Financial Impact of Disaster-Related Damage

  • September 19, 2019
  • By: Greenpath Financial Wellness

In the wake of hurricane season, you can never be too prepared for the impact of a natural disaster. Here’s some helpful information to help you manage the financial impact.

1. 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 smartphone and save the photos to a cloud-based account. This will help you make an inventory and prove damage.

2. Contact your credit card and mortgage companies, and other creditors. If the disaster affects your ability to make payments on time, your creditors may waive late fees or even allow a deferred payment. GreenPath Financial Wellness is available to help you communicate with your creditors or lenders and can offer additional financial guidance.

3. 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 score, you can add a short statement to your report explaining your situation. You still may see some impact to your credit report, but it can help with future lenders.

4. 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.

5. Look into other special programs that may offer assistance. For example, you may be eligible for veteran benefits, or assistance from FEMA or the American Red Cross.

6. 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, we are here for you.