Would you consider yourself to be in a crisis when it comes to your debt? Or are you simply just worrying about the debt you have? Is it affecting your life on a daily basis? Or do you only think about your debt when you are contacted by your creditors?
If you have answered yes to any of the above questions you need to act quickly to afford your life potentially spiralling out of control.
You don’t set out in adult life planning to get into debt. Sometimes it just happens. Debt is when you spend money you don’t have. That can simply be acquiring a loan or applying for a credit card. Upon successful completion of any application for credit, you official become ‘in-debt’.
Of course borrowing money is fine. Most people you know may be in debt themselves. If you have the ability to pay the money that you have borrowed back, it is of no great consequence. However, some things happen in life that we do not expect. These things can throw us off balance, leaving the once managed debt to becoming something far, far worse.
Some people go through a world of pain if something unexpected happens. Losing a loved one, losing a job, suffering mental health issues or other health worries, these can all contribute to a deepening debt crisis.
How to Manage Your Debts
The first thing that you must do is to get back on the horse and dust yourself down. Everyone is different, but the sooner you can do this the better.
Once back on the horse you must work out exactly what you owe. This could be with just one company or your debt could be spread over multiple creditors. This is one of the most critical elements when it comes to managing your debt.
After you have calculated how much you owe, you need to immediately create a repayment plan. This can be done in conjunction with your creditors, especially if you have fallen behind with your regular monthly or weekly payments to them.
Reducing your monthly or weekly spend is something that you will have to do. You may have to sacrifice nights out or trips to local attractions, but it will be a sacrifice worth making. You will have to make contact with your creditors to establish how much debt you owe to them.
Your aim is to get out of debt in a safe and structured way. If this cannot be done through calculation on your existing income and expenditure, you will have to consider other elements so a safe and structured payment plan can be set up with your creditors.
If You Can’t Do It On Your Own
First of all, don’t worry. The fact that you have come to this conclusion yourself is amazing. Most people do not even get this far, but you have. You should be proud.
Some websites and people may tell you that you shouldn’t borrow more money when you are in debt. However, if by borrowing and consolidating your debt into one monthly payment gives you a lower interest rate and lower repayments, it is worth looking into at the very least.
There are a number of loan consolidation companies that will help you manage your existing debt. These companies work by lending you the money, in the form of a loan, to repay your existing debts. Many debt consolidation organisations will be able to offer you a lower interest rate on some or all of your existing debts. A lower interest rate may mean that you actually pay less over the term of the loan consolidation.
A debt consolidation loan will allow you to manage your repayments a lot more effectively. As stated earlier, you need a repayment plan which is safe and secure. This will allow you to repay the money on the debt that you owe easier. If it is easier for you, the creditors are more likely to receive all the money back which you owe to them.
I Can Do It On My Own
If you feel that you can manage your own debt, which is great too. Again, you will have come a lot further than most when facing up to your debt.
One of the first things that you should do, is to contact your creditors to establish how much you owe them. This must be exact and ‘on the money’, as they say.
Once you have spoken to your creditors it is time to sit down and assess how much you can afford to repay each month or each week. This will revolve around your income, and when you get paid. If you get paid monthly, start working out how much you afford to pay back each month. If you get paid weekly, follow the same process and work out how much you can afford to repay each week.
If you have multiple creditors, you will have to split what is left in repayments across each of your creditors. Again, the best course of action here is to speak with them directly.
Open communication with your creditors is the best thing to do when you are in debt. Most people think that businesses and lenders are animals when it comes to seeking repayment. The truth is that they can be very accommodating. Where you owe money, speak to the creditor involved. Explain that you are happy to make a contribution to your debt repayment. You may also want to ask if the term of the debt can be extended.
If you are successful in negotiating a new deal, whether that is more money each month or less money over a longer term, you should see this as a success.
However, you need to remember that you should never over stretch your finances. You will still have to pay your other bills. Keeping a roof over your head and food in the cupboards is as important as clearing your debt.
Remember, be realistic and be reasonable. Keep talking to your creditors and agree on a course of action which is good for everyone involved.