Finance Quick Answers
I am facing mounting debt from my Christmas shopping and I am not able to pay all the bills by their due date. How can I handle this situation without it affecting my credit history, or at least minimize the effect?
As soon as you realize you won’t be able to make regular payments, call or write your creditors. Offer to make smaller payments for a specific time period. Ask them not to report your account as late to the credit bureaus as long as you meet the new payment schedule. If you feel pressured by a creditor to pay more than you can afford, call back later and speak with someone else, or ask to speak with a supervisor. Put your agreement in writing.
Source: Dollar, P. (1999, January 28). Talking dollars make $ense. The Independent Journal, p. 1B.
Sandra McKinnon, Consumer & Family Economics Specialist, University of Missouri Extension
Cynthia E. Crawford, Ph.D., Consumer & Family Economics Specialist, University of Missouri Extension
Last update: Sunday, July 27, 2008