When it comes to dealing with debt, communication is key. While it is common to want to avoid issues that you feel you have no control over — like owing money you can’t afford to pay back — facing the issue head-on is almost always the best thing to do.

In many cases, creditors are willing to work out some kind of agreement with you if you inform them of your situation and ask for help right away. 

For example, if you recently lost your job and cannot afford to pay your credit card bill, your credit card company might be willing to lower your minimum payment or waive late fees if you explain the situation before the bill is due and agree to make full payments at a later date.

For additional tips on what to do if you are unable to make your minimum payment on your credit card and how to talk to your creditor about your situation, read the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s brochure called “Act fast if you can’t pay your credit cards.”

Of course, some financial situations are too serious for you to handle on your own. In these cases, you might need to depend on advice from an experienced bankruptcy lawyer in your area before you decide what action to take, whether it is filing for bankruptcy or a bankruptcy alternative.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, worrying about bills is an everyday anxiety that causes stress to countless Americans. The best way to tackle this stress is by dealing with it head on, and there are trustworthy services available to help you do this.

Source: Michigan State University Extension, “Communicating with creditors,” William Hendrian, August 29, 2014