There may come a time in your life when you can't pay all of the bills for the month.
Things happen. Jobs are lost, spouses pass away and emergencies break into our daily routine. Many of us are living from paycheck to paycheck anyway. This is a very vulnerable position to be in.
It's a bad feeling when you sit down with the bills and see that you don't have enough to cover them all. Hopefully, this is a one-time thing for you due to an accounting error or an emergency. For some, those bills are marked "Final Notice."
You might have juggled bills for a while. If you have credit cards, chances are that the debt has caused you to walk the tight rope. You don't know what to pay first.
When faced with this situation, all you can do is address it. It won't go away. You simply have to roll up your sleeves, get a calculator, a pen and paper and get to work.
You have to start with the basics of survival. You don't pay your credit cards first. Start with paying your mortgage or rent. You have to have a place to live. Then make sure you have food and health items. You have to set that money back each month, no matter what. Yes, you may be able to live out of your freezer and pantry right now. If you can, that's great. If you can't, you'll have to buy food.
The next thing to pay is your utilities. There are a lot of utility companies that will cut off your utilities in a matter of weeks after not receiving payment. You have to have electricity and water. Maybe you can be without a phone, that's your decision. You don't need a land phone and a cell phone if you get reception at your house. You can cut off your cell phone and use a pay phone when you are out and about at a fraction of the cost of the cell.
When you have taken care of your basic needs, you can turn to your other bills. Start with your secured loans, like your car payment. You should pay for your car before your credit cards because you need to have transportation. You don't want it repossessed.
Then you pay your credit cards and such.
If this is an emergency situation, you should call your lenders and explain what is happening. This works especially well if you have never missed a payment before. If you do this, you can often avoid having your credit history hurt by a late payment. Often, your mortgage company will work with you. So will auto lenders and credit cards. All you have to do is be honest. Don't wait until after you have missed the payment.
If you have a debt problem, you need to sit down and look at your finances. List your income and your bills. Develop a budget. You will have to cut some of your expenses. You may even need to find a second job.
It is very important that you pay all of your bills each month. But if you simply can't, pay the essentials first and call your creditors for help.
Martin Lukac (http://www.MartinLukac.com), represents http://www.RateEmpire.com and http://www.1AmericanFinancial.com, a finance web-company specializing in real estate/mortgage market. We specialize in daily updates, rate predictions, mortgage rates and more. Find low home loan mortgage interest rates from hundreds of mortgage companies!
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