Effective Communication

One of the great temptations when faced with debt is to put things off. Burying your head may seem foolish, but for many people it's the only way of coping with what feels like a hopeless situation. Letters remain unopened simply because we know the sort of thing they will contain and we are aware that we cannot meet the demands they are making.

Facing facts

The problem with the 'ignoring everyone approach', is that the problems won't go away. On the contrary the situation is almost certain to get worse. Our sense of helplessness will grow and the longer the refusal to face things continues the longer it is going to take to sort things out. Better to take a deep breath, open all correspondence and find out the facts of our debt situation. This may involve contacting creditors or reading out credit report.

Opening negotiations

One of the frustrations for creditors is not being able to discuss problems that we may face with debt repayments. Although there are limits to how far they can go to help, they would far rather we were open about our difficulties. Many creditors accept a token payment - maybe £1/mth - once they understand our personal circumstances.

Changing circumstances

We may find our income or outgoings change due to job or family circumstances. Things can happen, often through no fault of our own that will create problems for our debt repayments. First rule is to communicate our circumstances to our creditors when we realise we are in trouble as far as debt repayments are concerned.

Affordable payments

No one should be able to make us pay what we don't have. No one should force us to use credit to pay off debt. And no one should insist we forego essentials or priority debts in order to meet non-priority debts. Sacrifices may need to be made to meet our debt repayments, but if we simply can't afford contractual repayments, we need to explain our situation and offer token payments.

Types of communication

There can of course be frustration for the debtor too - as some creditors can be difficult to speak with. However through letter, email, phone or fax - there should be a way of getting the message across. It is good sense to keep a record of written communication and make a note of all phone conversations with a name, time/date and summary of the contact.

Finding help

Citizens Advice Bureau or Consumer Credit Counselling Service should be able to offer help or support with communication with creditors. Sample letters can be provided. And it may be that a company needs to be engaged to provide a service for you in communicating effectively with your creditors.

The above is provided as information only. Iva.co.uk does not provide debt advice. You must always seek professional advice before taking any action to resolve your debts.