Dealing with Creditors


If you are having trouble making your payments, notify your creditors before you get behind. Creditors are easier to work with if they know ahead of time that there's a problem. Also, it shows "good faith"-that you are concerned about your debts and intend to pay.

Don't be surprised, angry or discouraged if you still have a few problems with unsympathetic or ruthless creditors. Most of us tend to live up to and beyond our means. With your income reduced, you may find yourself in over your head.

Don't panic! You have some rights and protections. Learn what they are. Knowledge of these rights is essential in bargaining successfully for arrangements with creditors.

Creditors usually are easier to work with when you let them know about your situation before a severe problem arises. When contacting creditors, tell them you want to work out a satisfactory arrangement for delaying, reducing or refinancing payments until you return to work.

Contact creditors in writing so there is a physical record of contact to place in your file. The letter can be placed in your account file-a phone call may not be noted. Always include your account number, your phone number and your address. Keep copies of your letters to creditors. Most libraries have coin-operated copy machines. A written record of responsible contact may also be important if legal problems emerge later. Try to type letters to creditors, but readable handwriting is just as good.

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