Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

5 Tips to Stay Calm When the Creditors Come Calling

Debt. It’s not a fun word. No one likes it and certainly no one wants it. It’s stressful, and it becomes even worse when it goes to the debt collectors. Creditors can be fierce and trying to take them on is scary. It’s enough to raise anyone’s blood pressure. But here are a few tips to help you keep calm when the creditors come calling.

Understand You Are Not Alone

The reality is a lot of people face difficult financial challenges at some point in their life. Many others have gone through the hassle of being harassed by creditors. You may be scared, and the creditors may even try to intimidate you more if they feel it will get you to pay them. But others have gone through what you’re experiencing and many of them have shared their stories online. While their stories won’t get you out of your situation, those stories could offer some solace in knowing that others out there understand what you’re going through.

Talk to the Creditors

Burying your head in the sand never works. Try to talk to the creditors. Be rational with them. Find common ground. They may yell or scream at you, but there’s not a whole lot they can do to you physically (financially is something else). All they are trying to do is get what you owe, and if you are legitimately interested in paying your bills, you should be able to work out a solution that works for both parties.

Get a Settlement Deal in Writing

If you plan to work your way through this, the best way to do so is to get a settlement deal of some kind. If you could afford to pay your entire bill, you would’ve done so by now. However, if you can take care of some part of it, you can and should make a deal with the creditors. Just make sure that whatever deal you agree to is in writing before you accept it, and that you have a copy of it. Many creditors will try to pull your chain later by saying there was never a deal and you owe more. If you have a paper trail, you can prevent that from impacting you.

Pay as Little as Possible

Believe it or not, but many creditors will accept as little as 30-40% of the total bill that you owe. Sometimes, they will take even less! The reason for this is that they know they are unlikely to collect much more out of you, and if they push too hard, they might not get anything at all if you were to file for bankruptcy. Rather than continuing to push, they will often just go for something than the possible nothing.

Resolve to Live a More Healthy Financial Life in the Future

There is little you can do to change the past, but you can start to chart a new path forward. Resolve right away to clean up your financial habits and improve your credit score (which is probably wrecked). The best thing you can do for yourself is to get on a tight budget and never go back into debt again.

Despite how it may feel right now, it is possible to gain more control over the way you live. By doing the above tips and resolving to live a more financially healthy life, you can get through this difficult time and hopefully never have to deal with it again.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.
Tim Esterdahl

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The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) has done extensive research on the long-term effects of childhood hunger. Children are our main demographic of clients, so we work tirelessly to get their families the resources that they need to lead healthy and productive lives for generations to come. When you assist IFCS' mission to alleviate hunger, your support has a ripple effect that affects the future of our community. Take a moment to make an impact - #onecanfeed
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We truly appreciate your support! Through the kindness of the community and generous donations to the Ready Set School! program, IFCS was able to assist 552 students with school supplies, clothing, and backpacks as well as supplies for 300+ students.
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