What to say to creditors when you can’t make your payments on time

Being in a position where you are unable to pay your creditors what you owe them can be incredibly stressful and difficult. Here we look at the things that you should be doing and discussing with your creditors if you find yourself in this tricky situation. 

Be honest

Your creditors need to know what is happening, there is nothing to be gained from avoiding them – in fact quite the opposite – so get in touch with them and explain what is going on. If you have lost your job then tell them. Let them know exactly what your current financial situation is, what your income, if any is, and what your outgoings are. Ensure that you have accurate figures to hand when you call them. 

Tell them what you are trying to do about the situation. Perhaps you are waiting to start a new job and there is a bit of a gap between them that will leave you short of money. Without accurate information your creditors will not be able to help you form a plan. 

Do not try to pull the wool over their eyes with elaborate sob stories. There is a good chance they will find out if you are not telling the truth and this will just make things harder in the long run. 

Write yourself some notes

You might have what you need to say all planned out in your head but the minute you speak to someone there is a good chance you will forget everything you need to say. Jot down some key points to help you with your conversation. Whilst it is true that your creditors will want their money back as soon as possible if you are not able to make the payments on time then it is in their best interests to help you formulate a plan for continuing the payments. 

Offer a solution

Your creditors do not know exactly what is going on in your life. Even if you explain everything to them, they will need a little time to put all the pieces in place. It is much simpler if you suggest a solution to the issue of being able to pay. This might be that you can make part of the payment now but not all of it or it might be that you will be able to make the next payment in full but not for a couple of weeks. Ultimately, they want to receive the money you owe them and clear the debt that you have, so offering them a solution shows that you are looking to pay and working to find a solution. 

Keep calm

It is really important that whatever you say to your creditor, and this includes responding to anything that they say to you that you remain calm and polite. Whilst you might find the situation very stressful, politeness will go a long way towards helping the conversation to run smoothly.

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