you are looking for work. You never know who you will meet and who they may know. If your current career field is not hiring or difficult to get into, you may want to consider a career change. Take a look at https://www.careeronestop.org/ to explore some potential options and remember to keep an open mind. This difficult time could end up being the best thing that has happened to you.
Another factor to keep in mind are the benefits you may be losing such as health care. Check with your old employer to find out if they offer coverage such as COBRA for a period of time. If this ends up being quite expensive, take a little time to shop around to see if you can find a plan that is more affordable or possibly some kind of financial assistance.
Bankruptcy Can Help
Sometimes landing that new job can take a while, and the more time goes by, the more stress is added to your life. If you are unable to keep up with your bills and you start falling behind, don’t worry. You are not alone. This happens to thousands of people a year, and that is why bankruptcy exists–to help people like you find a new start. Call me; I am here to help.