Do you find it challenging to pay your bills? Are you drowning in debts? Do you have to avoid the phone calls that you are getting from your creditors? Are you throwing away the overdue notices that you get in the mail? You are not alone. So many Americans are overwhelmed with debt. Some have already lost their homes and cars for not being able to repay the creditor. Sometimes, financial issues arise due to a trauma, illness, loss of employment, overspending or other crisis. There are several options that are available if you are fed up with the situation and need to find a solution.
Every household should have a budget. With a budget, you will make realistic and practical decisions. If you are not disciplined enough to do your own budgeting, you can access services provided by debt relief, debt consolidation, debt settlement or credit counseling companies. Bankruptcy should be your last resort, after everything else has failed. It also will depend on how much debt you have, your financial outlook for the future and your discipline level. When soliciting the help of an outside source, be very cautious as there are swindlers out there.
If you are going to take on this task yourself, the first step to controlling your financial issues should be evaluation of the amount of money you bring into the home. You should also have a written account of how much of this money is spent in a week or month. List all sources of income, after which you would list the fixed expenses that do not change every month. These could include your car payment, rent, mortgage and insurance payment. List the variables that change constantly such as entertainment, grocery shopping and apparel. Don’t leave out the smaller and possibly what you think are insignificant expenses. This could be coffee every morning on the way to work or lunch with your coworkers every day. There are several software programs on the market that you can use to make the task easier. Some of them even offer plans and ways to save money and ways to reduce your debt.
When you find that you are unable to pay your monthly debt, it is best to contact the creditors immediately instead of hiding from them. You are only hurting yourself and your credit. In fact, some creditors will work with you to reduce your monthly payments or work out a payment arrangement.
Important Links to Use if You Need Help with Debt
The Debt Collectors
If you get to the point of almost no return, then you may have to deal with the debt collectors and many of them are trained to be very aggressive – to the point of being outright rude. However, be aware that a debt collector by law is not supposed to call your phone before 8 in the morning and after 9 at night or even while you are still on the job. They are not supposed to use harassment as a means of collecting debt, but most of them do. So know your rights when you speak to one of them.