Nobody wants to leave their bills unpaid, or to watch their debts mount, but sometimes money troubles are inevitable. Life can take some unexpected twists and turns along the way. Emergencies arise, requiring unforeseen payments to be made, or else unemployment or prolonged sickness rear their ugly heads. They can leave you short of cash, and when that happens, there simply isn’t the money you need to cover all of your bills on time.
That doesn’t mean that things are hopeless. There are ways and means of raising money at short notice, and methods for prioritising what’s really important and the things that can wait.
High up on that list of things that matter will be paying the bills to cover your essential utilities. Living without electricity, gas, or water is unpleasant, if not impossible. Depending on the time of year, it can even be harmful to your health. Luckily, most providers will allow you to defer your payment by at least a month before cutting you off, but you still need to make sure that you have money to cover your bills after this period.
If you’re at a loss as to where you can find it, here are a few solutions:
Speak to Your Provider
As we mentioned already, most utility providers will allow you to miss one month’s payment before cutting you off, but that won’t keep you safe and warm forever. Thankfully, you won’t be the first person who’s run into money troubles and found yourself unable to pay. Swallow your pride and get in touch with the companies that deliver your utilities, explaining your issues to them. You’ll find that many are willing to offer you a payment plan to help you out. This means that they’ll negotiate reduced payments that you can meet, so you won’t have to worry about having no heating, lighting, or warm water in the depths of winter.
Take Advantage of Your Overdraft
Even if you manage to negotiate a payment plan, you will still need money to fulfil your side of the bargain. The first lending option you should consider is your overdraft, as using this will usually carry the lowest fees and the most minor penalties. Depending upon your specific account, this could provide you with instant access to sums between £500 and £5,000.
Explore Other Borrowing Options
Credit cards and loans also provide viable borrowing options, although these are likely to carry higher interest rates and charges. The danger of exploring these avenues is that the price of falling into arrears tends to be quite severe, especially for secured options, which may be all that are available to you if you have a poor credit history.
Another, often overlooked borrowing option, is a pawnbroker like H&T. These allow you to hand over an item of your choosing as security, and receive instant cash in return. You usually won’t be required to pass any credit checks, and know that the repercussions will be limited to the loss of your property if you should fail to meet your repayment schedule.
If you need help meeting your utility bills, could one of these options work for you?