How To Handle A Personal Financial Crisis

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We all hope we never have to deal with a personal financial crisis, but unexpected things can happen quickly in today’s climate and change your financial outlook a great deal. Whether dealing with a major health crisis, a job loss, the aftermath of an accident or natural disaster, or the loss of a loved one, happenings beyond our control can wreak havoc on our personal finances. When faced with such a crisis, try to remain as calm as possible in order to think as clearly as possible. Regardless of the situation, you will feel more stressed and helpless if you immediately panic.

Assess your situation and start making a plan to follow as you adjust to your “new normal”. If you have an abundant emergency fund, decide exactly how to best utilize that money to make it last as long as possible. If you have no significant emergency fund, check with your creditors as soon as possible to see if they are willing to work with you to reduce or delay any of your scheduled payments. Also consider contacting your lending institution or online lenders to secure some short-term funds to help you with necessary expenses. If that would be beneficial for your current situation see

Don’t be too proud or scared to ask for help if you really need it. Use available community and government resources to get by if you are experiencing a dire financial hardship. Contact the United Way by dialing *211, a free and anonymous social service hotline, for access to a myriad of social programs that may fit your needs. Such programs include assistance with food, housing, child care, and crisis counseling. Additionally, communities and churches often provide food banks to access if hunger is an issue affecting you. Friends and neighbors may be good resources as well, depending on what extenuating circumstances you are trying to deal with.

If a large part of the country or particular industry is experiencing a financial crisis at the same time, often the government implements programs or passes legislature to temporarily assist a wide variety of the population. Such assistance could include delaying the normal April 15 deadline to file income taxes, lowering of interest rates by the Federal Reserve, providing stimulus packages that can include providing funds directly to taxpayers, lowering payroll taxes, or other measures to overall help the economy rebound. Stay apprised of government actions in times of economic or country-wide financial crisis, so you can utilize whatever additional assistance is available.

Remember that times of great stress are usually temporary and do all you can to remain calm so you can navigate a personal financial crisis expeditiously and confidently, whatever it may be.