For many individuals, being unable to meet a commitment provokes anxiety and a deep sense of personal guilt. Regarding personal finances, forgetting about or lacking the money to pay a bill on time can provoke anxiety, embarrassment, and even more financial duress. Today’s posting is meant to coach you through what to do if you face difficulty making your bill payments. Although you may feel like you are out of options, many lenders are prepared to handle these situations and get you back on the right track. The following tips will help you work toward resolving missed bill payments with lenders and debt collectors.
Be Honest About Your Situation
When you first realize that you are short on funds to be able to pay a bill, carefully evaluate what led you to this situation in the first place. If you incurred an unexpected payment like a medical emergency or car repairs, there may be a logical reason why you are short on cash. Even if you capriciously squandered away the money for a bill payment, you have to be honest about your situation. Let your lenders know the series of events that caused you to fail to meet your bill payments. Keep your conversation with your debtors direct and to the point, do not be argumentative, and do not make excuses. Taking ownership of your responsibilities to your creditors is the first step toward successfully resolving your situation.
Indicate Your Financial Trajectory
Demonstrate to your creditors that you have analyzed your finances and are making active efforts to get back on track. Make sure that you are the one to initiate the conversation with debt collectors, and do not wait for them to seek you out. Be realistic and concrete by identifying how much time you require to set aside the money to make up for your late or missed payment. To demonstrate your accountability, confirm a target date with your creditors in order to show that you are realistic about when you will be able to make regular payments again.
Ask About Alternate Payment Plans
If you are having trouble making your payments, you may want to ask about alternate payment plans. People facing changes in employment, relationship status, or specific financial hardship may benefit from an alternate payment plan. Alternate plans can temporarily alleviate your monthly payments for a determined period of time. If you know that your current financial situation will be short term, your creditor may be able to provide you with options to lower or defer your payments until your finances are in order. If you receive a new payment plan, confirm that the new payment amount is absolutely realistic provided your current financial situation.
Be Courteous, Respectful, and Attentive
A good attitude can go a long way when speaking with debt collectors. Ultimately, your debts are your responsibility, and the last thing a debt collector wants to hear is that your missed payments are somehow their fault. Make sure to use a polite and professional tone on the phone. Be sure to ask follow-up questions if any information from a collection agency remains unclear. Furthermore, keep a pen and paper in hand in order to jot down notes and to have a personal record of all information discussed during your conversation.
Seek Counseling Organizations
Many lenders provide resources for debtors who struggle to make payments or who are facing particular financial hardships. Ask your lender about any available services for debt counseling and financial advising. These third-party organizations can help you assess your financial situation, develop a new payment plan, and negotiate new payment terms with your lenders. Debt counseling services can be a helpful intermediary as they can guide you toward successfully making your bill payments and achieving long-term financial success.
BMG Money wants its customers to understand how to navigate any financial situation, rain or shine. If you want to apply for a loan (our Loans for Feds program offers loans for federal employees and is particularly popular) seek debt counseling, or simply need financial advice, please get in touch with us. We are happy to offer our services and put you on the path to a solid financial future.