How to Pay Bills When You Can’t Pay Your Bills

stack-of-billsWhen Bruce McClary was a housing counselor, his clients regularly showed up for appointments with grocery bags full of unopened bills.

“It wasn’t unusual. They couldn’t pay the bills, so they didn’t open them,” says McClary, who now works in public relations for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.

Ignoring bills seems to work — at least for a while. The repo man typically won’t take your car if you’re a little late with your payment (although he can). Credit card companies and student lenders may start to call, but you can always send them to voicemail. Foreclosures can take months, if not years, depending on where you live.

In my latest for NerdWallet, how to put a plan together when the money you have just isn’t enough.

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