When you’re in debt, it can bring about hopelessness and anxiety. Knowing that as the days pass, your debt is increasing can discourage you and also make you feel trapped financially.
However, you aren’t trapped, and there are ways to get yourself out of debt, no matter how terrible your situation may seem. You’ve got to be ready to take action instead of shrinking and becoming a victim of your circumstances. Here are smart and easy ways to get out of debt.
4 Smart and Easy Ways to Get Yourself Out of Debt
Check Your Credit Report
The first step that you should take when getting yourself out of debt is checking your credit report. You should be able to get a free credit report that will tell you the things that are negatively affecting your score.
A popular company that does free credit reports is Equifax. You can also get one using ClearScore or TransUnion.
When checking your credit report, look for any consistencies and if they can be removed from your report, as this could improve your score.
For anyone who has noticed they have Alliance One on their credit report, it can be taken off too. In terms of How to Remove Alliance One from Your Credit Report (Proven Strategy), Crediful gives detailed information regarding what to do.
Contact the People You’re Owing
This is typically the scariest part about getting on top of your debt, but face it head-on instead of avoiding it. You should have been able to identify people you owe from your credit report.
You’ll need to contact each one, see how much you owe, and devise a plan to clear the debt. Below are a few tips on how to deal with debt collectors.
Get a Copy of the Original Agreement
Before doing any negotiations, ask your debt collectors for an original copy of the agreement. Do this before acknowledging that you owe them any money, and also request they only contact you by post so you can keep track of everything.
Once you’ve gotten hold of the original agreement and know exactly how much you owe, ask for a bill to be sent in writing.
If you can afford to pay the bill as a whole, ask for a receipt after you’re done paying. Know that even if you can’t pay, there is room for negotiation.
They could reduce the amount you owe or offer a flexible payment plan.
Devise a Payment Plan
Once you’ve agreed on how often you will pay, it’s time to return to your budget.
Figure out how you will reduce your expenses or increase your income to pay your debt without falling back into a cycle of debt.
The avalanche method of paying the debt, which means paying the minimum balance on each and then paying whatever you have leftover to the bill with the highest interest, may work for you.
Learn to Budget
To stay out of debt, master your budgeting skills. There is no use going through all of the stress of paying off your debt only to find yourself back there again.
Remember that budgeting isn’t supposed to make you feel financially imprisoned, but on the contrary, it’s supposed to help you feel less stressed and with a greater sense of security.
Knowing exactly how much you’ve got coming in and going out will help you live within your means.
Set Financial Goals
The secret to effective budgeting is to set financial goals first and foremost.
Think about where you want your finances to be in the next three, five, and ten years. This will help you stay focused, especially when the urge to impulse spend arises.
Budget for Leisure
Always start with the most important categories and leave a little left over for things that matter to you, like entertainment or leisure activities.
This way, it won’t feel like you’re missing out on life just because you’re saving. You can keep this budget low by looking for free or discounted activities.
Speak to a Professional
If you feel your debt is far beyond what you can manage, it may be time to call a professional. A financial advisor is a good person to consult about your debt. They could help you analyze and restructure your debt and devise a long-term plan to manage it.
To find a good advisor, ensure they’re either a certified financial planner (CFP) or a chartered financial consultant (ChFC). Making sure they’re also fiduciary will ensure they‘re obligated to act in your best interest at all times.