The Elder Financial Safety Center is a safe and trusted place for older adults to get expert, professional and unbiased guidance to ensure financial well-being.
Financial Coach, Debbie Burkham lends her expertise
For those experiencing financial difficulties due to loss of job, reduction of hours, etc., what is best approach when seeking hardship assistance from your creditors? What are the potential consequences?
If you are facing financial hardship amid the COVID-19 pandemic, following are a few tips and suggestions to help you make decisions about what is the best course of action for you moving forward.
Do you have 3-6 months’ worth of emergency savings for an event such as this? If so, go into crisis budget mode and utilize that emergency savings. What is a crisis budget? That means stripping any unnecessary expenses to stretch those dollars as much as possible and pay for basic needs – shelter, utilities, food, medications and legally required insurance (automobile insurance).
If you don’t have emergency savings and you are no longer drawing a paycheck, implement the crisis budget and apply for unemployment. Also, consider applying for one of the jobs that is currently hiring.
If you have creditors such as a mortgage, student loans, automobile loans, personal loans or credit cards and you are concerned about how you will pay these bills, contact your creditors to inquire about any hardship assistance programs. Some creditors are already extending offers of payment deferrals to their customers. NOTE: If your credit rating is important to you, be sure to ask if accepting any hardship or deferment offers will negatively impact your credit. If so, find out how will your credit be impacted. Sometimes, payment deferral or hardship assistance results in late payment to your credit report.
Get all the facts before making a decision. Dallas area residents can speak to an EFSC Financial Coach for personal guidance.
Elder Financial Safety Center Director, Julie Krawczyk shares the latest
Prevention from too little income and too much debt, as well as frauds and scams through:
Protection for those vulnerable who are struggling to manage their daily affairs and are commonly exposed to financial predators.
Prosecution for cases involving the exploitation and abuse of elderly victims. Specialized investigators are dedicated solely to ensuring justice is achieved through the prosecution of financial crimes.