With no immediate end in sight for the health and economic crisis that has overtaken the U.S., we are hearing from many people that they are worried about how they will manage expenses. People are experiencing layoffs, complete job loss and reduced hours and are unsure of how to react to upcoming bills. In an effort to assist those affected by this crisis, American Financial Solutions has put together this list of steps to take to survive these times.
Request a copy of your credit report.
The beginning of a crisis is a good time to request a copy of all three, major credit reports from AnnualCreditReport.com or another consumer site. This does two things:
Switch to an Emergency Budget
Identify Resources in Your Community and Apply for Help
Sometimes people will hold off seeking assistance because they unsure how long a financial situation will last. However, the longer you wait, the more dire circumstances may become. Charities, non-profits, government agencies and commercial businesses are attempting to provide a variety of support services and it is important to let them know what support is necessary. To find services in your area, dial 211 or visit 211.org online. You can also access a national list of resources on our website.
Waste no time reaching out to the creditors you owe before payments are missed – credit cards, car loans, mortgages, etc. Many creditors are trying to put programs in place to assist their clients during this unprecedented time. When contacting your creditors:
Keep records of the conversations and any agreement that is made with the creditor. In many cases creditors may send a follow up email or letter outlining how they will help during this time. Designate that correspondence as important.
Get Professional Financial Assistance from Nonprofits
Contact a financial expert at American Financial Solutions (AFS). We can help with making tough financial decisions during this time. AFS is a non-profit credit counseling agency that provides budget, debt and credit assistance to people nationwide.