Traffic tickets are never fun. They’re particularly annoying, however, when you can’t afford to deal with them. Perhaps you were going a mile or two over the limit, maybe you overstayed your welcome in a parking space, or maybe you’ve been unjustly ticketed, but unfortunately, the reason doesn’t matter and you’re still going to be out of pocket. So what do you do now? Here are four things you can do if you get a ticket you can’t afford:

Pay Upfront If You Can

Unpaid tickets can lead to a variety of negative outcomes including owing high levels of compounding interest or even being charged. If you’re guilty, pay up as soon as you can. If your bank balance says no, look into what is available for you in the way of fast small loans. While you’ll still be liable to pay interest, these sorts of loans tend to charge a lower rate and have far more favorable repayment terms than credit cards or payday loans.

Write-In

If, however, you believe you have been wrongly fined, it is possible in certain areas to dispute the charge. If this is an option for you, compile a formal letter to send to the relevant official outlining your version of events. Remember to be respectful and note previous good standing with the law. For example, outline the fact that you have a clean driving record (if you do), discuss how you are embarrassed to have received the fine as the offending action is completely out of character and respectfully request that the fine be withdrawn. Ask a friend or relative to read it for you for feedback.

Request A Payment Plan

Depending on who issued your infringement notice, you may be able to put your fine on a payment plan. To find out whether this is an option, call up or visit the website of the issuing party. This helps ease the financial burden by spreading it out instead of having to come up with a lump sum payment and as you’ve organized to pay, you won’t find yourself being chased around by debt collectors screaming for what you owe plus crazy amounts of interest.

Read More: Who Do You Think Should Pay Traffic Fines For Driverless Cars?

Sell Unused Items

Everyone has things in their home that they don’t use so why not turn your clutter into cash? Systemically go through your home and identify anything that doesn’t either serve a purpose or bring you joy and then put them up for sale. There are plenty of online portals that allow you to get your items in front of potential buyers and one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Just be wary of sneaky selling fees and postage costs which can seriously eat into your budget if you’re not careful.

Traffic tickets can lead to serious consequences so it is important to get on top of things as soon as you receive one, even if you can’t afford to pay it. Although they may seem like it sometimes, traffic cops aren’t the devil and the system doesn’t really want to lock you up over a fine, they’d much rather just take your money and leave you be. Use this to your advantage in order to find a way to deal with things without completely destroying your budget. It is doable and there’s no need to panic just yet. Utilize the tips in this article and you’ll be back on track in no time.

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