What if I can’t pay my bills? Tips and information for military families
If you’re unable to meet your financial obligations, you have options. Which option or options you choose will depend on how severe your financial problems are and what resources you have. You should, however, act now. Delaying action could lead to further difficulties, including potential damage to your credit history, or even the possible loss of your home.
If you’ve lost income temporarily due to unemployment, reduced hours, separation or divorce, death of your spouse, or illness or injury, you may be able to survive for a period of time by collecting unemployment compensation, government assistance, or insurance, or by making lifestyle adjustments. If overspending and mounting debts are a problem, you’ll need to get your spending under control. You may want to consult a credit counselor to help you deal with creditors, reduce debt, and learn to manage your money better. And, if you can’t get back on your financial feet again, either alone or with help, you may need to consider filing personal bankruptcy.
How you can help yourself?
Increase your income, decrease your expenses
If possible, one way to ease your financial distress is to increase your income. You and/or your spouse might increase your hours, try to get a better paying job, or take on a second job temporarily. You might also want to consider converting any assets you may have to cash. Another way to narrow the gap between income and expenses is to eliminate or reduce nonessential expenses such as dining out and entertainment.
Restructure current debts
There are a number of ways to restructure your current debts. One way is to refinance a debt and increase the repayment term. It may take you longer to repay the debt, but your monthly payment amount will decrease. Refinancing may also be a good option if it lowers your interest rate on the debt, resulting in a lower monthly payment amount. You might also consider consolidating debts, if possible. This can be a good way to catch up on overdue accounts by rolling your debts into one single loan. If you can also extend the repayment period and lower your monthly payment, it may be easier to avoid falling behind. If you can’t refinance or consolidate, try to contact your creditors and let them know you are having financial difficulties. Try to work out an acceptable payment schedule. Most creditors will be receptive to your attempts, especially if you call before you fall too far behind on your payments.
How can AFBN help?
Credit card debt puts families, and especially military families, at risk for credit issues and financial problems possibly effecting their careers in a negative manner. That’s why AFBN’s new Debt Solution Program is so exciting! This program allows our Nation’s Service Men, Women and their families regain their financial freedom before their time in the military ends. Learn more about the program.