Making bill and debt repayments on time is an essential part of avoiding a negative credit score, but sometimes it is impossible to avoid a late payment. However, there is no reason deferring a bill should automatically lead to a blemish on your credit.
Here are a few ways that you can defer bills without affecting your credit.
Banks aside, most creditors are willing to allow you to make a partial payment of any amount owed, with the provision that you return to a schedule of full payments and complete your debt in the next billing cycle. The only way to find out if this is an option is to contact the creditor directly. If you find that this is something you might need, make sure that you set up this discussion well in advance, and be honest about the reasons why you need to make a partial payment. If you don’t default on incomplete payments, you will find that people are lenient around debt (once or twice, at least).
Borrow the Money
It’s never ideal to borrow money from relatives but in some cases, it is essential. Unless your loved ones are very professional, they will more than likely not charge you interest on the money borrowed, nor will they insist on a repayment date. This will give you the breathing space that you need to make sure you meet your financial obligations, essentially deferring payments to your family to avoid putting your credit at risk.
Adjust Your Repayments
If you find that you are at risk of defaulting on repayments, then you may be able to structure a new repayment plan with your creditor. Once again, the only way to find out if this is an option is to approach the creditor directly and explain your situation. In most cases, creditors will be happier with receiving a lower monthly payment every month than missing the initial fee altogether. You cannot rely on this solution, but it is useful and is often recommended by credit and debt specialists.
Know the Rules
Before you take drastic action around your debt or upcoming bills, make sure to familiarize yourself with the legalities around repayments in your area. Although it is never ideal, there may be instances where failing to make a payment is acceptable. Many rental agents, for example, give their tenants a seven-day grace period when it comes to rent collection.
Know your rights and use them to keep your credit score intact.