1. Money

How To Catch Up on Late Payments

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If you have gotten behind on bills, you may be wondering what you can do to fix the situation. It can be difficult to pull yourself out of a negative spiral. When you are behind, it is often because you just do not make enough money to cover your expenses and handle emergencies. It is possible to recover from these situations.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: Several Hours

Here's How:

  1. First, you need to sit down and make a list of what bills you are behind on and what you need to bring those bills current. You should also have your current budget on hand. If you do not have a budget, you need to make one now.

  2. Second, you will need to prioritize the bills. You should go in order of your mortgage/rent, then utility bills, and then other bills in order of amount or interest rate. It is important that you make sure that you have a place to stay and electricity. This is why the rent and utilities should come first. Additionally, if you have to choose which bills to pay, always pay those bills first.

  3. Third, you need to determine how much extra money you have available to get caught up each month. When you are trying to get caught up on bills you need to stop all unnecessary spending. This includes going out to eat, going to the movies, and other forms of entertainment. You can also suspend your cable or other unnecessary monthly expenses until you are caught up.

  4. Once you have determined how much you have available you should call and talk to your creditors or anyone that you are behind with. Many companies will be able to work out a payment plan with you, in order to help you get caught up. In fact, you should try calling if you are afraid that you are going to fall behind. There is a lot that they can do to help if you communicate with them.

  5. You may need to take on a second job for a short time, so that you can get caught up. This can be very temporary, but it can help you to clear up the mess and help you to get control of your finances. You may also consider selling things on e-Bay in order to raise money quickly.

  6. Once you have gotten current on everything, you should begin to save money for an emergency fund, to prevent this from happening again. You should also begin to look for long-term solutions for your income crisis. You may consider looking for a higher paying job or enrolling in a program or school so that you are qualified for higher paying work.

Tips:

  1. To prevent this from happening, you should have a written monthly budget and you need to stick to it. You should pay particularly close attention to your variable expenses. You may be able to cut back in areas without feeling like you are.

  2. Communicate with your creditors and utility companies as soon as you realize that you may be late or miss payments. They can often delay a payment, stop interest for a short period of time or note in the records that you have communicated the problem.

  3. Remember that your credit card payments should be one of the lowest things when it comes to prioritizing on what payments you may be late on. You need to pay them, but it is more important to have a place to live and power. When you are short on cash, you need to work to pay off the most important things first and cut out any extra spending you may have.

  4. Catching up on late payments should be one of your first steps when you are starting to clean up your finances. You can make real changes to your financial picture with discipline and hard work. 

What You Need:

  • Bills You Are Late On
  • Budget

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