MoneyLife

How To Catch Up On Bills (8 Debt Crushing Tips)

By Jacinta Sherris
catch up on bills

Are you struggling to the point where you don’t know how to catch up on bills anymore? Not knowing where to start or how you’re going to pay your bills can feel overwhelming. However, with a solid plan and a way of utilizing resources, you can get back on track in no time! Here’s how to catch up on bills. 

1. Create a list of the bills you owe.

Keeping track of multiple bills can be exhausting. Disorganization can make it even worse. A lack of organization is a major culprit for getting behind on bills. It can cause you to lose track of what you owe, enabling your bills to pile up out of nowhere. 

Getting real with your financial situation and coming up with a game plan is the first step. Start by collecting and organizing all of the bills you owe. Keep a separate section in your home for all your bills and input their due dates onto your calendar. Set reminders on your phone for a certain amount of time each week, and dedicate that time to paying your bills. 

2. Take a fresh look at your budget 

Go through all of your bills and financial statements to calculate exactly how much money you owe. How much money do your total payments come out to? Write down the amount.

Next, take a hard and honest look at your budgeting and spending habits. Can you afford to meet your payment obligations? If you are cutting it close, now is a good time to find out where you can adjust and cut back on expenses. 

You may have to make some lifestyle sacrifices and reduce your spending in order to catch up on bills. If you need help figuring out how much you can afford to spend while also saving, make sure to check out RoarMoney for budgeting tips, tracking, and mobile banking.

3. Identify priority bills 

As you organize your bills, take a hard look at which ones are past due. You’ll want to pay off any outstanding balances first. Make sure to also prioritize the most important bills and essentials over non-essentials. This includes housing, utilities, and food. 

If you’re running short on funds or struggling to pay bills, cut out the non-essentials. Fancy car payment too high? Sell it and get a car with higher mileage. Turn off the subscriptions, stop paying for cable, and pause your gym memberships if you can’t pay your electricity bill or your rent.

4. Make those calls you keep putting off

There come a time when you’re going to have to call up creditors, collection agencies, medical billing, and credit card companies. You may not want to have these tough conversations, but they’re extremely important. You might be able to negotiate your payments or unpaid balances. You might also be able to ask for a refund on overdraft and non-sufficient fund (NSF) fees

When you call in, make sure to get in touch with a customer service representative and explain your situation. Be open, honest, and friendly as you explain your financial hardship. Emphasize your willingness to meet your obligations if they grant you some leeway. You might be able to settle for a more suitable plan and ultimately avoid things getting worse. 

While you have your creditor or billing company on the phone, remember to set up automatic payments. Some companies will grant you a discount if you accept recurring billing. Plus, it’ll make it easier to stay on top of your monthly bills and you’ll avoid missing future payments. 

5. Shop for deals

The chances of finding a discount or better rate are very high if you take the time to look. Compare different rates on car insurance, cell phone plans, and more. You might even be able to secure cheaper medical prescriptions through GoodRx. You can also earn cashback on everyday purchases by opting into RoarMoney’s debit card rewards. 

6. Look for better loan rates

Refinancing or securing better loan rates can make it easier to meet your monthly obligations and catch up on bills. However, this doesn’t mean you should increase the length of your mortgage or car loan. Doing so will end up costing you more money in the long run. 

Instead, you should only refinance if you can secure a lower rate, taking closing costs and other fees into account. People who’ve applied for a loan with bad credit, and improved their credit score over time, have been able to successfully secure lower rates. 

If you’re looking to improve your credit score, consider a Credit Builder Loan from MoneyLion. This loan is designed to help you boost your credit score, and it can even provide you with an extra influx of cash to help pay down bills that require immediate attention.

7. Bring in more cash flow 

Improving your cash flow is much-needed when you can’t pay your bills. Thankfully, there are many ways you can earn some extra money on the side. Start by looking for a second job or picking up side gigs—at least until you get your finances under control. Some common examples include:

  • Driving for a ride-share company. Think Uber, Lyft, etc.
  • Delivering food through Postmates, Doordash, UberEats, etc.
  • Dog walking or pet sitting. 
  • Tutoring, especially if you speak a second language.
  • Cleaning or organizing houses.

Take a look at some more ways you can boost your cash flow here

8. Stick to it!

Once you know how to catch up on bills, you’ll have to make the effort to stick to your plan. It’s easy to fall off track without support, especially if you don’t feel you’re making a big dent in your debt. 

This is why it’s critical to focus on the small wins. Remember that progress takes time and that what’s most important is that you’re moving forward. If you need an extra boost of motivation, make sure to use Financial Heartbeat, MoneyLion’s very own financial tracking tool. You’ll gain insights into improving your cash flow and budgeting with the help of supportive tips and personalized advice. Think of it as your guide on the journey back to financial stability!

Catch up on your bills with Instacash

You might be wondering how to catch up on bills if you’re still short on cash. In this case, you’ll want to use Instacash. 

Instacash is a cash advance from MoneyLion that allows you to get up to $250 instantly with 0% interest. That’s right—you can get extra funds at any time for 0% APR and pay them back when you receive your next paycheck. 

Learn more about how you can use Instacash to cover bills you need to pay immediately!  

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