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How to manage credit card debt while dealing with unemployment

With the uncertainty that many people are facing in the current economy, many able and willing workers in New Jersey are struggling to find full-time employment. Even when a worker is laid off and left unemployed, the worker still has to continue paying for expenses like food, housing, utilities, credit card bills, student loans and other expenditures.

With limited finances, however, there are still smart ways to manage your monthly expenses. According to a recent article, here are some tips that can help you manage your monthly budget, even under the stress of unemployment:

  • Call your credit card company. If you cannot make your monthly payment on time, then take the initiative and call your credit card company. Keeping them up-to-date about your financial situation can provide a true benefit. They may even allow you to negotiate a lower monthly minimum payment or adjust your due date so you do not accrue late fees.
  • Rethink your monthly expenses. Instead of using your credit cards to maintain your lifestyle, you will want to reevaluate your monthly budget and decide what is essential and what you can live without. Can you brew a pot of coffee at home instead of making daily trips to the coffee shop? Rethinking these luxuries can potentially save you a lot of money.
  • Prioritize your list of expenditures. Before you go out for drinks with your friends or treat yourself to a movie, make sure that you are spending your money wisely on necessities such as housing, food, medical expenses and monthly utilities. Also, prioritize transportation so you can get around and interview for new jobs. Consider which bills must be paid right on time and which ones you might be able to hold off on for a few extra days.
  • Know your assets and available credit. It can be helpful to understand the extent of your assets and credit to better understand your financial situation. Instead of maintaining your previous lifestyle with your savings or credit, it can benefit you to save your money for a true emergency situation.

While these tips can provide some relief for those faced with unemployment, they are not surefire panaceas for those facing credit card debt and unemployment. However, consulting an experienced attorney is one way to further understand and protect your rights and options.

Source: Fox Business, “ 6 Credit Card Tips for the Unemployed,” April 16, 2014

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