When you're struggling to make ends meet, trying to improve your credit or even bouncing back from a difficult life event, losing your job doesn’t make things any easier. If you’re currently in this situation, here a few suggestions that may help.
- Understand the full picture. Be sure you understand why you were let go. Were you fired for a reasonable cause or were you laid-off? If you made a mistake, think about what you could’ve done differently. If there was a change in priorities or company-wide layoffs, think about how you can apply your skills to your next opportunity. And if you’re eligible for unemployment benefits, go ahead and apply.
- Don't sign anything right away. Take some time to carefully review any paperwork your former employer asks you to sign. It’s okay to say you’d like some time to think it over or talk to your spouse or partner first.
- Find out if you'll be covered for health insurance. Under new legislation, it’s important to consider your options for health insurance. Not only will it help in case of an emergency, but you could avoid an unwanted penalty come tax time. For additional resources, check out the U.S. Department of Labor's Job Loss Toolkit.
- Monitor your credit obligations and score. If you have existing obligations with a creditor, maintain open communication and ask about any repayment options. The more that creditors are kept in the loop, the better. And if you take on additional credit obligations, keep an eye on your credit score.
- Consider your skills and resume. Will learning new technical skills assist in your job search? Consider free courses from organizations like Coursera or edX. Also consider overhauling your resume and brushing up on interview skills.
- Stay positive. Do something at least once a week that will help you stay motivated and positive — be it yoga, going for a run or having a board game night with your children.
And when you finally do lock down another job, consider starting an emergency fund — if you find yourself in this situation again, a small cushion could help make it a little more manageable. Even if you only set aside a few dollars per pay period, they could really add up. Take our free financial education course on savings basics to get you started, and then check out even more useful information.
Disclaimer: LendUp is not providing financial, legal or tax advice. If you need or want such advice, please consult a qualified advisor.