800px-VISA_Logo_svg.png If you are currently buckling down in your spending and amping up your frugality due to a recent layoff, one of the first things that you should consider is that you probably owe money to a few people.

These people are not monsters, but they might get that way if you suddenly stop making payments to them. One of the best preemptive strikes you can make is to let them know your status as soon as possible.

Because you want to retain a record of your interactions with your creditors, you should always initiate your contact via a good old fashioned letter. Sure, it’s gonna cost you 44 cents, but at least you know that you got through to someone.

This will ensure that your creditors know your status, will work with you, and will come to know your name because your account is in arrears. Should your job hunting be less fruitful than you anticipated, your creditors will be much more happy to work with you.

Below is the letter that I sent to my creditors. Feel free to copy and past this into your word processor, and change any relevant information.

If you work for a lending company or have any inside information, I would love to collect stories on the effectiveness of this approach.

Dear Sirs:

Last week, I became another statistic.

As of this month, approximately 10% of the population of Ohio is unemployed. This number has now been raised by yet another person. Me.

As you have seen by my past record, I have every intention to keep my account up to date. I am currently seeking employment, but there are no guarantees as to who that will happen in today’s tough economy.

While my first priority is protecting my credit rating, I also want to keep our relationship friendly at all times.

I will keep in contact with you often, to let you know how things are going, but in the interim I would like to have someone from your office contact via telephone to discuss possible options, including temporarily reducing my interest rate.

You can reach me any time at:

(insert phone number)

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