Being deep in debt is not a situation anyone wants to be in. However sometimes, it is inevitable. There are bills to pay and most of the time, people find it difficult to pay off. Failure to budget your money can lead to heavy debts, which can eventually lead to stress.
Here are a few tips for those who are in trouble with debt
Reach Out to Your Credit Provider
The most important thing that you can do is to talk to your credit provider. Tell them that you are currently experiencing financial hardship, and ask for some advice and options. Hardship officers can assess your situation and tell you what you can do about it. They can also give you affordable payment plans including instalment payments or altering your repayments.
Get Help from a Financial Counsellor
Getting proper help from a financial counselor is often helpful when dealing with debt. A lot of organisations offer it for FREE, too, so you wouldn’t have to worry about paying off another service just to get out of trouble. You can search for financial counsellors online, or you can refer to this website.
Seek Legal Advice
If it has come to a point where your debt is so huge and you are involved in a legal matter, then it is time to seek legal advice. A lot of organisations in Australia offer free legal advice, you just have to know where to look. Websites such as the NACLC or the National Association of Community Legal Centres can help you find an independently operating not-for-profit community organisations.
Consider Applying for a Hardship Variation
If you have previously been unemployed or you have fallen ill, you can apply for a hardship variation. You can apply by calling or writing to your lender or credit provider. You can then ask to speak to a hardship officer or to a customer service representative. They will ask for details such as your account name and number, and the exact amount that you pay every week, fortnight, or month. You can then mention that you want to change your loan repayment due to an illness or whatever you are currently dealing with. Feel free to explain why you are having difficulty with paying off your debts, and how long you think you will stay in that situation.
Change Your Repayment Method
Talk to your lender about changing your repayment method. You can ask them if you could extend your loan period, so you have the option to make smaller repayments for a longer amount of time. Negotiate and ask if postponing your repayments to a certain date is possible. Lastly, you can ask if there are other ways to make your loan repayments smaller and more affordable.
Falling into a pile of debt can be extra stressful, so make sure to manage it earlier to avoid further problems. Good luck!