Being in debt is rough. You start out getting a little behind on a bill, and they tack on late fees. Next thing you know you’re behind on another bill because you were trying to pay the first one. It’s a vicious cycle, but what can you do about it?
One step that you should try is simply talking to your creditor. Maybe they can get you on a more affordable payment plan, or maybe they can’t (or won’t) do anything for you. Either way, you are better off giving it a shot. Here are three times when talking to your creditor might be a good idea.
Credit Card Companies
Negotiating with credit card companies can be intimidating, but for them, it’s a daily occurrence. Let them know that you want to pay your bill, but you just can’t do it on the terms they have set. When you call them, have a budget in mind and let them know what you can pay, either monthly or as a lump sum, to try and pay back the debt. As with all negotiations, start below what you can pay and slowly build up until you can make an agreement. It’s in their best interest to work with you because it means you’re more likely to pay instead of defaulting.
Calling your student loan servicer and explaining that your job doesn’t pay enough to cover your scheduled payments may get you the help you need. If you are experiencing financial hardship due to a lost job or increased medical bills, you can ask for a deferment. This is a period where you are not required to pay on your debt and, most importantly, your interest does not continue to grow. Another option includes refinancing your student loan to try and get a lower monthly payment. This method may increase the length of your loan, but it can help you in the short-term.
Everyone needs electricity and water. Sometimes the bills get to be more than you can afford. Not every company is willing to work with you, but you will never know unless you ask. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your utility company and talk to them about setting a budget plan. The company will take a look at what you paid last year, add a little for inflation, and divide that by 12. This will allow you to budget your bill better by knowing exactly what you will be paying every month. Find out more information about budget plans with your utility company to have the information you need to talk to them.
Many people think of creditors and debt collection agencies as the bad guys. They can seem that way, but just like you all they want to do is their job. If you get into contact with them and negotiate a realistic plan, it’s likely that they will assist you and help get your financial plans back on track.