Are you seriously in debt and not sure which way to turn? Unfortunately, getting out of debt can be a lot harder than getting into debt. The first step towards being debt-free, or at least lessening the debt, is knowing what debts should be tackled first. Here are some helpful tips on that subject as well as tips on what to avoid.
Many people don’t realize how much of their debt or monthly payments involve interest payments. Make larger payments on the debts that charge high interest rates. The smallest payments should be made on low-interest debts. However, don’t eliminate one debt just to pay more on another.
Small Balance Accounts
Although paying high-interest debts first is recommended, it’s also advised to pay off debts with small balances if possible. By paying off these debts, you’re decreasing your monthly payments, which will also help you lighten your monthly load.
Get Help If Necessary
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try or how dedicated you are, it’s difficult to get out of debt on your own. Some consumers find relief through debt consolidation or credit counseling. A.C. Waring & Associates Inc, a company offering credit consolidation in Edmonton, states that sometimes having a credit counselor working with you can make all the difference. At the very least, you may get valuable information on which steps to take for financial freedom.
Avoid Purchases That Advertise Low Monthly Payments
Low monthly payments always sound good, especially when it allows you to buy something you’ve wanted but have been unable to afford to buy. The payments are low because a majority of the payments is interest. By time you’ve paid the purchase off, you may have almost purchased it twice. Unless it’s a necessity, avoid purchases like this if you can’t afford to pay cash or pay off the transaction within a month or two.
Avoid Credit Card Purchases
According to CNN Money, the average household in 2012 had almost $15,000 in credit card debt. That’s a lot of debt. Unless you absolutely have to use a credit card for an emergency purchase, avoid credit cards altogether. Most credit cards charge high interest rates. If you feel you need the credit card, make more than the minimum monthly payment or you’ll never get ahead. Also, avoid using credit cards for day-to-day items like groceries, gas or eating out.
Admitting that debt is taking over your life can be the first step towards fixing the problem. If following these guidelines has been unsuccessful in the past, take the first step and seek some outside help from professionals. You may also find it easier by combining your debts into one with a low interest rate. That way you don’t feel as overwhelmed by having multiple payments to make. Don’t let the stress of debts take over your life.