It can sometimes feel like the more you do to try to get out of debt, the deeper into it you sink. This, by the way isn’t your imagination. Interest accumulates each month when you carry debt over into the next.
If this describes your current situation, you’re probably wondering what to expect when you can’t pay your debts. Well, in most cases, it looks like this.
Your Credit Score Takes a Hit
Lenders report loan activity to credit agencies each month. After thirty days, you can expect to see your credit rating lowered if you can’t satisfy an obligation. The farther it goes, the worse it gets, until the loan is logged as a charge-off; meaning all efforts to collect have been met with failure, so they’re calling it a total loss.
Collection Agencies Enter Your Life
Typically, after 60 days of nonpayment, your lender will also forward the debt to a collection agency. Agents of this organization will try to get in touch with you to work out a plan for repayment of the bill.
They will begin to phone you, send you text messages and email you to try to get you to pay. If you can work out a plan with them and stick to it that will usually close the book on the situation.
However, if you can’t—
Your Debt Will Be Sold
If those efforts to collect on the debt go nowhere, the obligation will be sold for pennies on the dollar to companies whose sole enterprise is collecting unpaid debt.
People working for these establishments often resort to strong-arm tactics — staying just this side of the law (and sometimes crossing over into illegal territory) — in their effort to eke out as much profit on the investment as possible.
Your debt can be sold again and again (depending on the amount of the outstanding balance). Each time, a new round of hounds will begin to chase you.
Lawsuits Can Be Filed
Under the terms of most loan agreements, lenders are within their rights to take you to court to force you to pay. If this happens and a judgment is filed in the lender’s favor, your employer will be required to send part of your pay to the creditor before paying you.
In other words, if you’re already in a tough financial situation, it will get even worse because you will be denied the ability to decide how best to apply it. Before things go that far, consult a firm such as Freedom Debt Relief to explore ways to settle your debts without litigation.
Apartment and Job Hunting Can Become Difficult
Trying to rent an apartment, or get a mortgage, a car loan (or in some cases even a job), can become very difficult with a negative payment history on your credit report.
As ironic as it sounds, getting a job when you really need money like this can be more difficult because the negative credit report makes you look irresponsible.
Some Lenders Will Still Work with You, But—
You’ll pay as much as triple the interest someone with good credit would be asked to pay. Borrowers with low credit scores are considered more of a risk, so lenders try to hedge their bets with astronomical interest rates.
And that, in a nutshell, is what to expect when you can’t pay your debts.
While the experience is unfavorable, it isn’t the end of the world. In most cases, unpaid debts drop off of your credit report after seven years, at which time you can begin rebuilding your finances.