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Reach out to Creditors in Times of Hardship
Many people are facing a job loss in today's tough economic time. Use these tips to help prepare for a situation when you are unable to pay your bills.
Have a list of creditors and their phone numbers. If you expect you will have a hard time paying your bills, contact your creditors immediately before missing any of your payments.
If you have loans with UW Credit Union, contact us as soon as possible by calling 608-232-5000 or 800-533-6773, ext. 2828. We will work with you to help determine what's best for your situation. You can also contact our partner, BALANCE, to receive free and low-cost confidential financial counseling services.
If you have credit card debt, you may be eligible for a hardship program, but do not stop making payments to your card. Be sure to make the minimum payment.
- Utility companies will likely work with you to develop a monthly payment plan until your situation improves. Also considering bundling packages for cable, Internet and phone service to save money.
- Even though it might seem like an easy solution, try not to use credit cards or your 401(k) plan. Using credit cards and your 401(k) could leave you in debt when your situation improves, so try to use cash if possible. Tapping into your 401(k) will result in penalties for early withdrawal in addition to extra taxes.
Here are some tips for contacting your creditors:
- Be honest and calm
- Be conservative with time frames and financial promises
- Keep a journal of people you spoke with and what was said
- Never send post-dated checks
- Maintain contact with them throughout your situation