Are you feeling pressured by debt?
With some planning and assistance, you can take control of your financial situation.
Depending on your level of debt, your level of self-discipline, and your future outlook, there are a couple of different approaches to dealing with debt. You may be able to tackle your debt on your own by creating a budget and contacting your creditors directly. If your debt is significant and you’re struggling with debt collectors, you may want to find some help with debt relief.
Either way, discipline and accountability are the keys to tackling debt. Creating a budget and making sure you have a good clear picture of your debts will help you make a realistic plan for taking control of your debt.
Tips for managing your own debt
- Create a budget. The first step toward tackling debt is to get a clear idea of how much money you take in and how much you spend. Use this template as a starting point.
- Organize your debts. Make a list of the debt, interest rate and minimum balance for every card, loan, or line of credit you have.
- Contact your creditors. Explain you’re having trouble paying, and see if you can work out a modified payment plan.
- Consider consolidating your debt. In some circumstances, it may make sense to transfer high interest debt to a no-fee low interest credit card or a home equity line of credit. But be cautious when considering this.
- Know your rights. If you’re being contacted by debt collectors, you are protected by federal law.
Ways to seek help with your debt
If you’re struggling with significant debt and aren’t able to work out a payment plan with your creditors, you may benefit from the help of a financial counselor. A counselor can:
- Give you advice on managing your money and debts.
- Help you create a budget.
- Assist you with contacting your creditors.
- Work with you to develop a plan for paying off your debt.