A lot of us have been in a tough financial spot. It is totally normal, sometimes avoidable, but life happens. And when life happens, you have to adjust as things come. Eventually, things work themselves out, but we tend to panic as we’re going through such difficult times. If you’re in a tough financial spot and unsure of how to proceed, do this if you’re behind on bills:
Pay What You Can
In a situation where you have a lot of bills due, I want you to pay what you can. A lot of companies accept minimum payments, especially on things like credit cards. If you can’t do anything else, pay the minimum necessary to keep your accounts active, in good standing, and out of collections. For the accounts that do not have a minimum, pay all of the ones you can reasonably afford. If you have bigger bills that seem out of reach, call your creditor.
Call Your Creditors
If you know you’re going to be late on a bill or are having a hard time paying it, talk to your creditors first. Never let the due date pass without giving them a call. Nine times out of ten, if you get in front of the situation before your payment becomes late, they will help you. This could mean extending due dates, reducing payment amounts, providing alternative payment arrangements, etc. If you leave your creditors in the dark, you could potentially be facing heavy fines and repossessions that will severely damage your credit.
Go To The Top
If you’re past the point of talking to your creditors and severely behind on your bills, you may be facing another harsh reality! Repossession, several late assessments on your credit report, and increased fees. Now, when you get to this stage, people may be very uncooperative in trying to help you get your possessions back or working with you on restoring your accounts. If your creditors will not help you or give you the run around, go above their heads. Just because you’re behind on your bills doesn’t make you a bad person or unworthy of help. If a customer service agent can I help you or is disrespectful to you, ask for their manager or someone above them that can assist. If they tell you that person is unavailable, go above their head. Go to their customer service website and file a complaint that advocates for your rights in the situation. When finished, head over to social media to do the same. Guaranteed, someone will reach out to you to assist you and resolve the issue.
We have all been behind on a bill or two, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Pay what you can, call your creditors before you get behind, and go above their heads when they will not help you in a bind.
Shatel Huntley has a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Georgia State University. In her spare time, she works with special needs adults and travels the world. Her interests include traveling to off the beaten path destinations, shopping, couponing, and saving.