Losing your job can be an extremely stressful time, especially if it happens unexpectedly. It can often leave individuals and families with a significant drop in income and a sudden inability to pay their bills. The good news is, there are steps that you can take to help you to get back on track again as quickly as possible, so if you or your partner have recently become unemployed, take a look at the tips below.
1) Check what support you can get
The sooner you can find a way to supplement your lost income while you search for new employment, the better! The government have provided this handy tool to help you identify what support or benefits you may qualify for. Then make sure you make a claim for anything that’s relevant. It can feel difficult or awkward – but remember that these systems are in place to support people just like you who have found themselves in a vulnerable situation, often through no fault of their own.
2) Speak to your landlord or mortgage provider
When you have a sudden and significant change to your financial situation, it’s a good idea to protect your home. Get in contact with your landlord or mortgage lender as soon as you can to let them know what’s going on. They may be able to offer you some support, such as payment breaks or reduced payments for a period of time until you’re back on your feet again.
3) Review your budget
While it may feel tempting to bury your head in the sand, it’s important to review your new financial situation immediately so you know exactly what your income and expenses are. This will also give you an opportunity to cut any unnecessary or forgotten payments that you’re making such as un-used gym memberships or subscriptions.
Further reading: How to budget on a small income
4) Don’t ignore your debts
If you can, continue to make any monthly payments to your debts such as loans or credit cards. Failure to do this could result in additional charges or even defaults or county court judgments which would have a detrimental impact on your credit history.
If you’re struggling to maintain payments, then get some support and speak to a debt advisor. They’ll be able to advise on your best course of action and may also speak to lenders on your behalf to arrange reduced monthly payments.
5) Use the time to improve your job opportunities
When you lose your job, it can feel strange to suddenly find yourself with a lot more free time than normal. It’s easy to let yourself become depressed and inactive, but instead – use this time to improve your job opportunities by updating your CV, speaking to a career advisor or even learning a new skill.
6) Register with the VRS
Our service is there to protect and support people during times in their lives when they’re financially vulnerable. By registering, you can let companies who use the VRS know about the change in your circumstances so that they can treat you and your information accordingly.