If you dispute a debt, first
contact the creditor directly to resolve your questions. If you
still have questions about the debt, contact your state or local
consumer protection office or state Attorney General.
Contact your creditors to let
them know you're having difficulty making your payments. Tell
them why you're having trouble- perhaps it's because you recently
lost your job or have unexpected medical bills. Try to work out
an acceptable payment schedule with your creditors. Most are
willing to work with you and will appreciate your honesty and
The Fair Debt Collection Practices
Law prohibits a debt collector from showing what you owe to anyone
but your attorney, harassing or threatening you, using false
statements, giving false information about you to anyone, and
misrepresenting the legal status of your debts. Remember that
under other federal laws to collect debts, creditors cannot seize
most government assistance and can only garnish a portion of
wages to collect debts.
Budget your expenses. Create
a spending plan that allows you to reduce your debts. Itemize
your necessary expenses (such as housing and health care) and
optional expenses (such as entertainment and vacation travel).
Stick to the plan.
Try to reduce your expenses.
Cut out any unnecessary spending such as eating out and purchasing
expensive entertainment. Consider taking public transportation
rather than owning a car. Clip coupons, purchase generic products
at the supermarket, and avoid impulse purchases. Above all, stop
incurring new debt. Consider substituting a debit card for your
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