What Are the Best Tips for Getting Financial Help with Bills?

Lainie Petersen

Individuals who are in need of financial help with bills should make a list of all bills they owe, prioritize their payment, and then seek financial help services in their area. Depending on the area in which a person lives, there are various services that can assist individuals and families with budgeting as well as getting assistance from the government or private charities. In some cases, those who need financial help with bills that they have no hope of repaying may wish to consider the option of bankruptcy. Given that bankruptcy is a drastic step, however, other alternatives, including negotiating a debt settlement, may be a better option.

Seeking the help of a credit counseling service is a good way to getting financial help with bills.
Seeking the help of a credit counseling service is a good way to getting financial help with bills.

A common contributing factor to financial problems is that an individual is unaware of her own spending habits. This unawareness makes it difficult to manage money effectively, even in situations where a person actually makes enough money to cover his expenses. People who are having difficulty with their finances should list all of their debts, including bills for basic living. They can use this information to develop a budget, preferably with the assistance of a financial planner or credit counselor, and determine whether they do have enough income to cover payments on their debts and necessary expenses.

If someone discovers that she simply does not have enough income to pay off her debt and afford basic necessities, she should seek financial help with bills that includes assistance in lowering both her debt and her expenses. Credit counseling services can sometimes provide debt management plans to individuals who are having difficulty paying off various types of debt, including medical and credit card debt. If someone is having difficulty paying his mortgage, he may be able to work out a mortgage modification plan to reduce his monthly payment. In some cases, creditors are willing to work with debtors who have legitimate financial problems and may forgive at least some part of the debt owed.

Financial help with bills, such as utilities, rent, and food, is sometimes available through government and private agencies. Utility companies will sometimes discount their rates for people who have a low income, and some social service agencies provide temporary assistance in paying these bills. Other social service programs may provide help with purchasing food, renting an apartment, or paying medical bills. In some cases, these programs are not well publicized, so it is to the advantage of an individual in need of assistance to contact several agencies and charities to ask about qualifying for their programs.

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