Advertiser Disclosure

Delinquent Debt Timeline: How to Recover at Each Stage

Feb. 14, 2019
Paying Off Debt, Personal Finance
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Unpaid debts don’t go away; instead, they can lead to debt collections, lawsuits and wage garnishment. But if you take action to deal with your delinquent debt, you can protect your budget — and your credit score — from the worst repercussions.

If you have many delinquent debts, look into debt relief options. Creating a plan to contend with debt can help safeguard long-term goals such as retirement.

One warning: No matter how much you owe, avoid resorting to high-cost borrowing such as a car title loan or payday loan. It can lead to a spiral of debt that’s hard to escape.

Learn more: Use the timeline below to understand each stage of what happens when a debt becomes delinquent. Click on any stage along the way to learn more about what happens behind the scenes and what you can do to remedy the situation.

515x_Step_1_Short (1)

515x_Step_2_short (1)

515x_Step_3_Short (1)

515x_Step_4_Short (1)

515x_Step_5_Short (1)

515x_Step_6_Short (1)

Sean Pyles is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: [email protected]Twitter: @SeanLoranPyles