If you’re struggling to keep on top of your credit card payments, you’re not alone.
Your bank is ready to listen and consider possible solutions that are right for you.
It’s important to be open and realistic when talking about your financial position.
If you hold multiple cards from different credit card providers, then you should contact each provider as well.
When should I talk to my bank?
Don’t be afraid to contact your bank as soon as possible. The sooner you do, the sooner they can help you find a solution that is right for you.
Help to improve your situation
Taking a closer look at your budget could help you to get your finances back on track.
You’ll need to consider your income, expenses, the debt you’re managing and any savings and investments you have. Are there any changes you could make to reduce your expenses and consolidate debts?
Doing this will give you a better understanding of how much you can save or where to make some cuts in your spending to improve your financial health.
For assistance with budgeting, you could use the online Moneysmart budget planner.
This is a good step to take as your bank may ask you about your income, expenses and any changes you intend to make when discussing options to assist you.
Are there ways to better manage your payments?
Depending on your circumstances, and your bank, there may be a number of ways for you to work through these difficult times and keep your payments on track. These include:
Starting a payment plan
Your bank may allow you to put some, or all of your credit card balance into an instalment plan. This could allow you to pay off your balance in instalments like a loan. Also talk to your bank about receiving a reduction in interest, and remember interest is not stopped automatically.
Reviewing or reducing your monthly spending limit
Ask your bank to reduce your current limit on your credit card to help keep your monthly spending under control.
Consolidating your cards and payments with a personal loan
If you have multiple credit cards or a large outstanding balance, then depending on your situation and bank, you may be able to consolidate your cards or outstanding balance into a personal loan. You can then pay off the balance with regular instalments.
Transferring to a card with a lower interest rate
Your bank may be able to move your balance to a credit card with a lower interest rate.
If you can, keep making payments, even if they’re smaller. This will help reduce the level of any outstanding unpaid amounts.
If you are managing multiple debts, there are plenty of free options to help you get your finances under control. You do not need to use a paid service. Helpful information about how to work with creditors is available through the National Debt Helpline.
Take care of yourself and seek help
Please reach out if you feel you are in over your head. You could also contact the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 and speak with a financial counsellor. Financial counsellors are qualified professionals who provide free, independent, and confidential information and advice to people in financial difficulty.
If you have debts with multiple banks, Way Forward Debt Solutions may be able to help you manage your debt.
Charities and community organisations can also provide urgent help with food, housing and bills as well as emotional support.
You could also contact Beyond Blue on 1800 512 348 who offer a wellbeing and mental health support service.
Moneysmart is another useful resource to help you.