financial tip of the week...

by Genya Harley 

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Reality Check - Cashflow, Budget & Debt

Hello All:
We all know we are in a recession in some cases maybe even in a depression.
If you have been fortunate enough to prevail in keeping your job without missing a beat then this tip may be especially for you.

I will keep this tip simple.

1. It is important for you (if you haven't already) to get your financial house in order. What do I mean? Simply take a look at your cash flow, your budget and your debt and see if you can make cuts in some areas to keep your debt to a minimum. Try to build an emergency fund.

2. Understand that even if you are gainfully employed, or even underemployed (making less than you are worth), it is very important for you to keep in mind...YOUR CREDIT IS STILL VERY IMPORTANT!

3. Even if you have managed to keep your credit debt down to a minimum (I hope), it is essential for you to try to keep your credit and your score in good standing. Why?

4. I say this not so you can get more credit cards or loans or anything, but just in case you happen to loose your job, your creditors will be more likely to work with you.

5. Example: I know someone who has a car payment, who doesn't owe more that about $9k on their car, they have been making the car payments on time consistently for the life of the loan. They lost their job and called the finance company and they were able to defer their payments for 2 months, in order to give them an opportunity to catch up on other bills and the deferment avoids an adverse effect to their score.
6. I am not opposed to credit counselors, but many of them make money off of people who just don't know how to manage and/or fix their credit themselves; in some cases you can do it yourself.
Again, if you are not in trouble with your creditors and are in good standing, they are more likely to work with you if you have an emergency situation, where you may not be able to make your payments on time. Pay your bills on time.

7. Make sure if you think you might be late or if you loose your job, call the finance companies of your credit cards, car payments, or other loans and don't be afraid to communicate and let them know your situation.

8. Check/Read your credit card statements (Visa, department store credit cards etc.), many of the cards are now charging really high late payment fees or in some cases they will raise your interest rate if you are late on a payment. Pay attention to all of your statements! Be Proactive!
Contact with questions or comments.

As always, be safe, use wisdom.


Genya Harley
Financial Consultant
Mutual of Omaha
19255 Everett Lane, Suite C
Mokena, IL 60448

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