Being a single parent is never easy, especially when you’re in a difficult financial situation. You have to deal with bills piling up, keep a close eye on your credit situation, and cope with inevitable expenses. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and tons of resources that you can use as a single parent to stay afloat. Understanding your finances better will also help you get out of a sticky situation. Here are a few debt and credit management tips for single parents.
Control Your Credit
The first thing you have to do is make sure that you have control over your credit situation. But, to do so, you have to know what your credit is in the first place.
Make sure that you get a copy of your credit report, and check out if there are any mistakes on there. You can get a copy of your credit report from all 3 major bureaus for as little as £2, so take advantage of this.
Once you know what accounts are active, you have to work on a plan to repay them. Some may have the reflex of working on the biggest account first, but that’s not the best way to go about it. Instead, if you have multiple credit cards, work on repaying the ones with the lowest limit and balance first. And don’t close accounts until they’re paid in full. You’ll get no benefit from closing accounts that way. Repay them first, and make regular payments on your remaining credit card so you can rebuild your credit.
Look at Alternative Funding
If your credit is less than stellar, you should also start looking at alternative financial options. Accessing financing might be the only choice in certain situations, and you should be aware of viable alternatives.
Some lenders might be able to give you access to financing based on your employment situation instead of your credit score. Services like BingoLoans, for instance, could allow you to get access to up to £1500 in financing even if you have poor credit and allow you to stretch the payment over multiple months. Get as much information as you can on these types of loans, and understand what will be expected of you, including how much you can expect to pay at the end.
Don’t be Afraid to Negotiate
You’d be surprised at how lenient and flexible lenders and service providers will be if you’re willing to negotiate. Credit card companies would rather see part of your money than none, so don’t be afraid to give them a call.
Also, if the account is in collections, don’t be afraid to try to strike a deal. You could be able to have a significant amount taken off your debt if you do things right. Make sure that payment will be reported to credit bureaus. Don’t take their word either; make sure that everything is in writing so you’ll have recourse if they don’t hold up their part of the deal.
If you’re a single parent, you’ll have to learn how to be responsible, plan, and be as financially savvy as you can. You and your child’s lives depends on it.