• Advice

What To Do When You’re Overwhelmed With Bills

How many of us have been overwhelmed with bills?  I’m guessing most of us have at some time or another. Here are some tips to help you get through this difficult time!

1. Ignoring the issue will cost you more

It’s really important to make sure you tackle the issue head on. If you leave important invoices until they’re late, chances are you will be hit with extra fees and perhaps loss of services. If it goes on long enough, you might also find that you end up with collections charges, which are not only horrendously expensive but can also affect your credit rating. You cant keep your head in the sand – address the problem now and save yourself further stress down the road.

2. What can you pay?

You need to sit down and make a list of everything you have due and when. Then list your incoming funds – what money you have coming in and when. Work out what you can pay, and then stick to it.
If covering the bills is outside the realms of possibility, you may have to take some extra action to solve the problem.

3. Look at payment plans

Most companies will allow you to work out payment plans for bills. They generally prefer getting their money at a later date than not getting their money at all, or having to chase you and incurring all the associated costs.  Talk to each individual company and see what can be arranged – you may be surprised at how flexible they can be.
Even banks will usually try to help you if you are suddenly overwhelmed for a legitimate reason. For example, if the mortgage is going to cause you huge grief because you have lost your job, then talk to them before you miss a payment and see whether they can offer any alternatives. Any assistance will only be short term but might be enough to help you over the hump.

The main negative impact of working out a payment plan is that you need to realise that you are pushing those costs out over a longer period of time.  If regular bills are the problem, then before you know it the next instalment is going to hit your mailbox. You need to be prepared for that and make sure that you are very frugal over the coming period to allow for it.

4. Consider debt consolidation

If you are in a serious financial hole, then it may be a good idea to consider a debt consolidation loan. Consolidating your debt helps you combine all of your debts into a single regular repayment over a longer period of time. If credit cards are part of the problem, they will be cleared and cancelled so you can’t just add more debt and end up back where you started. They really do help to take some of the struggle away and give you a way to see yourself clear.
If you think this may be what you need, make sure you contact a reputable NZ company like Crester Credit. The last thing you want is to end up with a loan that will cost you the earth and put you in a worse place.

Once you’ve got it sorted, you really need to focus on working on an ongoing budget, so that you don’t end up in the same place!  Get some help from people who know what they are doing, or read our blogs on budgeting here for more helpful tips and advice.

 

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