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Read our guide on what to do in this tricky situation - compare loans if you're need of a cash injection.

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Last updated: 09/10/2020 | Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

What to Do If You Lose Your Job

With the current pandemic, we’re having to think seriously about job security. And for many of us, being out of work is already a reality.

Let’s talk you through what to do if you lose your job.

In This Guide:

Look at Your Finances

The sooner you work out an affordable budget the better. Without income and savings to fall back on, it’s frighteningly easy to fall into debt.

Most of us have multiple debts. From mortgages, loans and bills to our phone contract and Netflix subscription. Sit down and go through what outgoings you have, working out a strict budget. Prioritise the essential payments and be aware that some things may have to be off the cards for a while. You may need to make some short-term adjustments to your budget and lifestyle, but this’ll also help motivate you to find a new job.

Perhaps you’ve thought about taking out a loan to help with outgoings. In this event, remember a loan is another form of debt so only consider doing so if you’ve carefully worked out your finances and can afford to keep up with repayments. Should you choose to, you can compare loans with us to make sure you get a deal suited to you.

It’s really important to manage your money, so if you can afford to, speak to a financial advisor who can assist or, alternatively, contact the Citizens Advice Bureau for guidance.

Inform the Right People

If you’ve got income protection insurance, use it. That’s why it’s there! It can replace part of your income in the event you lose your job, but it’s worth making a claim early on as approval can take some time.

If you have a mortgage, contact your lender as soon as you can to let them know that you might struggle to keep up with payments; the same goes for if you have a loan. Some lenders offer repayment holidays, in which you’re allowed to defer payment for a set period when you need to, without accruing interest. It’s possible your lender might be able to freeze your payments until you get a job, or only charge you interest. In any case, starting a dialogue is your first port of call.

With loans, it’s possible you have Payment Protection Insurance, too. While all those ads that hounded our TVs for years spoke about being mis-sold PPI, if you have PPI it can help cover your loan repayments, so put a claim in.

Check If You’re Eligible for Benefits

The benefits system is there to support people who need it. Being without a paycheque means savings get eaten up or you go into debt. If you’re renting, you may well qualify for housing benefit; your local council will have an advisor you can contact. The process takes time, so it’s best to get the ball rolling as soon as possible.

On the other hand, if you have a mortgage then there’s the government’s Support for Mortgage scheme, which pays the interest you owe directly to the lender on your behalf.  

And last, don’t forget about Job Seeker’s Allowance. If you don’t have savings to fall back on and are actively looking for work, then you’ll qualify for JSA as long as you need it.

Go Through the Motions, Then Move On

Some tough love here, but it’s a tried and tested method. Allow yourself to come to terms with your job loss, but don’t deny it. Whether it’s through redundancy, misconduct or not being kept on after a contract, addressing the situation head on means acceptance will come quicker. And the quicker you work through what’s happened, the faster you’ll get back to the job market.

If you need more time or are finding it hard to process, consider joining a support group or talking to a professional. They’ll offer guidance and encourage you to productively process what’s happened.

Personal Development and Training

For fear of sounding like a pumped-up self-esteem guru, take advantage of a bad situation and invest in yourself. In the midst of firing off job applications left, right and centre, having an alternative focus to occupy your mind will dilute the monotony of the job hunt, as well as increase your employability.

Take advantage of the opportunity to enrol in a course or undertake additional training. As the workforce moves increasingly online, it pays to improve your digital skills. Or, you could use the time to study something you never previously had time for, with a view to changing career. There are plenty of free online courses and resources or you could pay for a qualification. Keeping your mind focused will help you feel connected to the job market.  

What to Do If You Lose Your Job

Losing your job can be devastating, but it’s how you take control of the situation that will make it more manageable. It’s essential to get on top of your finances straight away, and know any adjustments are just temporary until you are snapped up by employment again. Take advantage of any benefits – it’s what they’re there for – and use the time to hone your skills. You’ve got this.