The first thing you need to do is have a good look at your ongoing situation.
Are you going to be able to obtain another Job with similar pay.
How long realistically is it going to take to get another Job.
If you are older or approaching retirement is the pension or centrelink going to be the only ongoing income.
Is doing something like Uber Driving, Air BnB or casual work possible.
Can you still survive on your partners income.
This will determine the approach we are likely to take going forward. If your Income is likely to be nil or very little going forward, you need to be careful what Debts you pay. Only look at paying Rent or Home Loans. Car Loans if you absolutely need the car. These affect the roof over your head and your ability to find work. Assess if you even need a car, especially if you are close to train lines, or Bus routes. See if you can get a reduced payment or payments on hold period for Home or Car Loans. Explain what has happened.
If you have Cards, Personal Loans or other large Debts, you will need to call and say you will not be able to make a payment until you have income again. Do not agree to a payment plan with these Debts yet. Paying these Debts will affect the ability to keep your Home and Car.
It also puts you into a Better position once your Income resumes, to fix outstanding Debts.
Once your income resumes, if you have a Home Loan we may look at consolidating the Debts into the Home Loan with a specialist Lender. If your Home Loan is late it can affect your ability to do this, or increase the Interest you may have to pay. They will look more favourably at your application if the Home Loan has been given Priority and the Car Loan as well.
If we look at a Debt Agreement or Informal arrangement, only the unsecured loans can be put into the payment plan. We can then negotiate a payment plan for the Unsecured Debts. It is easier to keep to your payment plan, if you don’t already have to catch up on the Home Loan or Car Loan. Sometimes we will just have to work around this, if it all runs late, but give yourself the best chance of a quicker recovery.
Needless to say unsecured Debts can be more vocal in chasing you because they do not have anything they can repossess to offset the Debt. But you need to address you and your families welfare first and prioritise your best survival strategy.
Unsecured Debts aren’t generally passed onto a collections department when you miss one payment or pay a few days later than you should have done. While different lenders will have their own process, typically you need to have missed several payments and not responded to letters and calls before an account will be passed onto collections. Collections can sometimes be easier to deal with than the actual Lender anyway. Your Credit Report will have taken a hit by now anyway, but you may have avoided too bad of a hit if you have stayed in contact with your lender.
Explain the situation, be firm about not being able to make payments till you have an income.
Of course, not all Lenders and Collection Agents are reasonable, or offer payment plans which are sustainable. Unless you have collected all the Information, Budgeted and presented a solution which is appropriate, its not likely they will offer one. This is especially difficult when there are multiple debts involved. Lenders tend to be interested in themselves only. That’s why most people call Money Buckets for Help.
If you are not going to have an income again, or it is going to be substantially reduced, you may need to get your Head around some harder options.
If you are a Home Owner and at Retirement Age there may be Reverse Mortgage and Debt Negotiation options open up for you.
Resist the temptation to use your Superannuation to pay your Debts and leave nothing to help you retire on.
If you have no assets, Bankruptcy protects your Super and allows you to move on. It’s a protection for you in these circumstances, not a punishment.
You need to look hard at what position any decisions you make leave you in the Long Term. Extended repayment plans into retirement are generally not sustainable or in your best Interest.
Money Buckets is here to guide you through. We can take it slowly and make sure you understand what’s happening and give you time to asses where you are at.
Customer Enquiries: 1800 825 010
Admin Office: 0243696287
Post: PO Box 6100, Kincumber, NSW, 2251
Money Buckets ™ is a Trademark of Starlight Home Loans T/as Fast Debt Help
ABN: 94 145 613 056
Credit Lic 388809
MFAA membership 319292
Affiliates: Second Step Administration RDAA 1668
The Rite Place Pty Ltd trading as Debtrite