Living with debt is one of the most difficult things you’ll ever do. It feels like a black cloud that looms over your head at all times. So how to manage debt problems is big question for all of us. It’s a weight that gets heavier and heavier each day. The further into debt you fall, the more difficult it is to resurface. The worst thing is that almost all of us live with some form of it. Whether it’s a mortgage, student loan or credit cards, it’s a core part of our lives. But, how exactly do you get out of its tight grip? Today, we’ll look at how you can manage your debt, and find a way out.
How to manage debt problems
Face up to it – The first thing to do is face up to your debt. It sounds scary, but it is essential. When we’re in debt, we tend to avoid our bank statements. We don’t check our accounts, and we pretend it’s not there. Unfortunately, this is the worst thing you can do. It will keep getting larger, unchecked as the payments aren’t made. Instead, face up to your debt. Count it and understand it. How much do you owe? And who do you owe it to? Only by looking at the scale of the problem can you start to overcome it.
Prioritize it – When you look at your total debt, it often feels overwhelming. So, let’s break it down into smaller amounts. The best way to start is by prioritizing the payments. Which are the most pressing debts that must be paid back. It will invariably be any short-term lenders, and they have the biggest interest rates. Start with them. Now, move onto your credit card payments. Which credit card company is most pressing? Once you’ve broken it all down, it’s easier to manage.
Restructure your debt – It’s often difficult balancing your various obligations and lenders. The minimum payments across five or six lenders all add up to a big amount. With that in mind, consider restructuring your debt into a more manageable process. If you’ve got a student loan, for example, you can restructure it into income based repayment plans. Meanwhile, you can call up your credit card companies and ask to restructure your repayments. They’re often more than happy to help.
Live below your means – Once you’ve got a repayment plan in place, start to adjust your budget. If you’re living in serious debt, it’s because you’re living above your means. You’re spending more than you’re earning! As you can imagine, this is unsustainable in the long run. Begin to cut back your everyday expenses until things are more manageable. Buy fewer coffees from cafes and don’t buy lunch at work every day. Find new ways to cut back on day-to-day items. You could even do a little extra self-employed work to build your cash.
Take it one step at a time – It’s crucial to understand that your debt won’t vanish overnight. Getting rid of debt is a step-by-step, bite size process. It may take years to finally be free. But, as long as you’re making a start, you’re on the right track!
Have you had any experience of debt? What helped you get through it?
How to manage debt problems
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