Asking you to communicate with your creditors may seem like the last thing that you want to hear or do.  While your situation may be complicated and stressful; delaying the conversation will add to your level of stress.  The most effective thing for you to do is to face the task of picking up your phone that might seem very heavy and call your creditors today.  If you have several, commit to contacting two to three creditors a day until you have made contact with them all.  Set a goal this week to regain your power by making the call(s).  Here are a couple of simple tips that can help you to prioritize your task and increase your level of commitment to get your power back and your life in order.  Don’t STRESS!

Avoid the drama – Be proactive with gathering all of your information before making the call; have the most current bill in front of you.  When you contact your creditor, getting upset and engaging in an argument will not help the situation.  Be prepared, stay calm and state the reason for your call.  Should the call become intimidating or hostile, simply state that you would like to call again later to finish the discussion and hang up.

Get to the point – When contacting your creditors be specific.  For example, tell them the reason for your delinquencies and what your plans are to bring your account(s) current.  However, avoid telling them all of the lengthy details of your situation.  The person on the other end of the phone want to know if you were laid off of your job, was there a sickness, death of a spouse or decrease in work hours etc.

Promise to repay –when you begin making arrangements to repay; make sure that you have done your homework.  Know what you owe and how much you are able to pay.  Avoid being passive, ask about their hardship programs.  Ask for lower rates, lower payments or stop the late fees; the worst thing that can happen is that they could say no.  Above all, once the arrangements are made, keep your promise to pay.  Creditors are not very forgiving when you fail to keep your commitment.  You could incur increased interest rates, more late fees and possibly be assigned to a collection agency; this is when your situation can escalate and your options can become very limited.  In severely delinquent cases, wage garnishments could be ordered against you and that could have a negative effect on your cash flow.

Get it in writing – Have a pen and paper handy to get the representatives name, document the conversation, date, time, start date for your payment arrangements including the amount agreed upon.  Once you have successfully solidified arrangements with your creditors, ask for the final agreement in writing.  Ask that the arrangements be e-mailed or mailed to you immediately.  Saygood-bye to the stress.  Happy calling!!

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