STEPS TO TAKE IF YOU’RE CONCERNED ABOUT PAYING BILLS
- If you haven’t looked at a budget in a while, now’s the time to do so. Every Dollar is a great free app to use to get a budget together.
- Get clarity from your income sources as to what the reality will look like over the coming weeks.
- Cut spending to bare necessities. If you can’t pay all of your bills, Dave Ramsey recommends you spend your money on these four items first and in this order:
- If you’re still not able to cover all of your expenses, identify payments that can be deferred:
- Call creditors to explain your situation. You can ask for temporary relief on your monthly payments. If you offer to still send some money, even if it’s a smaller amount than your typical payment, they might be more willing to work with you.
- If you have federal student loans, you can forbear (interest accrues) or defer (interest doesn’t accrue on subsidized federal loans) your loan payments.
- For student loans, use this questionnaire to understand what options are available to you
- If you’re paying extra on debt(s) right now and have less than one to two months’ worth of expenses in an emergency fund, it might not be a bad idea to temporarily stop extra payments and then restart them once things settle down.
- Enroll for health insurance, if you can.
- Use this week to get a game plan together and gather information, as there may be more changes coming.
- Reach out to the MoneyWise team using an email address listed above if you want to talk.