When you find yourself unemployed and have credit card debt it is important to attempt to stay current with your credit cards to preserve your credit score.
If you find yourself having difficulties keeping up with your payments, it is important to contact your creditors as soon as possible. Explain your situation to them and they may be willing to work with you. In some cases, they may lower your interest rates or waive the interest charges for a specific amount of time. As long as they know you are making an attemp,t they will in many cases work with you, since they are confident they will get some of the money you owe instead of turning it over to collections. It is better to contact them so they know what the situation is rather than ignoring the bills and getting deeper into debt. By missing payments it will hit your credit score and make it more difficult to get credit once your financial situation improves.
It is more important than ever to have a monthly budget so you know what money is coming in and how much needs to be allocated for necessary expenses. You may have unemployment or severance payments to help with your bills. If you were not tracking your spending before, then it would be advisable to start so you can see where your money is going and what expenses can be cut down on or cut out completely.
Even when you are employed and doing alright financially, it is important to practice conscious shopping. Before purchasing something, consider if you really need it. Many things we purchase out of habit, such as coffee, soft drinks, magazines and other items. A dollar or two here and there may not seem like a big deal but can add up over time.
In many cities there are credit counseling centers that can assist you in budgeting and working with your creditors. It is important to know the company you are working with. Some debt settlement companies will get you into more trouble than you were initially in. Some companies request you to stop making payments to your creditors and charge you fees for their services. By stopping making payments you will be in default with the creditors. Many of these services can be done on your own without a fee.
It is important to keep up with your credit card payments even if you are unemployed to secure your credit score. This is one of the many reasons why it is important to have an emergency fund and learn to live within or below your means.