Besides help paying for medicines and procedures, you might find that you need help paying for other daily living expenses such as food, transportation, child care, mortgage or rent, and utility bills while you're undergoing treatment. If you’re worried about paying your bills, there are some things you can do:
- Develop a budget that lists your monthly income and all your monthly expenses. Writing down all your expenses can help you decide if you can cut back anywhere. A written list of expenses also can help you prioritize your bills. This can help you figure out if you're going to be short of funds and take steps to get help if you need it.
- Talk to your creditors and let them know that you're having trouble paying your bills. Tell them why you're having problems and ask if you can work out a payment plan. Most creditors are willing to work with customers, especially if you have a good history with them. Don't wait until your account has been turned over to a collection agency.
- Always try to make a payment, no matter how small, to show your creditors that you're making an attempt to pay.
- If you're having trouble making or sticking to a budget, you may want to contact a credit counselor. To find a reputable counselor, talk to someone at your bank or local consumer protection agency. Many universities, as well as local housing authorities and the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, offer non-profit credit counseling programs.
- Talk to the social worker at your hospital or cancer center. This person can usually refer you to local government and nonprofit agencies that may be able to help you.
- Contact your local United Way or American Cancer Society office. These organizations may be able to offer financial assistance or direct you to other groups in your area.
- Many local churches, synagogues, mosques, and other religious organizations and fraternal orders have volunteers who can help with transportation or grocery shopping. They may also have financial assistance programs.