Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Reader in Debt Worries About Creditors

DEAR HARRIETTE: I still have crazy debt that I cannot pay because I haven’t worked since March due to the coronavirus. I am scared to call my creditors because I don’t have anything new to say to them. I interview all the time, and I just haven’t found anything yet. What should I say or do now when I can only send pennies to companies that I owe thousands? -- Need To Pay

DEAR NEED TO PAY: Sadly, many people are in this situation, which actually could make it a bit easier for you. As tough as it may feel to get on the phone and talk to your creditors, do it. Call them and share your story. Be honest and clear. If you can pay something, offer that amount -- but not more. The worst thing would be to make a promise you cannot fulfill. Most creditors will be happy to create a payment plan, even if it is over a long period of time. Your proactivity will help you to feel better. You should also ask if there is any chance they will give you a break on the amount you owe since you are being as responsible as you can.

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