Category: Debt

Debt

Step by Step Guide to Paying off your Debt

Being in debt can be really miserable and can make life extremely stressful. Sometimes it can even feel like you will never be clear of your debt and that you will just have to keep borrowing more and more money to manage. Luckily there are ways that you can clear your debt and the sooner you start the better.

You may find that in your local area there are debt counsellors that you can see for free. They are experts trained to help people just like yourselves in getting out of debt. They will not judge and will be used to seeing all sorts of people with different financial problems and can be extremely useful in helping.

If you would rather look at things yourself then you need to start by gathering together all of your financial information. You need to work out how much you owe and how to, how much money you have coming in and how much you usually spend. Then you will be in a position to start dealing with things. This can be a hard step as you have to face up to exactly how much you owe, but it is worth it in the end.

You will then need to decide which debt you would like to pay off first. It makes financial sense to pick the most expensive and get rid of that but many people prefer to do the smallest as then they can get something paid off fairly quickly which feels great and motivates them to move on and do the next. It is up to you to pick the one you think you would like to get rid of first. Make sure that you then check whether there are any charges for repaying the debt early. These are called early redemption fees and tend to be common on mortgages and car loans, but it is worth checking all of your loans as the fees could be so high that you may calculate that you are better off not repaying early. You may also be better off not repaying student loans as the debt will be written off at the end of thirty years so you may not pay it all back anyway.

You now need to think about where you will find the money to repay the debts. If you have money in a low interest savings account, then this is best used to pay off debt that has a higher interest charge. It may feel scary no longer having any savings, but you will save so much money and feel so much better if you can pay off a chunk of debt this way.

You should also look at the difference between the money you have coming in and what you spend. If you have some left over then you should be using this to pay back the debt. Whether you have quite a bit or very little, it is worth looking for ways to get more so that you can pay the debt off more quickly. You can do this by seeing if you can earn more and spend less.

There are plenty of different things that you can do to achieve both of these. It is just a matter of considering what you are prepared to do. It is worth focussing on your goal of being debt free and remembering that the life style changes that you make may not have to be permanent. Once the debt is gone, then as long as you do not accumulate more debt you will be able to ease up a bit.

It is worth thinking about whether you have the time to see if you can earn extra money, perhaps by doing more work, setting up a business, selling things or doing some freelancing. There are many ways, these days, that extra money can be made although some will pay a lot better than others. It can also be worth seeing whether you can reduce your spending, perhaps by cutting down on luxuries, finding cheaper retailers, changing suppliers and things like that. There are lots of ideas online on how to save money and make more money which could really help.