More For Your Money - University of Illinois Extension

Talk to Your Creditors

There are many reasons for not paying your debts, but there is no reason for not communicating with your creditor.

What if you have listed and prioritized your bills, but you still don’t know how you can pay all of them.  Think about how you can pay your bills.  Make a plan and write it down.

Then, if you know you can’t pay your all of your bills, contact your creditor before the bills are due.  Explain your situation—why you can’t pay.  Offer to negotiate repayment terms.  Don’t make promises you can’t keep!African-American man talking on cellphone.


  • Your current income and possibility of future income.
  • Other debts you have.
  • Your plan to bring your debt up-to-date and keep paying. Don’t make promises you can’t keep!
  • Don’t make promises you can’t keep!

Ask Your Creditor If You Can

  • reduce the monthly payment,
  • refinance to a lower interest rate,
  • skip a payment, or
  • reduce, eliminate or only pay the interest, or
  • negotiate a settlement.