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Get help with phone bills: What to do

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woman holding a bill while talking on the phone

At Money Services, within the Kroger Family of Stores, we understand that anybody can get into difficulty when it comes to keeping up with your phone bills.

While it can be hard to reach out and seek help at first, it’s best to tackle the issue as early as you can. Organizations are out there to offer support with both your cellular or landline phone bills and could help you get back on track with your regular payments.

Below we cover the steps you can take, to prevent you from missing payments and help you pay your phone bill on time each month.

Phone bill assistance – before you miss a payment

If you know in advance that you’re likely to miss a bill payment, it’s a good idea to take action before it happens and let your provider know. Having open communication with your biller shows that you’re being proactive and want to settle it as soon as possible.

It also means you may be able to avoid a late fee for not paying your bill on time, though this will be up to your biller. Making your payment on time, can help you to stay on track of your finances moving forward.

If you’re worried about not having enough funds to cover your phone bill this month or next, there are a few different things you can do.

You can contact the biller directly. They may be able to extend your deadline or at least freeze any late fees. This could give you more time to get the funds and stop you from getting charged more.

Local government support may also be available. This will vary by state, so it’s a good idea to contact your local social services agency to see what is available. Some states offer things like:

  • Low Income Utility Support Grant a Low Income Utility Support Grant can help you pay bills on time. Different grants are available, depending on where you live.
  • Lifeline Service – the Federal Communications Commission is available in every state and territory, and has a Lifeline service for low-income customers. It offers a discount monthly phone service for landline and cellular services, so you can access jobs, family and emergency services as part of the Universal Service Fund.[1]

Phone bill assistance – when you’ve missed a deadline

If you’ve already missed the deadline, it’s not too late to contact your biller to explain the situation. Often, it looks much better if you contact them first, before the biller gets in touch about the late payment, as it shows you’re making an attempt to seek support in order to pay.

Remember, it’s not the end of the world if you’ve missed a deadline and, by being proactive, you could soon get your payments back on track. To correct the situation, here are some of the steps you can take:

  • Contact the biller getting in touch with your phone provider directly could mean that they’re able to give you a little extra time or help paying your phone bill. Try and make suggestions yourself, to resolve the situation. For instance, give them a new deadline when you’d be able to pay the bill in full.
  • Don’t panic you will need to communicate with your biller to let them know what is happening and when you intend to pay. Most billers will be reasonable, especially if you’ve been a customer for a long time.
  • Ask if you can move your payment date while you may need to pay the balance before your provider does this, it can help to move your payment date for future payments. You could perhaps switch it to the day you get paid, so that you know you have the money each month.

Tips to help pay phone bills on time

Making changes to your spending or bill paying habits can help to make paying your phone bill on time easier. While it can be tight to meet all your payments each month, there are a few things you can do to make meeting deadlines easier. These include:

  • Find a way of paying bills that works for you – making bill paying as simple as possible can make it a little easier to meet your payments every month. Some people prefer in-person bill payments, which you can do at your local Money Services location, found in the Kroger Family of Stores. Find your local store.
  • Try and make bill payment part of your routine it’ll make it easier to identity problems before they happen. Take a look at our how to manage money on a low-income blog post, for tips that may help.
  • Use a same day bill payment service for some people, using a same day bill payment service like we offer at Money Services can help as it means you pay the bill as soon as it arrives, while you have the cash.

One of the main things to remember if you struggle to pay your phone bill on time or have already missed a payment, is to be honest and open with your biller. As soon as you realize you may not be able to make a payment, let them know and be proactive, this way you can avoid getting late fees or service disruptions.

Find your local store and visit your nearest Money Services location to pay your next phone bill.

[1] https://www.usa.gov/help-with-bills

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