If you’re planning an extended trip overseas, you might be overwhelmed with excitement at the thought of seeing new sights, meeting new people and researching a brand new culture. But coming home to a collections notice on a forgotten, unpaid bill or learning you’ve been a victim of fraud can ruin even the best vacation. So before you go, add protecting your credit to your to-do list.
1. Make sure you don’t have any outstanding bills
Lenders typically send an invoice to collections if it’s 3 months or more past due. In most cases, they’ll contact you beforehand but you’ll want to plan ahead.
Make a list of all of your outstanding bills. If some allow you to make automatic payments from your bank account, make sure to enable this feature. As for the rest, outlay cash before you leave. If you’re unable to pay the full balance on a single, enable your creditor know about the situation. Most creditors will work along with you if they know you plan to pay for.
2. Appoint anyone to handle your financial affairs
A power of attorney is a document that effectively appoints someone else to act on your behalf in a few instances. In this case, you might think about a special power attorney since it limits what that person can do. For instance, you can provide a trusted family member or friend a unique power of attorney to spread out your mail to get bills and access your money to pay for those that will come due while you’re out of the country.