Debt can be overwhelming, especially when we've taken on too much of it. It looms over our heads, overshadowing everything else at times. Getting into debt has become easier than it once was, and one of the results is more people who have trouble making ends meet.
When you're faced with debt, it can seem impossible to get control of it. But if you recognize the problem early enough, it can be fairly simple. If you're struggling with your debts, here are five ways to get rid of them and get your finances back on track. 1. Pay more than your minimum payments.
In a perfect world, you would pay off your credit card balances in full every month, but the world is far from perfect. Even if you can't pay the full amount, paying more than the minimum payment will get your debt paid off much faster. You'll also save a lot of money in interest, because the minimum payment is almost 100% interest and actually pays down very little of your outstanding balance. This tip is true for other types of loans and credit as well - car loans, mortgages, etc. In some cases, particularly mortgages, you may be faced with a prepayment penalty, but if there is no penalty for paying your debt off early, you should do so.
2. Cut back on your expenses, and put the extra money toward paying down your debt. If you examine your budget closely enough, you will likely find many areas where you could save money. Just taking your lunch to work instead of eating out can save you a substantial amount. 3.
Sell things you have around the house that you don't need or use. Have you got a second car that you don't use very often? Maybe a second computer that isn't really getting much use? Even just gathering up things that you don't need any longer and having a yard sale can help you raise some money for paying down your debt. 4.
Find some ways to make a little extra money. You could start working a second job, start your own business or even do something as simple as babysitting or delivering newspapers. If you put all the extra money you earn toward paying off your debt, you shouldn't have to do the extra work for too long. 5. Consolidate your debts, but do so wisely. The best way to do this is to transfer all of your balances to a low-interest credit card.
That will usually result in lower minimums, but keep on paying as much as you can to get the debt paid off. Avoid using home equity loans or other secured loans to consolidate if possible, because that will put your property at risk unnecessarily. Getting out of debt may be easier than you think. Often a few minor adjustments are all that's needed to eradicate a debt problem, especially if it is attended to early on. Then you can learn from your mistakes and keep your debt manageable.
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