What If I Can’t Afford To Make Minimum Payments?

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We often hear from people who, through no fault of their own, have found themselves in a situation where their payments are more than they can afford.  In some cases, an emergency expense suddenly depleted their budget, or they lost their primary source of income.

Regardless of the circumstances, many people find themselves searching for debt relief options, or last-minute solutions that might allow them to postpone payment for another month.

Don’t Ignore the Problem

The absolute worst thing you can do when you can’t make a payment is to ignore the problem and allow the bill to go unpaid.

After all, if you neglect to make minimum payments, and don’t do anything about it, your creditor is within their rights to take action against you. This could mean that you’re charged a late fee, or that your behavior is reported to credit bureaus, damaging your credit score.

If the Issue is Temporary

If the problem that has led to your financial troubles is a short-term concern, you might find that simply speaking with the creditor is enough to help ease your situation. Many creditors will understand if your ultra-high heating bills during a colder-than-usual winter resulted in an empty bank account. If your situation is going to improve within a few months, call the creditors and see what they have to say.

Many organizations will be willing to work with you, but before you make the call, be sure to come up with a plan to pay your debts so that you can show your creditors that you’re responsible enough to be trusted.

If the Problem is Long-Term

If your financial worries extend beyond just the current month, then you may need to consider finding help. Reputable debt counseling and settlement agencies can offer assistance when it comes to managing your finances and repaying debt. An expert can offer an in-depth analysis of your situation, followed by the presentation of options that might be available to help you work through your debt.

To ensure that the agency you’re working with is legitimate, verify that it is accredited by the Better Business Bureau, and make a note of any ratings that they have received. This information should give you an insight into what you can expect when working alongside a debt relief company.

Don’t Struggle Alone

While debt and financial stress can leave people feeling isolated, it’s important to remember that you shouldn’t attempt to struggle through the issue alone. People who do this often attempt to put off other bill payments in an effort to pay other creditors, which simply leads to another crisis. For instance, if you don’t pay your electricity bill so that you can pay the minimum on your credit card debt, you run the risk that your services will be disconnected.

At the same time, make sure you avoid ultra high-interest payday loans or other forms of credit that will only trap you in a deeper cycle of debt. There may be more solutions available to you than you think, and the only way to discover all of your options is to speak to an expert on those matters.

If you’re facing severe debt issues, or are unable to make minimum payments, contact our office for a free consultation.