Focus on the pronunciation of arrears
› money that is owed and should already have been paid: He ran into difficulties with his mortgage, building up more than £18,000 arrears. The government is committed to the full and timely payment of its public debt and arrears.
in arrears › owing money that should have been paid in the past: Only 75 of its 7,300 borrowers are in arrears. About 180,000 homeowners were more than three months in arrears. › UK if someone is paid in arrears, they are paid at the end of the period of time during which the money was earned: Childcare often has to be paid for in advance, while salaries are paid in arrears.