Being in debt is stressful, no doubt about it, especially incurring a bad credit score. Whether it’s a lot or just a little, having that burden can get very tiring in a short amount of time.
Once you have debt, it’s tricky to clear it. Nevertheless, the quicker you manage to repay all of your debts, the sooner you can get to saving money for yourself.
While it may seem complicated, getting out of debt can be straightforward when you have a clear plan.
Here are some steps to help you out of debt.
List Out Your Debts
They say you have to know your enemy before you can defeat them. For debts, that is true too. You should sit down and list out all the debts you have, including who it is you owe and how much, the interest rates, the minimum monthly payments, and due dates.
Remember to include all your loans, including student loans, leases, car payments and lines of credit. If you have a mortgage, include that too.
Having all this information spread out helps you figure out how to handle them strategically. You can use old-school pen and paper or use a spreadsheet like in Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets.
Negotiate for Lower Rates
One option you can go for is to obtain the services of a debt settlement company. Alternatively, you can call up your creditors and see if you can ask for relief.
The best deal you can get is a minimum interest rate. This will effectively reduce the debt that you have. Otherwise, you could also get a lower minimum payment.
This does not cut down on how much you owe but does help you to get a handle on things.
Prioritise Your Debts
Now that you have confirmed what debts you have, you can prioritise which to pay off first. A strategy is critical when it comes to these things.
One way you can minimise your long-term debt is by paying off those with high-interest rates first. An alternative method is to pay off small debts and so reduce the number of debts owing.
Create a Budget
First, you should track your spending to get an idea of what your expenditure looks like. From there, you can determine what kind of spending is necessary and what is not.
If you are able, you should cut down on unnecessary wants and try for cheaper options for the things you cannot give up.
Setting a strict budget for yourself will help to maximise your income to settle your debts quickly. Always include debts in your budget, so that you have enough to make the repayments.
Set a Goal
Once you have that done, you should set a concrete goal regarding when you want to pay off your debts. This step may seem unnecessary but will help keep yourself accountable. However, be sure not to set too lofty a goal, be realistic as to what you can do.
A Stable Income
Of course, just having a strategy for paying off your debt is not enough; you need to be able to do it. The best way to keep yourself on the road to being debt-free is by finding a stable source of income.
If you have time and energy, freelancing and part-time gigs may be additional sources of income you could look into.
When you have the time for it, try decluttering your house. You may come up with lots of stuff that you do not need but are still in good condition.
Selling these items off will help you on the road to clearing off all your debts. Your old clothes, books, childhood collections; all those may help out.
Avoiding More Debt
Of course, another thing that you want to be aware of is more debt. Sometimes, extra expenses are necessary, especially when emergencies happen. Try your best to avoid credit and rely more on cash.
Image Pixabay License CCO