How to Get Help Paying Bills

| April 20, 2015

help paying billsWe all know how it goes, life happens and it gets ahead of you. Before you know it you’re falling behind on bills, debt collectors are hounding you, and you’re at risk of losing your home. Whether you are just out of college with mountains of student loans that you are having trouble repaying, or you’re just trying to support your family and make ends meet, you have options.


Many states offer mortgage help with services such as counseling, budgeting assistance, and foreclosure mediation. Homeowners can also free up some of their monthly income by contesting their property tax values. There are also a number of affordable housing locations designed to cover a percentage of rent every month depending on a tenant’s income.

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Debt Consolidation

Debt consolidation is a good way to organize debt and even lower total monthly payments. Many banks or lending houses will buy your total debt, pay off existing bills, and consolidate it into one loan with a lower rate than many of your other bills, though typically rates depend on credit history. The repayment period is then typically extended to allow for more time to get rid of the debt.

Student Loans

Nationwide our graduates are earning their degrees and then leaving their Alma Matters with no job. Whether it be the job market or their area of specialty, grads have found themselves in a pile of debt with no way to pay it. There are many opportunities and programs out there designed to make loan repayment easier and more affordable for ex-students, including:

  • Income based loan repayment calculates monthly repayment amounts based on how much an individual is earning. This option is available for many government student loans.
  • Loan forgiveness is offered for select professions and in select locations. For example, teachers may be eligible for loan forgiveness by teaching in an urban school, or lawyers may be eligible for loan forgiveness by working in a pro-bono office.
  • Loan consolidation is another common option to reduce total monthly payments and earn better interest rates in loan terms, see above for additional details.

Utility Bills

There is little more embarrassing and inconvenient than having your heat, electricity, or water shut off for failing to pay the bill. The good news is that there are a variety of options and resources to prevent this from happening. Customers can sign up for budget billing to pay a flat rate every month based on past usage, the fee is adjusted each year to reflect actual usage. Another option is the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) which is designed to help needy families heat and cool their home, or make energy efficient modifications to their dwellings.

Help for homeowners, new buyers

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides energy-bill assistance to low-income households. Information: 215-560-1583 or The Utility Emergency Services Fund gives emergency grants to help pay heating bills.

Though debt can sometimes be hard to manage and cope with, there is no need to panic and let it get too out of hand. There are a number of private and government programs to help low income families get help paying bills budget their lifestyles and get back on track to a successful future.

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Category: Budget, Financial Education

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