If you’re out of work, you can’t pay your bills. What should you do? Don’t despair, because there are plenty of options.
Let’s look at your biggest expense first: Housing. Many landlords are giving tenants some leeway. Everyone is in this boat, so you might get a break.
With mortgages, it will be a little more difficult. That doesn’t mean you can’t ask for late fees to be waived. They may ask for some documentation.
What about your credit cards? With more than 6 million filing for unemployment, credit card issuers are more than aware of the problem. That doesn’t mean they will be cutting you some slack on fees, though.
According to a survey by CreditCards.com, some 110 million Americans carried card debt into this current crisis. Ted Rossman, an industry analyst with the company, offers these suggestions:
- File for unemployment and other benefits, if applicable
- Contact credit card issuers and other lenders if you’re having trouble making payments
- Get a 0% balance transfer card if you have credit card debt and can get approved
- Conserve cash, especially if it’s limited – cut nonessential spending, track down tax and event ticket refunds and redeem credit card rewards
- 0% introductory APR cards are another idea, if you can get one
The good news: If you’re not going out, you can cut down expenses by eliminating discretionary spending like restaurants, bars and entertainment.
Also look at in-home expenses that can be cut like cable, cleaning and deliveries. You’d be surprised at how much you can save.