Options when you can’t pay your bills
We all grow up thinking we’ll never be the person who can’t pay their monthly bills. We go to school, get a job, and think we’ll rise above the poverty line. But, it is troubling how quickly someone can go from being financially sound to financially distressed in a matter of weeks. From unforeseen disasters, sudden job losses, property damages, family deaths, and so on, not being able to pay one’s bills becomes a real, harrowing reality for millions of Americans every single day.
Luckily, there are options, both through the government and independent means, to get ahead of the debt and stay on top of the unpaid bills. From a private sector perspective, individuals swimming in debt can contact creditor counselors (though be careful not to fall for online scams) and own up to their debt with creditors so they’re aware of what’s coming. It’s important to not sweep anything under the carpet when debt is mounting minute after minute. Some creditors will be exceptionally willing to work with you, and faithful counselors will provide you with invaluable information for managing the debt and rising out of it on a budgeted schedule.
From a government perspective, the United States has multiple benefit nets in place to help individuals when they reach an unmanageable debt point. For phone and mobile telecommunication bills, contact Lifeline, a government benefit program that helps applicants get discounted cell phone service. For help with home energy bills, call the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for a reduction in bill payments, weatherization repairs, and energy crisis assistance. For help with medical bills, visit HealthCare.gov to secure insurance options through the Affordable Care Act. And for all emergency medical situations, rest assured medical coverage is available through the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA).