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If you can’t pay your bills because of a lost job during the pandemic-related recession, you have options. It won’t be easy, but if you take care to cut spending on non-essential expenses, make time to negotiate with your lender, and file for unemployment insurance and benefits, you can get the help you need to continue making it through.

Cut Non-Essential Expenses

Cut your non-essential expenses. According to Scotia Bank, creating a survival budget can help you save as much of your money as possible and put the essentials first. Look at trimming your cell phone services, get rid of any services you can live without for a little while (such as premium cable television channels, newspaper or magazine subscriptions, lawn service, etc.), and get rid of your landline phone if you have one. Look at your usual expenses and cut whatever is not necessary. Until you have the money for it again, stop eating out and spending money on activities like going to the movies.

Negotiate With Your Lender

According to Roswell Infiniti, missing a payment can reduce your credit score or result in late fees, so you should contact your lender before all else. Negotiate with your lenders and banks to come up with a payment plan that’s manageable. It is sometimes possible to negotiate reduced interest charges or a deferred payment schedule.

Especially during a pandemic-related recession, some creditors may be willing to work with you. Some may not, but it is worth a try. Banks and other mortgage lenders face greater pressure to agree to mortgage modification requests, so you may find success there.

File For Unemployment

According to FindLaw, depending on your situation, you may be eligible for unemployment insurance and other benefits. The U.S. Department of Labor has unemployment insurance programs which provide benefits to people who find themselves unemployed through no fault of their own. During a pandemic-related recession, it is probable your loss of job will qualify you for these benefits. Check your state’s individual requirements in order to verify your eligibility. Unemployment benefits can include financial assistance, educational help, and even self-employment assistance to help unemployed workers start their own businesses.

Even if you are unemployed and don’t have the money to pay your bills, you can find ways to continue surviving. Stop spending money on things you don’t need, negotiate with your lenders, and file for unemployment in order to keep your head above water before you can get back in the game.

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