5 ways to decrease your debt payments
When your debts are high it can start feeling as if you will never get on top of it all. For every bill you pay, three more seem to appear. If this story sounds familiar then help is at hand.
It takes a bit of effort, but by following these five steps you can decrease your debt repayments for good.
The first step is to negotiate with your creditors. After all, the worst thing they can say is no. In reality, most creditors are happy to renegotiate payments as long as you get in touch with them before you get into trouble. Make a breakdown of your monthly income and expenditure and work out how much you can actually afford to pay. Then call each of your debtors in turn and offer them the payment amount you can afford. Ask to speak to a supervisor if the first person says no. Make sure you get any agreement sent to you in writing before you make your new, lower payment.
Consolidate Your Debts
Taking out a debt-consolidation or home-equity loan to reduce your debt to one manageable payment can be one of the best ways to lower your outgoings, as long as you do it carefully. Work out the average interest rate on all of your debts and make sure the loan you apply for has a lower one. You also need to beware of lowering your repayments by extending the length of your loan as you could end up paying more in interest over a longer amount of time.
If you have managed to keep a good credit score you could lower your repayment costs simply by transferring your balance on to an interest-free credit card. This option isn’t without its risks. It can be tempting to get into more debt or to only make the minimum repayment, which will cost you more in the long run. However if you are strict enough with yourself to make the repayments within the interest-free period this can be a great way of getting your finances back on track.
There are a number of organisations that can help you renegotiate payment terms and create a realistic debt-management plan. Some will even teach you money-management skills to prevent you getting into difficulty again in future. When choosing a credit counsellor, watch out for those who are selling services. There are plenty of voluntary organisations that will help you with your finances for free.
IVAs or Bankruptcy
If your debts really are insurmountable, sometimes the only remaining options can be to file for bankruptcy or apply for an IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement). If you are thinking about doing this it is important to speak with a company who knows about IVAs first. There are pros and cons to going down this route, so you need to be sure that it really is the right option for you.
Being in debt can be a tiresome burden but that doesn’t mean that there is no way out. If you follow at least a few of these steps you will find your debt burden decreasing over time. It takes a bit of work and planning, but the relief that comes from being debt-free makes it worth the effort to get there.