Experts estimate that nearly 40% of adults across the country are carrying significant amounts of debt and the total amount of consumer debt across the nation has climbed to record high levels. Many people are finding themselves drowning in debt as home equity lines of credit are cut off and credit card companies begin to restrict spending and increase interest rates to shore up their own bottom line.
Because these people were used to having credit to fall back on, many are having trouble living within their means and their debts continue to increase as they find themselves spending more than they make each month. People that are deeply in debt will need to find some strategies for tackling the debt effectively to eliminate it from their lives.
Tactic Number 1 Be Honest About The Amount That You Owe To Creditors
One of the worst financial mistakes that a person can make is to be in denial about their financial situation. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away and the longer you go without attempting to remedy the situation, the worst the problem will become. As soon as you recognize that there is a debt problem, a plan should be made for reducing that debt as quickly as possible.
Tactic Number 2 Create A Payment Plan
To effectively reduce the amount of debt that you owe, you will need a plan for repaying that debt. The easiest way to do this is to create a monthly budget that covers your needed expenses for the month and eliminates any unnecessary expenses. Any money that is left over after paying for the items in your budget should be applied towards paying down your existing debt.
Tactic Number 3 Get Caught Up On Any Bills That You’ve Let Slide
If you have been avoiding paying certain bills, it is very important that you get caught up on these bills as quickly as possible. Paying bills late or missing payments will result in a decreased credit score, which will make it difficult for you to get credit in the future, and will also result in producing more debt because of the late payment fees associated with missing payments on these accounts. If it is difficult for you to pay off your bills and put a significant amount of money towards paying down your credit cards, you should pay the minimum payment on your credit cards and focus on paying off any bills that are late.
Tactic Number 4 Consolidate Your Bills, If Possible
Many credit card companies have been offering a zero percent interest rate for balance transfers that have been placed on a new credit card. If you find that you have numerous different credit cards that are carrying a balance, it may be more cost effective to place these balances on a single credit card with a low interest rate for balance transfers so that you are only paying one bill each month. Be sure to read the terms and conditions of the credit card carefully to ensure that you know exactly what will be expected of you if you decide to apply for the credit card.
Tactic Number 5 Stop Creating More Debt
You will never pay down your debt if you continue to create more debt each month by charging purchases to your credit cards. Take the credit cards out of your wallet while you are trying to pay down your debt so that you will not be tempted to use the credit cards to pay for items that you want, but you do not need.