Debt is something most people have to deal with throughout their lives, and if you handle it correctly, it doesn’t need to be a burden.
Of course if you become too mired in money owed, then it will be bad for your financial future, and also a weight on your mind that you just can’t shift.
For anyone in this situation, the following pieces of advice will act as a framework on which you can build your own plan to escape unsustainable debt.
Check Out Refinancing or Consolidation Options, e.g. for Student Loans
If you’re saddled with a high-interest debt, then it’s worth exploring refinancing and consolidation options that can help lower your monthly payments while still paying off the principal amount of what you owe.
Refinancing is essentially when you take out one loan to pay off multiple debts. It helps reduce interest rates you’re subject to, and simplifies your payment process by consolidating all of them into one loan at a fixed rate over an extended period of time, of anywhere from 5 to 20 years, depending on the lender’s terms.
This could be especially beneficial if most of your debt burden comes from student loans, since they may have better repayment plans than other types, like credit cards or personal loans. Do some research online into consolidation options with low rates for refinancing student debt, contact lenders directly, and compare their offers before making any decisions.
Prioritize Payments: Setting Goals to Tackle Debt Head-On
Now that you have a better understanding of your debt situation, it’s time to set some goals and prioritize payments.
Start by making a list of all the debts you owe including the amount owed, interest rate, fees associated with each loan and minimum payment due each month. Once you have this information organized in front of you, start focusing on paying off high-interest loans first or ones that are most urgent, like overdue credit card bills for example. This will help save money in the long run, as well as give you an incentive to keep going when things get tough.
When possible, try breaking down larger debts into smaller chunks so they feel more manageable. Setting achievable short term goals is much easier than trying to complete too many big tasks at once.
Cut Costs Where You Can: Managing Expenses and Increasing Income
Debt can be overwhelming, but you’re not alone. It takes a great deal of commitment to get out of debt in the most efficient way possible.
To begin, look for ways to reduce your expenses so that more money is available each month to put towards paying off debts faster. Get the ball rolling by creating a budget and tracking all of your spending, as even small purchases like coffee or lunch add up quickly. Consider cutting back on unnecessary items like subscriptions you don’t use, and try eating out less often. Little changes can produce big results over time.
Saving is only part of a good debt-tackling strategy, so look for opportunities for additional income, whether that means working overtime with your current employer, or taking on freelance projects and building a side hustle if feasible. This extra cash flow will help pay down debt quicker, while also teaching valuable financial skills along the way.
No matter how bleak things might seem, there’s always a road forward that leads away from debt, and reaching this destination starts with just one step, so don’t be afraid to take it. You’ll thank yourself in the future when your money worries are evaporating day by day.
Laila Azzahra is a professional writer and blogger that loves to write about technology, business, entertainment, science, and health.