When You Can’t Pay Your Bills…

Image result for sticking your head in the sand

You may be tempted to bury your head in the sand!  If so, you’re not alone.

If you’re like many Americans, you may be struggling to make ends meet.  It can be overwhelming to have more bills than you have money.  If there’s just not enough to go around, you may be tempted to ignore bills or credit charges.  In addition to the stress and financial losses, late payments can affect access to future credit for many years.  In this module you’ll learn more about what to do when you can’t pay your bills.

Let’s learn more…

Quiz: When You Can’t Pay your Bills   Take this 10 question tutorial/quiz to test your knowledge about what to do when you can’t pay your bills. You can take this quiz as many times as you want. To learn more about this topic (before or after you take the quiz), scroll down to the list of learning resources below.

Overdue Bills

First – don’t ignore them.  Although tearing up letters, bills, and financial statements might feel really good, it’s not going to help you solve the real problem.  In fact, it usually makes matters worse.  If you look to the internet for help, it can be overwhelming.  Where do you start?  How do you know which bills to pay first when all of the bills are overdue?  What options do you have? We’ve put together some information to help get you back on track. Remember, there are no “quick fixes,” but there are some great resources available to help you take back control. Start with taking the first step!

What can happen if you don’t pay your bills

Where to start if you can’t pay your bills

Deciding which debts to pay first

Quick facts on debt collection, judgments, garnishment, and reposession

Sample Letter for Creditors

Want to learn even more?

If you are ready to learn even more, you may find this information from the University Illinois helpful as well:  Debt Management and Using your Money Wisely . While you’re there check out the other money management resources.

Power Pay – if you want the tools to develop a personalized, self-directed debt elimination plan.

Negotiating with Creditors – watch this video to help you learn about taking action NOW if you’re behind on bills and the creditors have started contacting you.  While you’re on this site, look for even more ways to get real, practical knowledge about better money habits!


Need local resources?

When money is tight, you may qualify for extra help for food, childcare and healthcare.  It’s worth the time to check and see.  These sites will help you get started…Resources for Foodshare or Badgercare   and Get connected, Get answers – free and confidential service to help you find the resources you need.


Certificate of Completion

If you’d like to certify that you’ve completed this module, be sure to contact a UW Extension Financial Educator to find out about program requirements.