How do you catch up on paying your bills?


Dealing with late payments can sometimes seem insurmountable. However, it can happen to anyone. Faced with unexpected career changes, family emergencies or job loss, for example, our income is no longer sufficient to meet our monthly expenses (housing, energy, taxes, bills of all kinds, etc.).

Falling behind occasionally on your financial obligations isn't the end of the world. However, if you do not find solutions to recover from this delay as soon as possible, you may find yourself facing long-term financial difficulties.

If you're feeling overwhelmed by unpaid bills, mounting interest, late fees, and more, here are some steps to help you start moving in a positive direction.

1. Make a list of missed bills and bills that are coming due soon
The first step after falling behind in paying your bills is to list what you owe. List the payments you're delaying, when each is due, and whether or not you'll owe any extra money for missing them. A list will allow you to see exactly how much you owe. You can then start making decisions about how to allocate your money and whether delaying this or that additional payment is the right decision.

2. Prioritize open and missed payments
Once you've listed everything you need, rank them in order of importance. This will help you focus your repayment efforts on the bills you deem most important or have the highest costs (interest rate or fees).

Then, spot any delays that could lead to significant legal or financial issues. The bills that allow you to keep a roof over your family's heads are extremely important. So make sure your rent or mortgage payments are at the top of your list. If you cannot pay for your accommodation, contact your creditor without delay to find a suitable solution. Then prioritize work-related expenses (that bring you cash flow), such as car payments or phone bills, and then focus on loans and other debts.

3. Talk to your creditors
Once you have identified the bills you are unable to pay, contact your creditors. If you communicate honestly with your creditors about your current financial difficulties, they may be more flexible with repayment plans, including changing terms or even penalties.

Even if you can't pay your bills, pretending they don't exist isn't your best strategy. Ignoring your bills can lead to penalties or higher interest rates and possibly hurt your credit rating.
If you are unable to communicate directly with your creditors, contact a debt mediation service. Specialized social workers are there to listen to you and can help you talk to your creditors in order to set up repayment plans that you can follow.

4. Set a budget and track future spending
Once you have listed your debts, you must also adjust your monthly budget. Knowing how much money is coming into your household and when the money will arrive in your bank account will help you stick to your payment plans and enable you to pay off your outstanding bills.
You can start your budget by creating two lists: one with your sources of income and one with your expenses. It's helpful to sort them by fixed costs, like rent or car payments, and by variable costs, like groceries, entertainment, and travel. Then you can sort your variable spending into essentials (like groceries) and extras (like entertainment or travel). You can then seek to reduce your variable costs and additional expenses until your income and expenses are in balance.
After setting your budget, you'll need to track your spending to help you stick to it. This allows you to identify your spending habits and see areas where you might be overspending. Here too, a debt mediation service can help you.

Falling behind on your bills is undeniably stressful. However, with a little planning, budgeting, and careful spending, you can have a better understanding of your financial situation. You can then make a plan to catch up on your bills and have more control over your financial future.

If you have received a letter or a call from us but you are in a difficult situation, contact our legal department without further delay. Together, we will find a realistic solution for the settlement of your unpaid invoices.

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