Know Where You Stand with Debt
It does not take much to push a good paying customer who has stuck by their debt repayments to suddenly fall behind a couple of months and even more. Losing a job is an obvious reason but it can be many others too such as loss of overtime or reduced bonuses, illness causing loss of income or increased expenses for a variety of reasons such as a new child or car repair costs.
Whatever the reason for falling behind, there are plenty of things you can do to help you get back on track and not be stressed out by aggressive debt collection agencies making you feel like dirt at 9pm with a narky phone call!
First, know where you stand and by this we mean know exactly who you owe money to, how much they are owed, the monthly payment due and when as well as how large your arrears are in fact – check for any extra late charges being applied. This means a piece of paper and a pen as well as calling your lenders and checking you have got the numbers all correct.
This leads on to the next step – negotiating with your lenders – and this may be the time to bring in a professional to do the job for you. Generally, lenders do not want to take you to court or repossess your car or home; they are in business to lend money which will be repaid and by far the most effective method of recovering money is for them to do a deal with you.
When you are looking at reducing payments on your debts do not agree to a monthly repayment you cannot afford; be realistic in what you can afford and also be clear who you are dealing with – many debt collection agencies make out they are your lender when in fact they are not!
Finally, know your rights and again, this is where professional advice and counselling is invaluable; remember your lender and debt collection agencies are not there to look after your interest but their own!
There are a number of debt solutions available for you if you find yourself in serious debt. These include informal agreements like debt management to the legally binding ones like IVA's and bankruptcy. They key is to try and get things sorted sooner rather than when it's too late.
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