Contacting your creditors Debt Solution
Summary: Contacting your creditors - as part of the debt solutions series of articles this paper seeks to encourage those in debt to communicate their circumstances to their creditors.
It's easy to see why we would rather avoid all contact with our creditors. A sense of helplessness is created when the bills mount up and repayments are impossible. It can feel better to bury the unopened demand letter because we know we can't do anything about it. Out of sight ... etc. Once we've got over the initial shock of the missed payment, aggressive letter and unpleasant phone calls - it almost becomes part of life. But this might be a big mistake.
Some creditors will respond positively to requests for help. Ironically you sometimes need to miss a payment before they can provide actual help by way of reducing repayments or freezing interest. It certainly makes sense to contact creditors when we are struggling to see what they can do. At the end of the day, they can't make you pay something that you don't have.
Short term solutions
It may be that a payment break for a month or 2 from a loan (or a mortgage?) might just give us the cash flow help we need to get things back on track. Communicating with our bank, our credit or store card companies may help more than we can imagine.
As a general rule - something by way of debt repayment is always better than nothing. Creditors are understandably wary of missed payments and non-communication. £1/mth with a letter of explanation informs the creditor that you have not fled the country, nor are you refusing to acknowledge the debt but rather you are struggling to meet the contractual repayment. Creditors are far less likely to take legal action if they know why a payment has not been made or why a lower than expected payment has been made.
Long term solutions
It may be that any assistance offered by the creditors is simply papering over the cracks. More drastic action is needed. Again, there is no reason not to inform the creditors that some form of debt solution is being sought. Then it's a question of taking professional advice to explore options to help you sort out the overall debt.