Debt; it’s not a word we like to talk about. It means you owe money, no matter how much it is. But if you do not take it seriously, debt will quickly spiral out of control. When that happens, you’re left wondering how you will ever become financially stable again.
But once you recognize you have debt and need to do something about it, the recovery path can begin. There are ways that you can take control of your debt, whether it be through budgeting or professional help. We’ve come up with a few tips to help you get back in control of your finances.
Evaluate Your Interest Rates
One of the hardest parts about debt is the interest charges you get dinged for every month. So even if you’re paying your minimum payments on time each month and keeping your spending under control, the interest charges you face is what can make coming out of debt so tricky.
So look at everything you owe, whether it be credit cards, bank loans or a mortgage. Figure out which debt has the highest interest rate. That will be your priority to pay off. The interest charges cost you more money in the long run, so pay off the highest one first.
Create a Budget
Sometimes it is hard to tell where all your money is going. If that is the case, there’s a good chance you are throwing away money in certain areas of life that could help pay off your debt. Budgeting is an excellent way to not only organize your finances but also to help keep you on track for paying off your debt.
Start with your fixed payments such as the mortgage, vehicle loans, insurance and utilities. These are the ones that will more than likely be the same each month. Whatever is remaining of your monthly income, divide it up into smaller categories, including debt payments. The goal is to try and put as much towards your debt each month over luxury expenses.
Get Professional Help
If you have tried everything possible to get your debt paid off but haven’t made it anywhere, it may be time to ask for help. This shouldn’t be considered a failure or anything along those lines. Instead, it is a moment of accepting that debt is a lot harder than people think.
Talk to a financial advisor about possibilities like an Individual Voluntary Agreement. This is a way to have some debt written off and affordably pay back the rest. An IVA is a legal agreement between the creditors who you owe money to and yourself. This path has a lot of benefits that will help you in the long run. However, it is a decision not to take lightly.
Get some IVA advice from an advisor before deciding if this is the path for you.
No matter what your debt situation is, there are ways to pull yourself out of it. Start with your budgeting and paying off the highest interest debt first. If it becomes overwhelming, never be afraid to ask for help.
Photo Credit: kalyan02