Being in debt can be a frightening thing that interferes with your entire life. You might find that you struggle to relax, can’t enjoy yourself properly and it may even affect your sleep. It’s important to remember that you’re not the only person to ever get into a whole load of debt and it’s an unfortunate reality for thousands of people, so don’t beat yourself up about it.
The fact you’ve realised you need to do something about it and you’re reading this now shows that you are taking it seriously and that you want to make a change.
Whether you’re struggling to pay back your student loan or you’ve managed to get yourself entangled in some serious credit card debt, take a deep breath and read on to find out how you’re going to get yourself out of it.
You’ll need to be serious about paying it off. Reducing your debts needs to be your number one priority financially and by following these steps, you might find it’s easier than you originally thought.
Pay off the ones with the highest interest rate first
Of course, you want to be debt free and that means paying them all off, but take it easy and do it one step at a time. The first thing you need to do is to get all your debts together and work out which ones are charging the highest interest rate. Obviously those are the ones that are costing you the most, so it’s important to get them paid off first.
Have a back up
Whilst paying off your debts is hugely important, it’s also a good idea to have an emergency fund just in case you ever need it. So before you start to plough all your leftover funds into paying off your debts, put aside $1000-$2000 in case any unexpected bills crop up as they always hit when you least expect it. This way, if you do end up having to pay out for medical bills or a car repair, you’ll be prepared and it won’t mean you have no way getting to work.
Side note: DO NOT use this to pay for anything that isn’t an emergency. Buying that dress you saw in the shop window last week is not an emergency, neither is getting a pizza delivery because you can’t be bothered to cook. Be strict with yourself. Any luxuries you do splurge on, do it on a budget and resist impulse buying.
Consider consolidating your debts
If you’re in over your head in debt and are overwhelmed by the multiple loan payments you have, then perhaps debt consolidation is the answer you’ve been looking for. By using a company such as lendingtree, you’ll be able to combine all your debts into one big loan and often that means lower interest rates. You’ll feel a sense of relief at not having multiple debts coming out of your ears and it simplifies the payback process.
Try to tackle one thing at a time
Obviously when it comes to paying back debts, you can’t just put a halt on everything to solely focus on one, but what you can do is make the minimum monthly payments on the other loans you have to start doing damage to the debts that are costing you the most in interest. Once you have that paid off, start on the next and work your way through.