One in five people have an error on at least one of their credit reports according to a study conducted by the Federal Trade Commission. When is the last time you checked your free credit report? Check your credit from once a year to once a week. You can access your credit report from each credit reporting agency – Equifax, Experian, TransUnion@annualcreditreport.com. Be sure to check your credit and keep errors off your account. Especially if you are postponing bills, using more credit than usual, applying for loans.
The 5 C’s are a great starting point to assist people who are struggling to balance income and expenses in economic good times or bad such as trying to reduce debt, establish an emergency fund, save for retirement, or reach a personal financial goal.
Control – As much of the situation as you can. Recognize that it is natural to feel the effects of stress. Developing and following a plan can reduce stress and help you maintain control of your financial position.
Communicate – Talk with family members about available income and resources. Decide what the family needs now, soon and in a few months. Then make a plan together.
Be Prepared to Change – To make it through the hard times, look for ways to reduce expenses, use the things you have longer, swap items with others, trade services.
Claim benefits that are due to you – Apply for unemployment, SNAP, utility assistance, and local resources as soon as possible.
Confer with creditors – Don’t ignore the situation. If you can’t make credit payments contact creditors and work out realistic payment schedules.