No matter how well we may plan for the worst, life will still throw us curveballs in the form of accidents, emergencies and unfortunate circumstances. Unexpected events also tend to come with a hefty price tag, which can quickly put us in a financial bind.
The exact definition of financial hardship may vary depending on who you ask. Typically, financial hardship refers to situations when you’re unable to make your debt payments or bills due to circumstances beyond your control. If you are experiencing a period of financial hardship, you may find relief through a financial hardship program.
Causes of Financial Hardship
Many situations can greatly affect your finances and land you in a period of hardship, including the following:
- Losing your job
- Illness or injury
- Death of a loved one
- Accidents and emergencies
- Natural disasters
- Cuts in your hours or pay
- Student loan payments
Financial Hardship Help
It may seem impossible to recover when you’ve been hit with a financial hardship, but it’s important to remember that you have options. In addition to making cuts in your spending and finding an additional source of income, you may be able to participate in a hardship program through your lender.
Credit Card Hardship Programs
Although they aren’t widely advertised, many major credit card issuers have hardship programs available. You may be able to receive lower interest rates, reduced penalties and fees, or lower minimum payments to help you get back up on your feet. Call your lender directly as soon as you know that you’ll need assistance.
Student Loan Hardship Programs
When it comes to federal student loans, you may qualify for a deferment, forbearance, or an income-driven repayment plan. More information on these hardship options can be found on the Federal Student Aid website.
Not all private student loan providers offer assistance programs, but it’s worth contacting them directly to go through your options. Sallie Mae, for example, offers deferment and forbearance options under special circumstances, but borrowers should be prepared to see their interest continue to accrue. Those with private student loans may also find relief through debt consolidation loans or debt settlement.
Financial Hardship Help Through Debt Settlement
If you are unable to get hardship assistance through your lender directly, you may be able to regain control of your finances through a debt settlement program. When participating in a debt settlement program, you’ll make monthly deposits into a debt settlement account that you own. Once you have saved sufficient funds, negotiators will work with creditors on your behalf to negotiate legal settlement agreements, which are usually less than what you originally owed.
Is a Hardship Program Right for Me?
If you are experiencing financial hardship, it’s best to seek help sooner rather than later. You may choose to contact your lenders directly about your situation and ask for assistance. If your lender is unable to provide you with hardship relief, or if you are uncomfortable doing this yourself, your best step is to consult with debt relief specialists. Accredited Debt Relief has helped individuals throughout the U.S. with their unique financial situations. Contact us today for a free, no obligation consultation.