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What Am I Supposed to Do if I Can’t Pay My Bills On Time?

One of the most common struggles Americans face is paying their bills. One of the worst things you can do in this struggle is disregard the issue because it can lead to a serious debt problem. It’s vital that you understand what to do when you can’t pay your bills. 

Unexpected trips to the emergency room, student loan payments, and veterinary care are all bills you may need to pay in the future. Take steps now so you avoid acquiring a mountain of debt in the future. 

Regardless of your financial situation, you have options for digging yourself out of your money struggles. Learn more about what to do if you can’t pay your bills and about emergency funding from MaxLend

What to Do if You Can’t Pay Your Bills

A few bucks here and there charged to your credit card account doesn’t sound like much, but these charged expenses can accrue interest, and your balance can rapidly increase. Unsure what to do if you can’t pay your bills? Let’s dive in and dissect the many ways you may be able to pay your debt. 

Focus on Paying Living Expenses 

If you’re late on paying credit card bills, you can expect to receive calls, emails, and even snail mail trying to convince you that your credit card bill payment is more important than paying your living expenses.

Before you pay your credit card or other bills, make sure you are focusing on these four items:

  • Food 
  • Shelter
  • Utilities 
  • Transportation

Before spending any more money on your bills and debt, make sure you’re taking care of your living expenses. It’s a priority to make sure you have food, a roof over your head, lights and water, and a form of transportation to get to work. 

Create a Budget

After your living expenses are sorted out, it’s time to create a budget to take care of the bills you can’t pay. While you may think it’s silly to budget now if you have no money to pay your bills, it’s actually a good idea to create a budget to better prepare yourself for the future. 

Start by making a budget that includes your income and expenses to help reduce your spending. Listing out all of your expenses will help you find ways to cut out excessive spending. You might even be able to find ways to increase your income with a revised budget plan. Once you have your budget in place, you can devote realistic amounts of money to your debt. 

Change Your Lifestyle 

If you can’t pay your bills on time, then it may be time to reevaluate your lifestyle. If you need extra cash fast, that may mean taking a second or even a third job, starting a side business, or selling some of your unused belongings. 

There are many ways to make ends meet and help pay your debt: 

  • Sell your car and purchase a used, reliable vehicle
  • Host a garage sale
  • Cook meals at home instead of dining at a restaurant
  • Find a second or third job 
  • Downsize your home for more realistic payments 
  • Change cell phone plans for a cheaper option
  • Share living expenses with roommate(s)

You can put extra money toward overdue bills. Put aside $1, $5, or any extra cash regardless of the amount. Changing your lifestyle can drastically change how you spend your money and help you pay your bills on time. Remember, you have options, but you are the one responsible for making the changes. 

How Can I Get Money to Pay My Bills

After you focus on living expenses, create a budget, and change your lifestyle, now it’s time to start tackling your debt.

This is one way:

  1. First, list out all of your bills from smallest to largest.
  2. Only pay the minimum amount on each bill except for the bill that is the smallest amount. 
  3. Pay as much as you can on the bill that is the smallest amount – and focus on paying that bill off. Once you pay it off, you will be able to apply that money to the next smallest bill while still paying the minimum amount on all of your other bills.

Repeat the steps above every month, and you’re on your way to becoming debt-free. The more bills you pay off, the more money you will have in the coming months. Tackle each bill one at a time so you aren’t overwhelmed with a large amount of debt. 

MaxLend Loan Solutions 

Here at MaxLend, we may be able to help you in your time of need if you can’t pay your bills. We offer short-term installment loans for those emergencies. Cover your living expenses while earning installment loan rewards. You could receive Same Day Funding* today when you apply online. Apply for cash online today to see if you qualify for up to $3,750 with MaxLend. 

Related Reading:

Most Common Reasons People Take Out a Loan

How Much Money Can I Borrow with a Loan?



*Same Day Funding is available on business days where pre-approval, eSignature of the loan agreement and completion of the confirmation call, if a call is required, have occurred by 11:45 a.m. Eastern Time and a customer elects ACH as payment method. Customers who complete this process by 1:30 p.m. Eastern on business days may still receive funds on the same day, but some banks may not disburse the funds until the next business day. Other restrictions may apply. Certain financial institutions do not support same day funded transactions. When Same Day Funding is not available, funding will occur the next business day.


The content on this site is for informational purposes only and is not professional financial advice. MaxLend does not assume responsibility for information given. All information should be weighed against your own abilities and circumstances and applied accordingly. It is up to readers to determine if this information is safe and suitable for their own situations.


MaxLend, is a sovereign enterprise, an economic development arm and instrumentality of, and wholly-owned and controlled by, the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, a federally-recognized sovereign American Indian Tribe. (the “Tribe”). This means that MaxLend’s loan products are provided by a sovereign government and the proceeds of our business fund governmental services for Tribe citizens. This also means that MaxLend is not subject to suit or service of process. Rather, MaxLend is regulated by the Tribe. If you do business with MaxLend, your potential forums for dispute resolution will be limited to those available under Tribal law and your loan agreement. As more specifically set forth in MaxLend’s contracts, these forums include an informal but affordable and efficient Tribal dispute resolution, or individual arbitration before a neutral arbitrator. Otherwise, MaxLend is not subject to suit or service of process. Nothing in this website is intended to waive or otherwise prejudice MaxLend’s entitlement to these protections. Neither MaxLend nor the Tribe has waived its sovereign immunity in connection with any claims relative to use of this website. If you are not comfortable doing business with sovereign instrumentality that cannot be sued in court, you should discontinue use of this website.