Strategies for Lowering your Debt

Lowering your debt is not as difficult as it often seems.  There are people who like to complicate this simple task, and as a result, many people believe they are stuck in a spiral of debt for the rest of their lives.  The fact is, however, that all you have to do is to take stock of your debt, talk to your creditors, and pay it down as quickly as your income and needs will allow.

The first part is taking stock of your debt.  This simply means that you take a copy of your credit report, and find all of your debts on there.  Since some debts may not be on your credit report, you will also have to look at your current bills, and the balances on all of your credit cards, house, cars, etc.  This will give you a clear picture of where you stand on all of your debts.

The second part is to talk to your creditors.  This part can be a little bit intimidating, as some creditors are less willing to work with you than others.  However, if you are going to lower your debt, it is a necessary step.  It is often wise to speak to your creditors about lowering your interest rates, particularly if you have been faithful in making your payments.  Even if you have missed a few payments here and there, you may be able to at least get them to lower or waive some of the fees, which will help you to pay off your debt faster.  If you have not made payments in quite some time, you can attempt to make a settlement with them, but make sure to get any settlement agreement in writing.

The third part is to pay down your debt as quickly as your income and needs will allow.  Although many debt collectors would much rather see your family starve than give you a break on your bills, you do not have to.  In fact, if it has gotten to a point where you need to choose between your basic necessities, and paying off your credit cards, this may be a good time to file for bankruptcy.  Normally, however, you will have at least some leftover income after paying for your basic needs.  Use that income to start paying down your debts, one at a time if necessary, until they are all paid off, or at least down.

Taking these steps will lower your debt, and make your life far easier in the long run.  The more debt you have, the more stressful life is going to be for you.  Debt can put a strain on your relationships.  It can put a strain on your health.  It can put a strain on nearly everything in your life, so if you can at least lower your debt, you will be so much better off.