Woodbridge Investments

If You Have Trouble Paying Your Bills

Most people hit a patch of bad financial luck at some point in their lives. Unemployment, health issues, and legal problems can all result in you having trouble paying your bills. While it’s hard to ask for help – no one likes to admit they are struggling financially – the problem is unlikely to go away without taking action. Think of how much better you’ll feel when you’ve replaced the stressful uncertainty around “what’s going to happen?” with a plan that will help you get back on your financial feet. These solutions can range from simply explaining your financial situation or selling your structured settlement for cash.

Your utility bills

Contact the utility company and explain your situation. If you know you just need a little more time to pay, ask for an extended payment arrangement. If you’re unsure when you’ll be able to pay, ask about federal services that are in place to help people during difficult times. You can also search the internet for this information. Try running a search for “Can’t pay utility bill {state name}” to find local, state and federal resources. The key is to be honest with the people you speak with, be polite and persistent. It’s important to remember you are far from the only person who needs assistance. We all experience financial challenges.

Your rent

Begin by telling your landlord you can’t pay your bills, and ask for an extension or a payment plan. If you’re unsure when you’ll be able to pay the rent again, it may be better to seek help elsewhere. Call your state’s Department of Social Services and ask for assistance. You can also dial 211 or visit 211.org, enter your zip code, and access information on services in your community. Other places to look for help include Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and – if you live in a rural area, check with the USDA Rural Development Program.

Your mortgage

Contact your lender as soon as you suspect that you are having trouble paying your bills. If the situation is temporary, lenders may reduce or suspend your payments for a limited period of time. You may also discuss extending the repayment period to reduce the amount due monthly. But do check to see whether any additional fees will be added for changing the terms of your mortgage agreement. If your lender doesn’t want to make a deal, call the local office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, or the local housing authority, to find help in negotiating an agreement.

Your car loan

Again, contact the lender and see whether you can work out a reduced payment plan or other arrangement. Be aware that most car loan agreements specify that a lender can repossess your car if you default on your loan – without notice. If you suspect you might default, it may be best to sell the car and pay off your loan. This way, you’ll avoid losing the car and still having to pay off a loan plus the repossession towing and storage costs.

Your credit cards and other loans

You can usually approach your credit card issuer or bank to negotiate a reduction in your payments for a few months. If you can prove that your financial problem is temporary, you can also ask about the possibility of getting a “forbearance.” This will stop late fees, over limit charges and interest from being added to your account, and may allow you to skip payments, or at least make reduced payments for a limited time.

If You’re Having Trouble Paying Your Bills, Woodbridge Can Help

If you have a lump sum of cash on hand, you can use it to negotiate a better settlement or repayment deal with your creditors by offering a partial payment. Woodbridge Structured Funding can help you achieve this. If you have an annuity or a structured settlement, you can opt to sell all or a part of your payment stream for a lump sum payment. To find out more, you can review frequently asked questions about selling a structured settlement for cash, or call us at 1-866-865-7044 to discuss the opportunities and get a free quote.