Before the recent hurricanes in Texas and Florida, you could find disaster preparedness information all over. It seemed as if every article, social media post or news item talked about preparing for disaster.
But what about now? With hundreds of thousands of people dealing with the effects of flooding, power outages, and property damage, here’s some helpful information to help you manage the financial impact of a natural disaster.
- If you haven’t already, contact your insurance companies to file a claim. Whether it’s auto, home or flood damage, your insurance company will help you take the necessary steps to make a claim. Don’t forget to take photos of any damage – use your smart phone and save the photos to a cloud-based account. This will help you make an inventory and prove damage.
- Contact your credit card and mortgage companies, and other creditors. If the disaster impacts your ability to make payments on time, your creditors may waive late fees or even allow a deferred payment.
- Check your credit report. Go to annualcreditreport.com for a free copy of your credit report. If you notice that late payments have affected your credit report, you can add a short statement to the report explaining your situation. You still may see some impact to your credit report, but it can help with future lenders.
- If you can’t live in your home due to damage, call your utility companies. Utilities can put a stop to your bills if you are not living in the home or not receiving utility services.
- Look into other special programs that may offer assistance. For example, you may be eligible for veteran benefits, or assistance from FEMA, or American Red Cross.
- Talk to us! Before taking out new loans or modifying existing loans, talk with one of our certified credit counselors for advice.
For more assistance, call us toll-free at 800-550-1961. We are here for you. You’re going to be OK.