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When financial hardship hits or unexpected expenses leave you short at the end of the month, you may have difficulty paying your bills on time. Despite this situation, there are steps you can take to reduce the impact of falling behind and get your finances back on track.
If you suspect your next mortgage payment may be in jeopardy, the first thing to do is call your lender. You may also be eligible for a repayment plan, which lets you pay your overdue amounts with future payments.
If you’re having trouble making payments on any of your student loans, contact your lender to discuss your payment options. You may be eligible to consolidate multiple student loans or refinance a single student loan, in order to set up a lower monthly payment with a reduced interest rate or an extended repayment term. Keep in mind that extending your repayment term may increase the amount of interest you pay over the life of the loan. If you can show that you’re unemployed and actively looking for a job, are returning to school, or are experiencing an economic hardship, you may be eligible for a forbearance – a period of time in which your student loan payment is reduced or temporarily suspended. Contact your loan holder for the proper documentation requirements and to see if you qualify.
Credit card debt can pile up quickly and late payments can do considerable damage to your credit score. Late credit card payments are typically reported to credit bureaus after 30 days. If you have a good history with your creditor, they might be able to provide a short-term payment option with a lower interest rate and lower minimum payment amount. Other options they may offer include long-term payment plans with reduced interest rates and managed payment sizes.
Regardless of your situation, the key is to take action as soon as you see an issue on the horizon. By proactively taking action, these steps can help you handle your debt without heading into crisis mode.
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