Ways to Save - Contact Your Creditors

Let’s recap what we said earlier about debt and creditors:

  • Do your homework; make it a family affair; save money in every routine category and approach your creditors with confidence.
  • If you have separated, write to every lender with whom you and your spouse have a joint account. Explain that you are divorcing and NO OTHER CHARGES are to be made on this account and explain who is responsible for what portion of the account. (REMEMBER: If both of your signatures are on the account they can go after either one of you to collect the full balance!) Have them split the account if possible. CLOSE the accounts and open a new one in your name only. Joint homeowners should get to their lawyers fast. You don’t want to fall behind in your mortgage payment, even if it’s a joint venture.
  • If you’re behind on any payments for any valid reason, (lost income, unemployment, illness, attorney fees, death of a family member), call your creditors and negotiate a payment plan and additional time to get your affairs in order. Creditors should work with you as long as you make some type of effort to stay in touch and pay what you agree upon.
  • Approach creditors in a business-like fashion with a plan in mind. Do not be intimidated. Ask to speak with a supervisor if the person on the phone is not acting like a professional and working with you in good faith to resolve your credit problem. Do not hesitate to make this contact.
  • Avoid sliding so far down this slippery slope that your creditors mention the word bankruptcy. Tell yourself: "This is not an option." Bankruptcy can stay on your credit report for seven to 10 years in most states, depending on the type of bankruptcy you file.

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