More and more people are getting into debt every year, from student loans to car payments to mortgages. It can be difficult to make ends meet on a month-to-month basis, and when the bills start stacking up, it can become very overwhelming. But burying your head in the sand is only going to make the problem worse.
Instead of pretending like your debts will go away on their own, there are several options available to you to help you get out from under all that debt. You should consider these solutions before unexpected circumstances make your situation worse. It will be a struggle, but patience, determination, and having a plan will help you become financially stable again. Here are some of the best options available to help you get out of debt.
Contribute More than the Minimum Payment
With debts and loans, you’re required to pay a minimum amount each month until the debt is completely paid off. This amount is usually manageable, but it can be years before the debt can be absolved. This is because debts typically come with interest rates that significantly increase the costs of the debt over time. If you are able to, you should pay a little more than what the minimum is each month. By doing this, you’ll not only pay off the debt a lot sooner, but you’ll also save money by not having to pay the interest rates for a longer period of time.
Do your research when first looking for loans. Some companies will actually charge prepayment penalties, which will only take even more money out of your pocket.
Paying Through the Snowball Method
Many people use loans to help bridge the differential gap between how much they earn and how much they spend each month. Paying off these loans and credit cards can be a struggle without the right plan in place, but using the snowball method speeds up the process of them being paid off.
The first step is to list all of your debts in order from smallest to largest. Secondly, you want to start using all of your excess funds to pay off the smallest loan first and making the minimum payments to the other loans in the meantime. Once the smallest is taken care of, then you start putting your money into the next largest debt.
By taking care of them one by one, you’ll have more and more money each month to contribute to the larger debts until everything is paid off. And taking care of those smaller loans first will also be a boost for your morale since you now know that you’re capable of taking care of your debts.
Scale Down your Budget
It can be nice to treat yourself every once in a while, but in order to become more financially stable, you’re going to have to cut those unnecessary expenses out of your monthly budget. Creating a bare-bones budget will minimize your expenses so that you don’t end up falling behind on your payments. There’s no real formula for creating this kind of budget, as everyone’s lives and expenses are completely different. You could eat out less, turn off your cable television, and reduce your water and electricity bills with the right amount of planning. It may be difficult at first, but this plan is only designed to be temporary until all of your debts are gone.
Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate
If the interest rates on your debt bills are just too much for you to handle, don’t be afraid to talk to your credit card companies or lenders. Asking them for lower interest rates is not an option many people are aware of and end up becoming overburdened by this financial responsibility. The worst thing that can happen is that they say no. More likely than not, however, they’re more willing to say yes, especially if you have a history of paying all of your bills on time. If this is an option you’re interested in, it wouldn’t hurt to contact National Debt Relief for assistance.
In the event that your lender isn’t interested in lowering your rates, then you may want to look at a bank transfer as your next option. Many transfer offers provide you with 0% APR for at least 15 months, but you’ll likely have to pay a transfer fee each month. However, this could still add up to less than what you’re paying each month so that you can get a better hold on your finances.
Using Funds Other than Income
Many people get “found” money throughout the year, such as inheritance, a bonus at work, or birthday money, and use it to splurge on themselves. However, using this money towards your debt payments can definitely save you in the long run. These small pockets of free money, especially combined with the snowball method, will take care of your debts much more quickly.
Creating Alternate Sources of Income
Working multiple jobs is already hard enough as is, but if you’re still not making ends meet, there are other means of income to help you pay off your debts. First: garage sales. If you have things around your home that you don’t need anymore, sell them. You’ll clear out the space in your home and have a bit more cash for your debts. Secondly: part-time work. Online jobs like becoming a virtual assistant or writing SEO articles will put a little more scratch in your pocket. Look for seasonal part-time jobs too, like bus drivers, lifeguards, or greenhouse workers. With the costs of living always going up, supplementing your income in these ways can help you to pay off those loans or never having to take one out in the first place.
Loans can feel like dark storm clouds always hanging over you that are never going to go away. But thankfully, there are more options available to help you get out from under them and start living your life again. No matter what kind of debt you’re in, it’s important that you create a plan and stick to it until the very end.