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Work & Money

Here’s Help for When You’re Behind on Bills

AARP’s Money Map™ is a new, free online tool that offers resources to manage expenses and plan for the future.

A hospital bill. A car repair. A dead cell phone. Before you whip out that plastic to pay for an unexpected expense, know that you may have other options. And you can find them via AARP’s Money Map™, which can connect you to payment resources while helping you plan for future expenses.

Look, the wage and wealth gaps for us Black women are real, and living paycheck to paycheck is a reality for too many sisters. Money Map™ does not judge anyone’s personal situation. Instead, it focuses on how you can get the help you need. You don’t need to be retired or over 50 to use it (you do need to be 18 or older), and you don’t need to be an AARP member. If you are, the organization that has empowered people to choose how they live as they age for over 60 years is glad to have you! You may be surprised at the many innovative offerings AARP has to support financial resilience, health security and personal fulfilment. Your “Sisters from AARP” newsletter is one of them.

To get started, visit aarp.org/moneymap. Then select the option best-suited to your situation, whether you’re dealing with medical expenses, car expenses, home expenses or something else. Answer a few quick questions about your circumstances. And, don’t worry, the tool doesn’t ask for your name and doesn’t store your personal information.

For issues with medical expenses, for example, the Money Map™ will ask if you’re planning ahead, if you’ve already received a bill or if you owe an amount that’s past due. It will then ask if you’re covered by insurance before delivering a plan of actions to consider in managing your situation. For instance, it may outline simple steps in negotiating with your insurance company or provider. The interactive tool may suggest funding sources that you haven’t considered.

These steps for creating customized solutions work similarly across expense categories, giving you plain language tips at your convenience. Money Map can even connect you to resources in your local area, including credit counselors, nonprofits and assistance programs. Depending on your circumstances, you might be eligible for grants, free aid or other trusted funding sources.

Remember, all of this advice is totally free. Money Map™ creates real possibilities for getting ahead financially. Visit the site to learn more.

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