Laid off? Take these steps to protect yourself

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By the time you read this, almost 6.6 million Americans will have filed for unemployment benefits. This number is larger than that of those on unemployment during the midst of the 2008 financial crisis, and now, after four years of low unemployment and a bull market, even people in relatively secure jobs are uncertain as to what the future holds. For some people reading this, even maybe you, the fears of losing your job has become a reality.

If you have lost your job or you are worried about losing your job, here is what you need to do. Financial expert Alicia Adamczyk at CNBC has come up with a list of the six most important steps you must take immediately to come out of this crisis on your feet.

  1. File for Unemployment

If there was ever a time to file for unemployment amidst a crisis, now is that time. Adamczyk points out that right now the federal government “not only allowing states to expand eligibility for unemployment benefits to workers affected by coronavirus shutdowns, but it has also added $1 billion for claims processing and passed legislation that extends benefits to independent contractors and self-employed workers.”

  1. Retool your budget

Tightening your money and cutting out costs outside of food, utilities, and housing should not be a surprise. You need to start with the basics by reviewing subscriptions, “memberships and any delivery services you rely on. Ask yourself what you can cut out temporarily.” She recommends “pausing payments like your gym membership, if you can, so that you don’t have to pay a fee to renew it when you’re back at work. Also, make an effort to cut back on online shopping and other non-essential spending.”

  1. Contact your lenders for relief

This isn’t something that many people know about currently so pay attention; “It’s especially important to understand how and when your lender expects you to pay back the money. In some cases, banks are requiring borrowers pay back deferred mortgages in one lump sum. Start by calling your bank, credit union, credit card issuer, etc., to see what they can do specifically for you, as many institutions are making decisions on a case-by-case basis.”

For the full list at CNBC, click here.