There are times when things just aren’t working out financially. You might have had a big financial setback, such as a lost job, or a drastic cut in hours. In some cases, a large and unexpected expense (such as a hospital stay) can cause undue financial pressure.
In such cases, it is difficult to pay all your bills. Indeed, you might not be able to make all of your payments. When this happens, it’s important to carefully consider your financial situation, and what you owe. You also need to decide which bills must be paid — and which you can let slide.
What Will You Lose If You Don’t Pay?
Your first step is to figure out what you want to maintain. If you want to remain in your current living arrangement, then you need to make your rent payments or mortgage payments. If you still owe on your car, and don’t want it repossessed, you must remain up to date on your auto loan payments.
Consider what you will lose if you don’t pay. If you have reliable public transportation, and you think that you will still be able to find a new job, or make it to work, you might let the car payment slide. If you want to avoid losing a home or a car, or something else that is acting as collateral on a loan, you have to make paying on those loans.
There are other types of bills that might not be as important to you. Unsecured loans, such as credit card loans, might be low on the priority list, since there aren’t items attached to them. Plus, you do have rights as a debtor that can help you reduce the contact from creditors. However, anytime you stop paying bills, you run the risk of lowering your credit score. Your credit being destroyed may or may not be important to you though, since you probably have higher priorities at the moment.
If you are struggling to pay your bills, you can get help. There are loan deferment programs for student loans, as well as other types of loans. If you contact your mortgage lender, or your credit card issuers, you might be able to work out a different payment plan, or get a deferment. A deferment allows you time to get back on your feet, suspending debt payments. However, you will still accumulate interest, and you will have to repay the skipped payments later.
Those who are struggling to pay their heating bills can usually find community help through heat assistance programs. There are a number of charities, churches, and programs that can provide you with resources to help you free up money. However, to qualify for any of this type of help, you generally have to prove that you are having trouble meeting your bills.
Prioritizing your bills is an important part of figuring out which items need to be paid as soon as possible. Consider which items are essential, and stay in contact with your creditors so that they know what your plans are, and can see that you are in earnest about repaying.