There are few worse feelings than those you feel after making a mistake that has the potential to (or already has) decimated your finances.
When you’re in this space, your instinct might be to panic.
It’s okay to give yourself a few moments to freak all the way out but it is important that you eventually make yourself calm down.
Financial recovery is possible, but you can’t achieve it if you never stop panicking.
Here are a few common mistakes and what you can do to start fixing them.
Caught Without Insurance
If you get caught driving without insurance and the policy has recently lapsed, you might be able to talk yourself out of the ticket.
If your policy lapsed long ago (or you never had one) or you keep getting stopped, you run the risk of having your license revoked.
This is also true for being caught driving while under the influence–even if the influence is just barely over the legal limit.
When you’re in this situation, figuring out how to legally get back behind the wheel can feel like running into brick walls over and over again.
What you need to do is accept that, at the moment, you are considered a risky driver. Look for companies that offer risky driver policies–often called sr22.
Check out a few SR22 quotes and find a policy that you can afford. You might be paying a little bit more than you would otherwise, but it’s worth it if it keeps your license from being revoked.
This is often more frightening and panic-inducing than being threatened with the revocation of your license. Getting the 72-hour notice on your door or, worse, the summons for the first appearance, is enough to toss your stomach up into your throat.
The good news is that there are several steps between the initial first notice and having the sheriff officially force you out of your home. You’ll have multiple opportunities to stop the process and stay in your home.
The first thing you will have to do is swallow your pride. If you don’t have enough money to pay what you owe your landlord, you need to find a way to get it.
This might mean asking family and friends for loans or donations. It might mean contacting your local rent assistance programs. Remember, your pride is not more important than having a safe place to live.
If you’re facing your first appearance or, scarier still, an actual trial, you need to hire a lawyer. There are many attorneys who will offer free consultations and representation without charging you up front. If you haven’t already been sent these offers in the mail, call your state’s bar association and ask for a referral.
In addition to helping represent you at trial, these professionals likely know of organizations that can help you find new housing, even with an eviction on your record.
Defaulting on Student Loans
There are few mistakes warned against as much as defaulting on student loans. These defaults never come off of your credit records and can haunt you forever. This is why most student loan officers work very hard to find repayment methods that work with your financial situation. If you’re having trouble affording your loans, call the company and ask for help. You might be able to reduce your payments or put them off for a bit.
If you have already defaulted, you are not doomed for the rest of your life–no matter what you might have heard. Everybody gets a chance to rehabilitate their loans and get them back into good standing. You only get this chance once, however, so take it seriously and work with a company that will accommodate your finances.
Remember: everybody makes mistakes. If you’re willing to work hard and make sacrifices, you can recover from most of the mistakes you will make in your life, and your finances can, too.