Debt is a common worry for many Americans, with $887 billion of credit card debt alone existing already in 2022. It can be stressful worrying about keeping on top of debt repayments and so at Dollar Hand, we have created a guide to help debtors handle this much more easily. You can use one or all of these techniques to keep on top of repaying your debts and can see what works best for you.
How To Deal With Repaying Debts
Communicate With The Lender
If you find that you are struggling to pay back all your debts, then get in touch with your lender immediately as they may be able to offer you a more flexible alternative repayment plan. Creditors will often agree to lowering your monthly payments through a debt management plan if they can see that you are repaying as much as you can afford to. Some lenders may even offer you a temporary payment holiday to give you time to sort out your finances whereby they freeze all interest and charges over this period.
In very rare cases it is even possible to negotiate a settlement with your creditor, including partial settlements. Lenders may agree to accept a percentage of what you owe them if they can see it is unlikely you will be able to repay the full amount you owe them.
A key step towards taking control of your debt is to put together a list of all the outstanding payments you have such as credit card bills or loans. Checking how much money you need to pay off will help you get a clear idea of what needs to be done to achieve financial freedom.
By doing this you will also be able to see clearly which debts need to be tackled first and which are less pressing. Some bills may be higher priority than others as the consequences of not paying them could be more serious.
Cut Back On Your Spending
Perhaps the most obvious way to help make repaying back your debt easier would be to significantly reduce your spending wherever possible. Trying to cut back on unnecessary expenses or luxury purchases during this period will enable you to get through your debt repayments much more quickly.
Consider finding cheaper ways to carry out day-to-day purchases, for instance shop at cheaper supermarkets or at night when you can purchase reduced bargains. You can then use the extra money saved from making these changes to put towards your debts. Likewise, being savvy and looking at ways to save money around the house or to save money on petrol could all contribute towards paying off your debt sooner.
Other ways of reducing your outgoings could be temporarily freezing subscriptions such as gym memberships or Amazon prime until you are in a stronger financial position. Eating out less and avoiding take aways during this period could also make it easier to meet repayments on time.
Keep Money Aside
If you keep money aside when you receive your monthly paycheck, then you will be able to repay your debts more easily. Prioritize your expenses and make sure you put money towards outstanding debts over unessential expenses such as entertainment or clothes. You can then try to alleviate your debt more quickly, for instance by paying more than your minimum balance to help reduce it significantly.
You could also sell some unwanted items such as old clothes or furniture to boost your savings and use this to pay off debts too. Why not try a garage sale or use online platforms such as eBay and Facebook Marketplace? It is also wise to pay for the things you do need with cash rather than credit card as this will prevent you from piling up even more debt and help you avoid getting a bad credit score.
There are many ways to keep track of your finances so you can find the one that best suits you. Whilst budgeting may seem tedious, it will be valuable to help you keep an eye on your spending. You can track your expenses by simply writing them down daily or by using a mobile app to do so.
You could also consider the “50/30/20 rule” whereby 50% of your income goes to essentials such as debts, bills and foods, 30% goes to non-essentials such as clothes, shoes and holidays, and the last 20% goes into your savings in case you face any emergency expenses. Just make sure that if you are budgeting with a partner that you openly communicate to make sure you are on the same page.
Get Support From Non-Profit Organizations
If you are still struggling with debt repayments, there are many non-profit credit counselors, bankruptcy attorneys and legal aid centers that can all advise you and help you devise repayment plans. Some offer advice face-to-face, whilst others are able to help over the phone or online. Speaking to experienced professionals will certainly help you to ease your financial difficulties.
If you are struggling to afford repayments on existing debts, it’s better to get free independent guidance rather than dipping further into financial trouble by using fee-charging debt-management companies. It is also best to avoid bad credit loans during this time as they come with high interest rates which can worsen your debt.
Being proactive with budgeting or getting additional support from professionals can definitely help you to stabilize your finances. Take control of your debt today with these useful tips!
Justine is a full-time writer with lots of expertise and a wealth of experience in the financial world. In particular, she specializes in household income and consumer finance across the United States. Follow her articles for useful advice and top tips, guides on how to save money and lots more.