✨ A Guide to Handling Debt & Finding Financial Freedom. ✨
✨ Okay, let's all admit it! We have all been in some type of debt at one time or another. For me, it happened while I was in college, and of course, I signed up for a few credit cards. I quickly learned how credit card debt could get out of hand if you don't get it under control. ✨
Getting out of debt isn't easy and can often feel complicated and extremely overwhelming. Fortunately, there are many ways to get out of debt that won't make you miserable. And with the proper steps and putting the tools in place, you can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel and recover financially. When you think of managing debt, we often associate it with paying what's owed, which can often feel challenging. That's why making a plan to manage your payments and balances can help.
To manage your debt more effectively, here are eight tips that helped me tremendously manage and pay off my debt that you can start today!
HDC Step 1: Monitor your credit regularly.
Check your credit report from Equifax, Experian & TransUnion to understand who owns your debt, the amount due, and how to contact that debt owner or servicer. Each will show different credit history items. Also, be sure all the information in each report is accurate and look for areas where you can improve. Don't forget you’re entitled to an annual free report from each agency, available from AnnualCreditReport.com.
HDC Step 2; Take note of all of your accounts.
When reviewing your credit report, make a list of all your outstanding debts. Include the interest rate on each so you'll be able to determine which ones are causing you the most financial pain.
HDC Step 3: Create a budget & emergency fund.
Once all debt has been identified, create a realistic monthly budget that includes your outstanding debt payment amounts & monthly necessities. Decide how much you can afford to spend on food, gas, savings, etc. This will help you find ways to cut any extra spending once necessities are established.
Additionally, you should consider setting up an emergency fund account. This worked well for me, as it allowed me to set aside extra discretionary money instead of spending it but gave me peace of mind that I didn't have to turn to my credit cards in case of an emergency or unexpected expense.
HDC Step 4; 1Determine your debt-reduction plan.
Although everyone's strategy for reducing debt may be different depending on the circumstance, I personally found it helpful to pay down my debt by tackling the smaller bills with the lowest balances first and then the more significant balances. This allowed me to have faster "WINS" by focusing my efforts more on one bill/balance by putting a little extra money on it monthly, thus paying it off faster. I successfully paid the smaller balances off, which allowed me to see progress and have more money to put towards the larger bills/balances more manageably.
Conversely, you can do the same by focusing on the larger balances, but regardless of which avenue you take, both ways help you keep up the momentum and see progress, and you'll know you're headed in the right direction!
HDC Step 5; Look for opportunities to consolidate.
It's always good to shop around for a lower rate. If you have multiple high-interest loans or credit cards, you may be able to consolidate them into one loan with a lower interest rate and more manageable monthly repayment.
HDC Step 6; Always pay your bills on time & pay more than the minimum amount due.
Remember credit worthiness is important & good payment history is critical, so always try to pay your bills on time and, if possible, try to pay more than what's due. If you've missed a payment, pay it ASAP. Credit reports will track if you are 30, 60, or 90 days late on payments. And paying more than the minimum amount due helps to pay down debt faster, save on interest expense, and may improve your credit score.
HDC Step 7; Stick to your plan.
Be consistent with your budget and repayment plan. This will help you stay on track with your debt payments. Remember, if you feel stuck or just need help or guidance, don't be afraid to get help. Click here to learn more about your debt consolidation and credit counseling options.
HDC Step 8; Celebrate your WINS, both big & small.
Hey, we all need to remember that getting out of debt isn't easy and takes effort, diligence, and financial creativity. You work hard for your money & every step closer you get to being debt-free is worth celebrating!
YOU DID IT! So celebrate when you pay off that loan or credit card… It's a BIG deal!
✨ Just remember, there is always an end in sight, as long as you stick to your plan, achieve your specific financial goals and learn from
& appreciate the experience along the way! ✨
Good luck on your journey to financial freedom! & being debt-free
Be Bold. Be Confident. Be Uniquely YOU!
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