Debt Questions You Were Afraid To Ask
We’ve been there before. We wake up in the middle of the night realizing our cash has bottomed out and we are neck-deep in debt. Or maybe not. Maybe it’s just the case of getting that one dreaded phone call from one collection agent and it triggers panic. What now?
It’s time to get straight answers from financial experts.
Will I go to jail? Take a deep breath. And no, you won’t, because the power is in you. You can do something about it.
What’s the first step? Take the emotion out of it. Do not be afraid. Assess. It will be a difficult first step but compute exactly how much you owe. Then write down the current outstanding balances by category: credit card, car, mortgage, other loans. It’s best to identify these three things: the full amount of each debt, the minimum monthly payment, and the interest rate for each.
Should I hide from the collection agent? No. Remember that your collection agent has one goal and that is to get you to own up and pay, and not necessarily in full. He or she is a human being so relax. A friend of mine had a credit card debt that was almost impossible to pay given her salary but she bravely made an appointment with her collection agent and asked for two things: waiving of the interest and restructuring. She got both. Not only was her debt cut in half almost because of the waiving of the interest, it was also restructured to a ten-year payment plan which her salary could afford. They were both happy. That was ten years ago. She is free of that debt and she’s now savvy with her credit cards.
Can I get out of my debt? Yes. Because you believe in yourself. You can face it. You can get a financial planner to draw up a payment scheme. And you can augment your salary with side jobs. And in the process, you will learn how tough you are.
And always remember, if it’s a matter of life and debt, there’s always a workaround.