Taking Steps That Give a Person a Sense of Control.

As some of you already know, I was injured in 2007 setting up an art show and my financial situation drastically changed over time.  I dropped from a five figure income to a low four figure income in 2008.  As a result of this I am having a hard time paying my financial obligations.  

I had mapped out a five year plan to become debt free and this worked very well until this year.  My art show that I recently had did not generate enough income for me to remain current on bills and I was in a panic.  I let certain things pile up and felt like a failure.  I have always had an excellent credit rating and I was proud to be managing my finances. Lately I would wake up every morning with my heart pounding as I tried to figure out what to do.  Finally I managed to get a grab on my fears and started making some calls to the places where I knew I was going to come up short on meeting my obligations and I am so glad that I did this.  I took control instead of allowing my fears to control me.  This is what I found out.

First I called the company where I have my truck financed and talked to a very pleasant man there.  I told him that I had mailed in my full payment and I am current with this company but I will have problems paying the full amount for the next few months.  He was very understanding and told me that he was having the same problems too.  He asked me what had happened to me and he noted my injury and my current financial status in my records.  Then he told me that as long as I pay at least half of my payment, the company will work with me.  What a relief!  I told him of my legal situation  with the facility that I was injured at and he also noted this in my records.  He also said that I did exactly the right thing by calling and I felt a sense of control and empowerment. 

I made a few other calls to places where I have accounts and explained my financial situation and got the same results.  I showed them my good faith and sense of being a responsible person by my concern over my finances.  My sense of control and empowerment kept growing.  

Many of us are in the same circumstances and these companies are willing to work with us as long as we address the problem in a responsible manner.  Your situation may be a job loss or cut back work hours.  Separation or going through a divorce.  An illness or injury  such as I am going through.  It does not matter what the reasons for economic hardships are.  By making the calls to creditors we show our willingness to work things out as best as we can until out financial status improves. 

I made the calls and first explained my circumstances in a respectful way.  Assured the people on the other end of the phone that I want to do all I can to maintain my credit rating.  Then I asked them for help with this.  Every person told me that I did the right thing.  By my remaining calm and having a pleasant dialogue, I established a good relationship with every party and I now have their names for further contact.  I was even told that not all persons working there are so pleasant and that, if I have any problems when I call, I can ask to be transferred to a more understanding party.  

All companies have their own policies to help deal with these types of problems.  Everyone I talked with is in the same boat as I currently am but for various reasons.  One young man was a senior in college and is having problems making his car payment.  Worried that he will not be able to find a good job in his field.  The company where I have my truck financed told me that they bend over backwards and do not want to repossess any vehicles as there are no people able to buy them. 

This is what has worked for me and this is why I am happy this week even though I still have my financial obligations but that pile of mail is no longer my enemy.  Rather I now look at it and have the confidence that I took matters under my control and I now rule my mail.  It no longer rules me.

For every problem that we face in life, there is a workable solution.  I am not advocating that any one send in half a vehicle payment without first contacting their lending company.  First make the necessary call.  Find out what your particular lender requires.  Be calm and respectful to the person on the phone.  Assure them of your concern.  Then ask them for their guidance and help.  This works.

People do not like to talk about their finances and money problems. I was embarrassed about this at first  but I have always been open and candid here on EP and, as I was laying in physical therapy today getting my heat treatment, it came to me that I want to share what I learned this week with others here.  I am not a financial failure but if I had ignored my finances and continued to bury myself in feelings of guilt and embarrassment, then I would be a failure in this very important part of my life.  

I want you to know what worked for me this week.  I have a list of the helpful and understanding people I talked with and their contact information.  I date every call and the result of each call.  What I promised to do about my bills in the near future and I also made it a personal goal of meeting my promises.  If I have a month where this becomes hard for me then I know the right person to talk to about this.  Now I know that I have done everything I can to be in control.  And this feels very good.  I hope this helps others in the same situation.  Blessings and warm wishes to you all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

dartist dartist
56-60, F
5 Responses Mar 26, 2009

Beautiful, and thank you for writing this piece. We all are in same boat because this has happened or could happen to any person, family, or business. Thanks for sharing. I have always believed that if you call to make arrangements about your finances you can usually come away with a positive result.<br />
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Love & Blessings

I was encouraged because I saw this same message in a commercial the other day, a woman was basically talking about how she was falling behind on her payments but she received some good advice.... talk to the people you owe money to, and they'll work with you.

Thank you and I have learned this. It really made a difference in my life. Financial problems are something that people do not like to talk about. Maybe it is a stigma of being some sort of failure? I don't feel this way but it is embarrassing. All parties I talked to were very understanding and I was told that they are happy if an effort is being made. To keep communications ongoing if things get worse for me. Hopefully I won't have to make more calls. Thank you again for your comments.

I used to work as a mortgage loan officer at a credit union, and I can vouch for the fact that banks and credit unions will often help you if you are not able to stay completely current on your payments due to various reasons beyond your control. They are not itching to repossess your house and sell it at a fraction of its value on the foreclosure market. It is a huge pain in the a$$ for them and they will often bend over backwards to help you IF you address it responsibly as this story spells out. <br />
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You won't solve anything by hiding in shame and fear, that will only make it worse.

DIANE THIS IS A VERY INSPIRATIONAL STORY. I ENJOY THE FACT YOU TOOK THE NEGATIVE AND MADE IT A POSITIVE AND NOW THE REWARD IS PAYING OFF. AS I READ IN THE BIBLE WE AS HUMANS WORRY ENTIRELY TOO MUCH. IF YOU TURN IT ALL OVER TO GOD HE ALREADY KNOW THE OUTCOME. HE WANTS HIS CHILDREN TO BE HAPPY. YOU HAVE FAITH AND HOPE. AND THIS TO WILL PASS. KEEP YOUR CHIN UP AND STAY POSITIVE. GOD BLESS CHRIS.....