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Your next money crisis – solved!

Don’t turn a money drama into a crisis! We all have enough money concerns without extra problems, right? Here’s how to minimalise the damage and keep your stress levels down, in case one of these common money issues occurs in your life.

“My credit card was rejected!”

Calmly offer another card, a cheque, or to pay cash. Once home, call your card issuer to find out how far you’ve exceeded your spending limit and request a higher limit if you think you need one. If you have a good credit record, many will do this on the spot. To prevent such an embarrassing problem (it has happened to most of us at some time!) happening again, keep a running tally of all your charges on a piece of paper in your wallet.

“A friend won’t/can’t repay the money he/she owes me!”

Propose a payment schedule in which they deliver the money in small instalments. If they still won’t pay, have a letter drafted by a lawyer, which will probably shake them into action. If they ignore it, follow through on your threats of legal action – who needs friends like that anyway.

“I lost my wallet/handbag in a foreign country.”

Were you robbed? If so report the crime and get a police report; you may need it later to recoup losses. If your wallet contained an American Express Card or Travellers Cheques, call Amex immediately, or visit one of its offices. If you also lost your passport, police stations in most countries will provide a letter authorising your departure from the country. If you can’t communicate with them, or can’t find a police station – and you also – head for the nearest English-speaking Embassy. If you lose your air tickets, call the airline and report it immediately and ask to collect reissued tickets or travel on electronic tickets.

“I crashed my car!”

If your car sustained major damage, or if another car was involved, call your insurance company immediately to file a claim. If it looks as though the damage to either car will cost over $5000, you must call the police to the scene. Also stop other drivers or pedestrians who may have witnessed the accident – especially if it wasn’t your fault – and take their details. If a car hits you and doesn’t stop, try to catch sight of their number -plate. Keep quiet, however, about a minor accident involving repairs that don’t wildly exceed your no-claim bonus. You’re better off paying the bill yourself.

“I can’t make a loan repayment!”

If you missed this month’s due date but you’ll have the money within the next 30 days, just call to tell the company to whom you owe the money and request an extension. You may be charged a late fee, but one late payment won’t do major damage to your credit rating. Have a long, tough financial period coming up? Call the lender, explain your situation and ask for more lenient repayment terms. They’ll often agree to collect less now to prevent default later.