Debt – most of us carry some debt. We use our credit cards and we have full intent of making the payments. However, sometimes things don’t go according to plan. Something happens in our lives that make it impossible for us to keep our commitment to pay. If you are in debt and you can’t make your payments, don’t panic, and don’t ignore it!
Ignoring your creditors may seem like the smart thing to do, after all you can’t pay them, but actually, it’s not a good choice. That’s because your creditors could report you to the credit bureau and that could affect many areas of your life. It might mean you are turned down for a job that you applied for. It might mean you have to pay more for insurance or you are refused insurance. It might mean you are turned down for a rental property. Bottom line – doing nothing is not looking out for you.
Instead, sit down and start to put a list together of your creditors that includes both secured and unsecured debts. You can begin by talking to them if you like and explaining your situation and why you can’t pay. Some of them may work with you, while others may not.
You’ll need to prioritize your debts so that you can decide which ones you will try to pay with your limited funds. For example, paying your mortgage and utilities would be more important than paying your credit cards, because you could become homeless and without power or gas. Then again, if your situation is dire you may walk away from your home. In that case, you would still want to keep the utility companies happy, as you’ll always need utilities.
The Debt Collection Agency Comes Calling
It won’t take too long before you hear from the debt collection agency, which is a third party agency that purchases other companies unpaid debts, and then tries to recover part of the amount. They can really wreak chaos in your life if you do not know what steps to take to prevent it.
How You Should Deal With Debt Collection Agencies
They are going to phone you morning, noon and night and at every number they think you might be reached at. Instruct them not phone and to only contact you in writing. Know your rights under the ‘Fair Debt Collection Agency Act,’ and make sure you understand the statute of limitations. The problem with dealing directly with debt agencies to determine a settlement leaves you with no one protecting your rights and looking out for you. It’s not a wise move.
What are Your Options?
The best option would be to contact a professional organization who has the ability to challenge, dispute and remove damage caused by a debt collection agency. Or, you could try to repair you credit on you own if you have the time and know how. Honestly, you are better off leaving something as important as your credit score in the hands of the professionals.