stressed can't pay bills

What Should I Do? I Can’t Pay My Past Due Bill

Do you have one or more bills that you cannot pay?  Are you getting past due notices with late fees?  Here are some quick basic tips to help manage your past due bills.

How to Manage Past Due Bills

First, do not panic!  When you are in a panic or stressed out mode, it is very hard for you to think clearly.  When you are not thinking clearly, you can mistakes adding to your problems.

Second, consider your bills as a challenge that can be tackled not as a threat. Think positive!

Third, using a spreadsheet or notebook, write down the name of each bill,  amount of each bill and the due dates.

Fourth, write down when you will be paid for the month and the amounts. So, if you get paid twice a month, write down the amount and date of the first and second pay check.

Fifth, can you pay a portion of one or more of your bills in the first paycheck? What about the second paycheck?

Sixth, if your payment will be late, contact the creditor for each bill to make a payment arrangement.  When you make a payment arrangement you need to provide the following information:

  • how much will be paid now
  • when that payment will be made, meaning what date can the creditor expect to have payment
  • how payment will be made…online account, bill pay via your bank account, etc.
  • when the creditor can expect the remaining balance to be paid
How to Setup Payment Arrangement

Note: when you make a payment arrangement with a creditor, they often note in your account what you promise them. For this reason, you need to make sure that the funds will be in your account on the date you provide.  It is better to give a later date than an earlier one where you cannot guarantee the funds will be available.

Also, set up a reminder of when you need to pay your bill. You can use an app on your smart phone, Google or Outlook calendar, or any tool that can help you remember to make the payment.

Finally, don’t ever feel embarrassed or intimidated when speaking with a creditor regarding a past due bill. Millions of people at one time or another have been in the same situation.  The person you are talking to on the other end may be in the same situation.  Be respectful yet confident!

Our next tip will cover different ways to pay your bills.

Ok, that’s it for now.

Let me know if you have questions.

Dr. Linda