There are a variety of reasons why someone might fall behind on their bills. But it happens. People who find themselves in this situation need to seek out a solution. So, here are some tips on what to do if you can’t pay your bills.
Set Your Priorities
When you’re swimming in debt and can’t pay your bills, you need to really set your priorities. Of course, you should cut back on luxury and recreational items whenever possible. But there’s more to this than just eating out less and avoiding the purchase of fancy clothes.
Think about what things you absolutely need in order to live and work. Pay those things first so your home, transportation, and basic livelihood stay intact. Just about all other things can be put on the back burner for the time being.
Mentally Prepare Yourself
Being unable to pay your bills doesn’t feel good. This is something that drains your mental and emotional energy. Not knowing if you’re going to be able to make things work can really take a toll.
But you also need to prepare yourself for a potential barrage of calls from collectors. When your bills go to collections, you’ll no longer be dealing with your creditor directly, but whoever they sold the debt to for less than its original value. These people will employ all kinds of tactics to try to wear you down. It’s important you know your rights so you can protect yourself from harassment and undue stress.
Try to Get More Time to Pay
When you can’t pay your bills, it’s possible you can find ways to get more time on your side. There are a few ways to go about this. One option is to simply contact the companies where you owe money. This might be a utility, credit card provider, or your mortgage lender. Simply explaining your situation and coming up with a different plan can sometimes buy you time. However, lenders aren’t always going to go for that.
You can also try to perform a balance transfer in order to reduce the amount you owe on some of your credit card balances. This works by taking what you owe on high-interest cards and moving that balance to a different card with a low introductory rate. This can give you some leeway to pay down the debt without accumulating interest. It’s important to note that you’ll usually be charged a balance transfer fee when you do this.
Seek Out Help
It’s never a bad idea to look for help when you’re struggling to pay your bills. You can begin by talking to relatives or friends. It’s possible they can help you out in some way. Just make sure you don’t do anything that will strain your relationship when you take this route.
You should also consider debt relief to see if this option makes sense in your situation. There are lots of programs out there; the challenge is finding a legitimate one with a strong track record of helping consumers.
Some people find debt consolidation to be helpful in simplifying repayment. This involves taking out a loan to pay off all your outstanding balances. Then you’re only responsible for one payment a month rather than a handful or more.
Some debt relief agencies, like Freedom Debt Relief, offer qualified consumers the opportunity to combine settlement and consolidation. Enrollees are able to take out a consolidation loan through the Consolidation Plus program, then use it to fast-track the settlement process—in which negotiators contact creditors, trying to reach a lower settlement. After settlements have been reached, consumers are then responsible for paying back that loan in installments.
Make More Money or Sell Items
Generating more money is one of the best ways to improve your quality of life when you’re struggling to pay your bills. It’s a good idea to start at your current job to see if you can get a raise or take on more responsibilities. If that doesn’t end up being an option, you can generate more income to pay bills by taking on another side job.
Some people will also benefit from downsizing or selling some of their possessions. This can produce some immediate cash flow useful for paying bills.
No one wants to be in a situation where they can’t pay their bills. But this is something that can really happen to anyone. Implementing these ideas can help you get by in this tough situation.