Chang: I don’t mean to be nosey, but all of those bills are red or pink. Are you behind on all of those bills?
Ilya: I am, but it’s no big deal. I can catch up on them next month.
Chang: You know that being late on bills is bad for your credit score, right? You also have to pay exorbitant interest if you have credit card debt.
Ilya: Don’t worry about it. Everything will be fine.
Chang: I’m only speaking from experience. When I first started working, I had a loan that I defaulted on and I ran up my credit cards. I had to borrow money from my family and friends to pay my bills. I was so desperate at one point, I even went to see a loan shark.
Ilya: Did he lend you money?
Chang: I decided against borrowing money from him after talking to my brother about it. With his help, I found a good credit counselor and got my finances under control. My two main creditors agreed to defer payment for a couple of months, but not before I sold my car and most of what I owned to raise money.
Ilya: Maybe I can do that.
Chang: Do what?
Ilya: Work with a credit counselor so I don’t have to pay my bills.
Chang: You’ve got it all wrong. It took me years to pay off those bills. I just didn’t have debt collectors calling me at all hours of the day, that’s all. A little advice: A little restraint now will save you a lot of pain.
Ilya: Okay, okay. I got the message. Remind me never to pay my bills in front of you again!
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