Being behind on bills creates a vicious cycle, especially when it’s consistent. Late fees start accumulating and if you never pay the bill, your account could go into collections. It’s not good when you are already struggling to make ends meet. If you happen to be behind a bill or few, today is your lucky day! In this post I am going to discuss how to get current on late bills.
How to Catch Up on Late Bills
Start with a budget
You don’t have to wait until you are current to start a budget. Start where you are, with what you have, and do what you can. Write down your income, all your expenses, then assign every dollar of your income to an expense. I mean every cent. This doesn’t mean you will over draft your account, it just means you have an zero-based budget. List the necessities first (food, clothing, shelter, transportation, and utilities). Next you will go down your budget and pay on as many expenses as possible without over drafting. It is not wise to over draft since most financial institutions penalize you for over drafting. That’s throwing away money.
Stop the Drama
With necessities at the top of your budget, you should cover those first. These are important for survival. Budget for the necessities then pay everything else. Say you are behind on your electric bill and your Mastercard bill. Pay the electric first and get it current. Mastercard will get nothing. If you are behind on your electric bill and current on your Mastercard bill, Mastercard get’s nothing. You have to quit paying bills that aren’t necessities and get current on the ones that are necessities.
Payments You Can’t Afford
If you can’t afford to make a payment, make sure you contact someone (customer service is a good place to start) and tell them you can not make your monthly payment this month. If you can’t afford the full minimum monthly payment but can send a lesser amount, let them know. Most creditors will work with you and won’t be so quick to punish you. Don’t let them talk you into a bad payment plan. They are trained to do this so the offer sounds good to you, but the creditor will make more money off you in end.
Try not to contact customer service about your payment issues on a regular basis. They will catch on and won’t be so lenient after a while. Consider changing your due date if the issue is timing. Change the date to a time when you will have the funds available.