The unexpected loss of your job can be a frightening experience. Immediately questions begin to race through your mind…“How will I pay my mortgage; What bills are due next and can I be late on them;” and “How can I afford to put food on the table?” The first step is to pause, breathe and remember the situation is temporary.
Here are a few steps you can take to ensure you and your family get through this difficult time:
Call your landlord or mortgage company.
It is important to inform your landlord or mortgage company of your situation as soon as possible. These groups understand that COVID-19 has disrupted many people’s lives and are working with consumers to create new plans. Your lender might waive fees, accept partial payments or even suspend payments for a short time.
Check with your utility provider.
Many state regulators are asking utility and gas companies to suspend disconnecting services, waive late fees, and offer more flexible payment schedules. Some internet providers are installing free Wi-Fi for new customers to help with job searches and online schooling. Check whether your utility company has already announced exceptions for payments online. If so, call the company to tell them about your situation. You can still give them a call if you can’t find any information about special circumstances online.
Simplify your finances.
Look for ways to cut expenses such as canceling rarely used subscriptions, cooking at home instead of ordering out and switching to lower-cost plans for your recurring bills. Decide which bills need to paid right away, and which can be postponed. Priority goes to your basic expenses – shelter, food, transportation. Everything else moves down on the list.
Get in touch with your bank.
Banks are taking steps to mitigate any financial problems that may arise as a result of losing your job. They may be able to waive fees, suspend loan payments or even let you borrow money with a flexible, low-interest payment plan. It’s worth reaching out and having a conversation about your options.
Doing odd jobs for neighbors, having a garage sale or selling handmade goods can help you earn some extra cash while you search for new job opportunities. At SmartBank, we understand the difficult challenges you face when losing a job, and our team is here to help you explore your options to remain financially stable during this time.