Creditors and Your Debt - Take Control

by : Erine Adams

Creditors - Dealing With Debt

Tired of creditors calling? Frustrated with trying to decide who gets paid and who doesn't? There are steps you can take to relieve the stress.

Resolve to Make the Calls TODAY:

It doesn't matter if it has been six months of delinquency or two days, you have to resolve to make the calls today. When you contact the creditor, be respectful, honest, and firm. Don't make promises you cannot make. That will simply result in more calls and more frustrations. It is a difficult point to accept that you are having financial problems. Know this, you are not alone and it is not the end of the world. What is it? This is your wake up call. An opportunity to assess where you are in life and where you want your future to take you. Make a list of all of your creditors, old and new. Once you have the list complete, assess who your contact is, how delinquent it is and the risk level. What I mean by risk level is if your car is close to repossession, or your home, this should be a priority. Medical bills, unfortunately should come after satisfying your families basic needs.

What Your Creditors Expect:

Once you have become seriously delinquent, the creditor is expecting a loss. Most companies will accept payments on balances. The thought is that some money is better than no money. They will be aggressive. They will want you to become current as quickly as possible, no matter what your circumstances are. Be realistic when discussing what you can do. Most revolving accounts such as your electric bill will accept a months payment to stave off shutting off your services.

Sacrifice Your Conveniences:

I know it is difficult to give up matters of convenience. We have become a spoiled society thinking fast food and cable TV is a right. Eliminating debt will take sacrifice and commitment. Get rid of your house phone and use your cell for everything. There are many small expenses that when added us could mean the difference of catching up on your bills. Every community has a local library. Most offer free internet access and you can even rent movies from them. The small sacrifices you make today will generate extra cash that you need to pay your bills and over time, once your crisis is over (and it will be), you can begin to add back the things you were used to enjoying.

Seek help:

The sooner you make the calls to your creditors, the sooner they can help you. If you find yourself still unable to manage your money and your debt. There are many organizations that are ready willing and able to assist you. Make sure they are reputable. There is plenty of information that they are going to request from you, ensuring that they are well established and ethical will protect your identity and your credit. Please, work with a credit counselor before you sign with a credit management company or file for bankruptcy. Both of these are a means to an end for your current financial crisis, but will leave your credit damaged for a long time. Learning how to budget money and pay bills properly provide you with the opportunity to avoid this situation in the future.

Be Aware:

Start opening your mail. Reading your mail may bring about an opportunity to negotiate. Creditors would rather collect the balance owed and waive fees. Don't be afraid to ask for a reduction in interest or to waive fees. Do not ignore orders for garnishments or notices to appear to court. If you are representing yourself and dealing honestly with the people involved, it will be a positive move toward eliminating the debt issues.

A Word of Encouragement:

I found myself a single mother at a young age, trying to make ends meet was difficult at best. I worked two jobs and saw most of it go toward child care. When my daughter was born, I did not have medical insurance. I was denied assistance and even applied for local grants to help with the several thousand dollars that I owed. Once I realized that I was not going to get any help, I knew the debt was mine and knew even more that it was going to take some time for me to pay it off. I called the hospital who directed me to their collections department. I explained my circumstances and offered to begin to make payments. It escapes my memory the amount I promised, it may have been $50.00 a month. The collections department told me that it was an unacceptable amount. I remember months that I was unable to send more than $5.00 but I did it. Fifteen months later after paying only $1,000.00 toward the debt with the help of my income tax return, I received a call from the credit department of the hospital. The ladies of the department saw a grant become available and sent my information to them. The debt was relieved for me. But had I not been diligent with my attempts to pay, no one would have cared and it would have been a negative hit to my credit very early on.

Keep a positive attitude and know that there are people in the world who care and want to help.