Car loans, housing loans, personal loans, credit cards - it’s hard to get away from debt. Sometimes, they are inevitable, especially when emergencies strike. But the cost of debt is high. Not only are interest rates and finance charges expensive, but as debts balloon, we lose peace of mind and even our personal lives can be affected.
If you have this problem and your debt has gone out of control, here are five easy ways to get control back and eventually eliminate your debt:
Stay away from your credit card. In many cases, the credit card is the one biggest culprit that brings people deeply in debt. We will not bother to elaborate on this. If you are reading this article, you probably already know what we mean when we warn people against credit cards.
If you are looking to reduce credit card debt, you need to stop using your cards. The easiest way to do that is by cutting up all your cards. You can leave one for emergency purposes, but put it in a container of water and keep it in the freezer. This way, should you be tempted to use it, you will have plenty of time waiting for it to thaw, so you can consider your actions.
Reduce your monthly expenses. An important part of reducing your debt is reducing your expenses. Stop spending money on things which are not very important.
How do you decide if something is important? That is easy! If you will die or get sick if you do not get it, it is important. Food and water fall under this category. Home and work clothes do too. So do basic toiletries. But beauty products do not fall under “important.” Neither do a sixth pair of shoes, designer coffee, and a bottle of soda for lunch. Think thrice before spending any money on these things.
Because, really, how many people do you think would notice and care if you do not condition your hair, put on mascara, or wear the same pair of shoes three times a week? Designer coffee costs twenty times as much as instant coffee; does it give you twenty times more satisfaction?
Skip unimportant stuff and use the money you save to pay back your debts.
Refinance. If you have high interest debts, see if you can get a lower-interest loan to pay your high-interest debt off. That would be a quick, easy way to lower your debt.
Swallow your pride and borrow from the lowest-interest lenders - your parents or friends. This may sound difficult, but it is often easier than borrowing from a bank. If you can lower the interest rate of your debt, you will be able to escape the trap that so many fall into: paying forever for just the interest without ever lowering the base amount of their debt.
Your debts should be your top priority. Not only should you have a budget for paying off your debt, but if have unexpected income, that should go to reducing your loans and debts rather than splurging on unnecessary things.
And if you are paying for credit card debt, never pay just the minimum amount required. You will end up paying for a very long time, mostly for just the interest. Always try to pay more than what is required.
Increase your income, then use the extra money to pay for your debt. An easy way to increase one’s income is by looking online for freelance part-time work. You can find a lot of these on Odesk, Elance, and other similar sites.
Have a garage sale, or sell stuff on eBay. Offer baby-sitting or pet-walking services. Make baked goodies and peddle them at work. Not only will this help you earn extra money, but you might discover too that you have the makings of a great entrepreneur, and you can start your own business!
So you see, debt reduction can be easy. You just need to do it. Go out and conquer your debt!