Debt is a serious problem for a lot of people and one that doesn’t simply “go away” with time. Creditors calling your home, work and cell phone can make you feel like a prisoner in your own life. This is one of the largest stressors in marriage and relationships and neglecting it can lead to severe anxiety and even depression. Depending on the severity of the debt situation, it’s all too easy to feel like hope is lost. However, nothing can be further from the truth. There are a number of ways that people can get help with debt, the first step is deciding to make a change and start digging yourself back out! Here are four ways to start getting the debt help you need right away.
1. Create a Budget
This is the first step toward getting help with debt. In order to figure out a way to reduce your debt, you first need to find out where your money goes. A budget will enable you to list your income as well as all of your expenses. Expenses like rent payments and auto loan payments are fixed. However, there are plenty of flexible expenses. These include groceries, entertainment, and clothing. With a budget, you can set comfortable spending limits in each category. This will help you learn to save money so that you can curb your debt. It will also help you find money to reduce the debt you already owe to your creditors.
2. Contact Creditors
Although you may have made it your goal to avoid them at all costs in the past, pick up the phone and call your creditors directly. In many cases, they will be willing to work with you. After all, they want their money and you want to pay them, so you are essentially both working toward the same goal. A creditor is likely to develop a payment plan that fits your budget. Often, they will reduce interest payments so that you won’t fall any further behind. Best of all, this method isn't likely to hurt your credit. Remember, it won't hurt to simply ask. Odds are they will be more than happy to work with you.
3. Credit Counseling
Many people fall in to debt because they don't fully understand the way things work. Credit counseling is a great way to learn everything you need to know about debt and how to start getting out of it. Credit counseling serves two main purposes. The first is to help you understand how you got in to debt in the first place. The second is to help you learn ways you can eliminate and prevent debt going forward. This includes helping you make budgets, counseling you about credit cards, and providing you with tips on reducing the amount of debt you have.
4. Debt Consolidation
This is also known as debt management. If you have a lot of debt, debt consolidation may be the best thing for you. Basically, this is a program where a company combines all of your payments in to one monthly payment. This helps eliminate confusion and can also lower your payments and interest rates. From there, the debt consolidation service can distribute your payments among your creditors. Debt consolidation companies can eliminate fees and interest so that you can start saving money. They can also eliminate calls and letters from your creditors. This is a great way to alleviate some of the stress that comes with reducing debt.
While the idea may seem daunting at first, once you get on the right track you will see the benefits of getting a handle on your debt situation. Try these 4 tips and you will be off to a great start.