Q: After having a family emergency and losing my job, I have almost $8,000 in credit card debt. I am making the minimum payments, but my savings are zero. I was looking for some information online on to how to pause my debts until I get another job or to save some money to pay them in full. Please let me know if there is any way to do this.
A: You should contact the credit card lender (or lenders). Explain your situation and see if you can get a forbearance, which would pause your debts. As you might expect, given the economy, the creditors are hearing from a lot of people in financial trouble; so, you may not get anywhere with your request, but it doesn’t hurt to try.
And please don’t fall for the pitches from companies claiming they can get you out of debt quickly. Such claims come with a high price. You could end up paying thousands to a company—money that could be used to pay down your debts.
If going straight to your credit card company doesn’t work, contact a consumer credit counseling agency by going to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling website. The agency may be able to get your minimum payments down to make them more affordable while you try to recover from your unemployment.