This is survivable. You’re going to be okay. It’s going to get rough and get worse before it gets better, but you can come out of this in better financial health than going in. Some federal workers are required to work without pay during the shutdown, and unions are getting ready to bring a suit against the federal government’s requirement that “essential personnel” come to work despite the government’s refusal to pay them. Some workers may even need government assistance to pay utility bills, buy food, and must now face dealing with creditors who only want to be paid, and can make life hell until they do. So this is Van Horn Law Group’s Big List of Advice on what to do and what not to do if you’ve been furloughed, or are being required to work without pay.
If this is your first shutdown, check here for your agency’s contingency plans and here for special instructions and conditions from the OMB. Remember that even if you are furloughed you are still a federal employee – rules and standards still apply – but there’s a clear-cut list of rules for you to follow and to help you during the shutdown.
Just a quick note – Congress and the President are still getting their paychecks. During the 2013 shutdown, the Senate tried to ram through a law that would suspend Congressional paychecks, but the House tanked that bill. But they want you to eat cake, lots of cake, and send these letters in case you can’t pay your bills. Good to know!
Don’t do any of the things on this list. Just don’t. They will bring you to harm down the road and get you into a permanent cycle of debt – and this is a temporary situation.
Payday loans are high-interest short-term loans and while they can pay a bill in the short term, it costs you a lot in the long term as you cover the shortfall with loan after loan. Consolidating debts is a good idea, but only if the payment is reasonable. Having just one payment is a great idea – as long as it’s not more than the conglomerated payment was before the loan. For instance, if you’re shelling out $1,000 each month in credit card payments, don’t take out a loan that has you paying more.
“Okay, what should I do?”
I’m glad you asked! The first thing you should do is slow down and walk through each decision. Panic lands you in trouble, and though it’s difficult not to panic when your livelihood is at stake, you have to keep a cool head.
At Van Horn Law Group, we know debt. We understand the havoc it can bring to your life. This is why, in times of financial trouble, you need the best possible advice. Our Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach offices are open seven days a week, to make it easy for you to see us and your first consultation with an experienced attorney is free. Get in touch with us, read through our blog, and we’ll get you through this!
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