debt

Protect budget from credit crunch

Creditors are still in a tightening cycle. Keeping your credit looking good and staying a step ahead of any problems helps you maintain access to the credit you currently have.

A word of advice to those who may face a job layoff before the economy has a chance to turn around. To help "layoff-proof" your finances, follow these steps:

5 steps to protecting finances from a layoff
  • Create a just-in-case bare bones budget that includes only essentials. Save any extra money in an emergency account for use in the event of a job loss.
  • Stop adding to credit card balances and begin an aggressive pay down of credit card debt.
  • Get a free copy of your credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com. Make sure it's accurate. Keep your credit looking good, as many employers pull reports during the hiring process.
  • Pay your mortgage and car loans first if you find you can't meet all your credit obligations.
  • Get professional help early. This no different than seeing a doctor when you have early symptoms. Plus, you can often do this over the phone or Internet without a co-pay.

With patience, planning and a good savings account balance, you will get through this credit crunch. And yes, as my father used to say to me (even as I rolled my eyes), tough times help build character!

advertisement

Show Bankrate's community sharing policy
          Connect with us
advertisement
advertisement

Debt Adviser

Don't be seduced by this debt plan

Dear Debt Adviser, I have about $50,000 of debt on credit cards. My credit rating is still high. I am thinking about a debt consolidation loan. Will that adversely affect my credit rating? -- DT Dear DT, The cliche... Read more

advertisement

Connect with us