I Can’t Pay My Credit Card Bills! What To Do When Money Is Tight


With the economy as bad as it is and with so many people out of work or whose hours and salaries have been cut, families all across America are finding it harder and harder to manage their bills.

This article is not going to contain any platitudes about how you can get money to pay your credit card bills by offering to mow your neighbor’s lawns or any other such nonsense. This article will tell you the best way to manage your finances so that you and your family’s primary needs are covered during these hard times.


The first thing you need to do is to divide up your expenses into essential and non-essential expenses. Anything under the essential category must be paid first, regardless of anything else. Essential expenses should include:

  • Rent/Mortgage
  • Utilities, such as phone, power, and gas
  • Food
  • Car payment/transportation expenses

Non essential expenses include:

  • Internet
  • Cable/satellite TV
  • Health insurance
  • Auto insurance
  • Credit card debt

One caveat here is that if you or a family member has an ongoing health issue that requires continuing expensive treatments, then health insurance becomes an essential expense. Another caveat is that if you are paying on a car note, the finance company will require you to keep the car insured, so auto insurance would move up into the essentials category as well.

Out of all of the non-essential expenses, there are priorities here, too. and credit card debt comes dead last. If you can keep your health insurance and your auto insurance, you should do so over dropping them and using that money to pay your credit card bills. Why? Because health care is more important than VISA, regardless of what the collectors may be telling you.

If, after you have prioritized your debts accordingly, you have enough money left over to pay at least one of your credit card bills, then pay the smallest one. Why? Because paying off your debts, smallest to largest will free up more money to pay off your largest debts more quickly.

If you find you have no money left to make your credit card payments, don’t feel bad. Contact your creditors and explain your situation. Some may be willing to forbear payments for a time and others will not, demanding some type of payment. Regardless of what your creditors say, stick to your budget and insist that you have no way to pay them right now.

Sometimes, you may need more help than handling matters yourself. If so, contact a credit counseling/debt management agency for assistance.

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One Response to “I Can’t Pay My Credit Card Bills! What To Do When Money Is Tight”

  1. machima says:

    Interesting post,I enjoyed article and thank for this information.

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