Things to do when your financial train starts to derail

Whether you're married, single, a household income earner or not, if you're an adult living in New Jersey, you've likely encountered financial challenges at some point in your life. What prompted those challenges and how you reacted to them may compound or alleviate stress. Some people panic when financial times get tough, and they wind up making matters worse.

It's understandable you might feel overwhelmed if you're having trouble paying bills and making ends meet, but it's best to try to remain calm and explore logical options to find a solution to the problem. Sometimes it's an easy fix; other times, a particular situation may warrant seeking serious debt relief support to help you get out of a hole and restore financial stability.

Mistakes a lot of people make during financial crisis

What do you typically do when you feel stressed about something? Do you eat comfort food? Do you take your stress out at the gym? If you're one of many people who spend money when they're stressed, you may be at risk for worse financial problems than you had to start.

Going shopping might make you feel better; however, if you missed a mortgage payment or have little to no cash flow at this time, it would likely be better to avoid spontaneous spending, which can turn a minor financial problem into a major crisis.

Don't let the credit card balance increase any further

If part of your financial crisis is to do to unpaid credit card debt, you might consider cutting up the cards or at least leaving them home until you're in a better position to use them again. 

Nowadays, a lot of people use credit cards as cash, which can be a very bad habit. Others have medical bills they were not prepared to meet, so they use their credit cards to pay them but then can't pay off the balance at the end of the month.

Debt reduction options

Even if you cease all spending and stop using credit cards, if you're already in serious debt and have no way to eliminate it at this time, your situation may call for stronger measures. There are numerous types of bankruptcy that not only help pay back lenders or satisfy debt but can also help you avoid home foreclosure or other adverse consequences of financial crisis.

You'll want to speak to someone who is well-versed in such issues before diving in. Maybe you have a friend or know a co-worker who has filed for bankruptcy in the past. He or she might have some advice about what works, what doesn't or where you can turn for legal support, as needed.

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