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What should I do if I can’t pay my credit card bills?

If you can't pay your credit card bill, it’s important that you act right away. Contact your credit card company immediately because many creditors may be willing to work with you to change your payment if you’re facing a financial emergency. 

Here’s what to do:

1. Add up your income and expenses

Look for ways to cut costs. If you can’t find enough to pay your minimum payment, decide how much you can afford to pay.

2. Call your credit card company

Be sure to clearly explain:

  • Why you can’t pay the minimum
  • How much you can afford to pay
  • When you could restart your normal payments
  • What new payment you are requesting and for how long

3. Consider credit counseling

If you need more help, credit counseling organizations can teach you more about handling your money. Many credit counseling organizations are non-profit. Before you sign up, ask if you will be charged, how much, and what services will be provided. Watch out for for-profit debt relief companies that:

  • Charge fees before they settle your debts
  • Give a guarantee that they can make your debt go away
  • Tell you to stop communicating with creditors
  • Tell you to stop making your minimum payments