Losing a job is a horrible blow when you are struggling with your finances. That job may have been the only thing that was keeping your head above water and without it, you may feel like you are about to drown in debt and money worries.

    This can lead to a great deal of stress and anxiety as family relationships can be damaged. As the bills continue to mount up the situation can spiral out of control. There are ways to get out of this difficult situation so the important thing is not to despair. Follow these steps to keep your finances in order.

    Find another job – quickly

    This is the obvious thing to do but it may not be that easy. It depends on the reasons for you leaving your original job. If you had a dispute with your employer and you are involved in an appeal for unfair dismissal this can delay your chances of getting another job. If you were made redundant, then you should still be able to get a good reference from your former employer and get back into work quickly.

    If you are struggling to find another job, get some new skills and training to make yourself a more attractive prospect to employers. In the meantime, you could try working from home or carrying out some voluntary work to keep yourself occupied.

    Find out if you can claim any benefits

    Start making inquiries immediately into your eligibility for unemployment benefits. Rules will vary from state to state but there is plenty of guidance out there. This could be a regular source of income for you and will be something that you can rely on whilst you hunt for more work.

    You may also find that you qualify for debt-related assistance programs. Some good examples are the student loan discharge program which allows you to cease paying off your student loan and the Income Based Repayment (IBR) which reduces your monthly loan payments based on your income.

    There are also assistance programs for food, childcare, and other basic living expenses for those in great need.

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    Reorganize your finances and repayments

    Start with a clean sheet. Work out exactly what your income and your outgoings are. Try to get as much money in as possible from other sources. You may be able to make some cash out of your house. You may be able to refinance your mortgage or modify your current loan. Sometimes it is possible to forbear your mortgage so that your payments are reduced for a certain period of time.

    This is not the time to be making payments that you do not have to make. Investigate alternative finance options such as settlement advance loans and find out if your credit card company has any internal assistance programs. These are not advertised so you will have to call up and ask about them.

    Set up a new family budget

    Write down an emergency family budget in which you cut out all nonessential expenditure. This is the time when you must be frugal with groceries, fuel, and other spending but remember that it is only a temporary measure.