It’s easy to spiral downward when financial hardship strikes. Believe us, you are not alone – most everyone experiences economic difficulties at some point. No one needs to suffer alone, though; and there’s no reason you can’t get back on track. Let’s start here, with these steps to avoid missed payments.
- Don’t let feelings of embarrassment, shame, or hopelessness stop you from taking charge of your finances. Remember, this is only temporary—you’ve got options.
- Write down your payments—rent, utilities, credit card payments, etc. You need a complete picture of how much you owe and when. Your Brightside Financial Assistant (FA) can be a tremendous resource with this.
- Speaking of which…Get in touch with your FA. Your circumstances are unique to you. Once your FA understands your situation, they can determine what options will help you the most.
- Create a budget. You can either do that with the help of your FA or by using a free online tool like this one.
- Prioritize your payments. Once you’ve created a budget, make a concrete plan for how you will pay each month.
Tip: If you have extra money to put to debt, prioritize paying off the debt that will motivate you best. For many people, this is the smallest balance they have. That gives them a quick and satisfying win, which provides helpful motivation for paying off their remaining debts.
Bonus tip: Stop using credit cards with balances. This accelerates your debt repayments and prevents you from paying interest on new charges (with no grace period).
Need more support? Your Brightside FA is ready to get the conversation going as soon as you are. If you still need to register for Brightside, click below to get started.
Within a few years of moving to the U.S. from Nicaragua, Juan had no savings and a credit score of 430, in part because he had limited knowledge of how credit scores worked. Debt collectors were calling him daily. He was under even more stress from helping his mother pay for chemotherapy treatments and frequently traveling to take care of her.
He also wanted to propose to his girlfriend, but the idea of bringing a bad financial situation to the marriage was holding him back.
How Brightside helped:
- Juan’s Financial Assistant, Amy, taught him how credit scores work, in particular the importance of paying on time.
- We also uncovered $1,637 of mistaken identity in credit card debt and $829 of retired credit card debt that were impacting his credit score
- In just a few months, Juan increased his credit score by 140 points
- He also started a savings account for emergencies
Juan and his girlfriend were married less than six months later!
That’s the amount per person headed to most families under the stimulus phase out.
If you’re one of the millions who missed some or all of the previous stimulus rounds, talk to Brightside today! Also, filing your taxes by May 17th is key. We can help those who qualify find free filing options.