Which Bills to Pay First?

A black background opens the video with white text: WHICH BILLS TO PAY FIRST? The screen changes to a blue background with a Black woman, April Jackson-Woodard, wearing a black shirt and purple blazer with yellow earrings. She signs, “Which bills come first? First, make a spending plan. Do you want to learn how to do this? Our previous video, “Why does your money disappear?” can be viewed at…” Black background appears with white text: BIT.LY/WHYDOESYOURMONEYDISAPPEAR. April appears again, signing “Are you juggling bills… like credit card payments for housing, food, electricity, gas and water, car and taxes?

White icons of a credit card, house, plate/fork/spoon, light button, car, and a calculator/pen appear on the left. “Are you struggling to budget these payments? There are so many different bills! Which of these are the most important to pay? First, consider groceries.. We need food to live. Second, consider housing. We need a place to rest and sleep. Third, consider utilities like electricity, water and gas. We need these for cooking, and to keep ourselves cool or warm. Fourth, consider transportation. You’ll need to get to work or school. Fifth, consider taxes. We need to pay on time, since this money contributes to education, infrastructure (roads), and more. Sixth, consider credit cards. Debt needs to be paid off. it’s a lot!” White icons appear in order from left to right: shopping cart, house, light button, car, calculator/pen, and credit card.

“How do you handle all of these bills if you are barely budgeting them all? First, get all of your bills and loan statements you have together and get your credit report.” Two large white icons appear on the left of a stack of paper and a clipboard with a check mark. ”You can get a free credit report at this link:” A screenshot of a website is shown: white background with red, blue, black text: ANNUAL CREDIT REPORT.COM. THE ONLY SERVICE FOR YOUR FREE CREDIT REPORTS. AUTHORIZED BY FEDERAL LAW. Several text appears below. The big blue box has white text: DON’T BE FOOLED BY LOOK-ALIKES. LOTS OF SITES PROMISE CREDIT REPORTS FOR FREE. ANNUALCREDITREPORT.COM IS THE ONLY OFFICIAL SITE EXPLICITLY DIRECTED BY FEDERAL LAW TO PROVIDE THEM. There is an image of two identical white women wearing black shirts on the right. Black background with white text on the bottom: ANNUALCREDITREPORT.COM.

The screen changes to April again, “Now you have all the information together. Next, fill out the debt log of all your bills and loans. To see what the debt log looks like, this log can be downloaded at:” Another screenshot appears with white background that looks like an excel chart. Left to right column in black text: DEBT. PAYMENT DUE THIS MONTH. PAYMENT IS UP TO DATE? TOTAL AMOUNT LEFT TO PAY. INTEREST RATE (IF ANY). PAYOFF DATE OR GOAL. The horizontal rows below are blank, some with dollar signs and percentage signs. The bottom of the chart is in black text: TOTAL MONTHLY DEBT PAYMENT. The black background on the bottom has white text: BIT.LY/DEBTLOG.

April appears again, “Now, once you fill out all of the bills and loans on the debt log, what if you find that you can’t afford to pay all of it? What should you do then? You can call your lender to discuss your debt and financial concerns. The lender may have some options such as a hardship program, which is an accommodation to help you. Some offer Coronavirus programs to help. These programs may help you modify the loan by temporarily defer payments. Sometimes, these programs help eliminate interest temporarily. Do you need professional help?” Black background with white text: NATIONAL FOUNDATION FOR CREDIT COUNSELING (NFCC) 1.800.388.2227. NFCC.ORG.

“If you prefer to use certain credit counseling services, consider this an option! Just make sure you pay attention to credit counseling services that try to take advantage or scam you. Watch or notice if they try to pressure you to pay money upfront for their services. This is not true, as you are not required to pay upfront for services. Second, if you have negative information on your credit report and the service promises you that they can remove it, it is not true. No one can do this. Third, they must explain your rights to you. If not, this is not a good service. Fourth, if they tell you to not call the credit report company, this is not true. You have the right to do so. One more thing. If you sign up for services with credit repair service, you have the right to cancel service for any reason within 3 business days.”

White background with blue text: SUPPORTED BY BANK OF AMERICA. A website page called Better Money Habits with red text: WE’RE HERE TO HELP WITH WHAT’S NEXT. There are several boxes and icons that show CREDIT, DEBT, SAVING & BUDGETING, HOME OWNERSHIP, AUTO, RETIREMENT, COLLEGE, PRIVACY & SECURITY, PERSONAL BANKING, TAXES & INCOME. White text on the bottom: BETTERMONEYHABITS.BANKOFAMERICA.COM.

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