Every day, families are forced with mounting credit card debt, interest rates and penalty fees. This, in addition to necessary mortgage, utility and food expenses, can result in a lot of stress for even the healthiest of relationships. This is especially true if you should fall behind with payments and creditors begin calling, which often leads to more anxiety and possibly even arguments over finances. Did you know that money is one of the leading reasons that most couples fight? It is and, if you don’t want to be like the rest, it’s time to get a handle on your debt.
If you fall behind with your mortgage, you risk foreclosure. This is one bill that you cannot afford to miss, so make it a priority. Food and utilities are also a must, so keep up with these expenses and cut back where you can. If you’ve missed one or more credit card payments, the best way to handle this situation is to call each of your creditors individually and request to be placed on a hardship program. In most cases, this means lower payments and interest for a certain amount of time.
If your situation is more permanent than temporary and you aren’t sure when or if your finances will ever be back to the point that they once were at, you need to consider a more permanent solution to your debt. This may involve debt settlement negotiations with each of your creditors who, in some cases, may be willing to settle for 10-20% of the total balance owed. This is only an option in the most severe of circumstances and when payments have been missed for many months. At this point, the creditor may inform you that your credit will be damaged if you settle a debt but, if excessive payments are or continue to be missed, your credit is already damaged. You can handle the debt settlement negotiations yourself or, in some cases, the creditor will contact you directly with a written offer. If you aren’t comfortable with the process, hire an attorney to help.
In some cases, you may find yourself a little short on the mortgage payment. This is especially true if you are trying to settle your debts. If this happens, you can call the lender who issued your loan and discuss possible options that will bring your account up to date. You may be able to refinance your home, which may lower your monthly payments and possibly even your interest. When it comes to debt, there’s no time to waste. Every payment that is missed or late fee that is added will make you feel as though you are sinking into a pool of quicksand.
Under the best of circumstances, a relationship undergoes plenty of everyday stress. When it comes to money matters, the stress can be even greater. When you start to get a handle on your debt and start to live your life again, both you and your partner will be happier and healthier.