Debt Payment Do's And Don'ts

Introduction

It has become very clear that a great many working families and singles have way too much debt. As the “Credit Crisis” of 2007 and Credit Crunch of 2008 has matured into a long-term change in the way people view their personal finances, an increasing number of Americans are preparing for tough times by paying down their debt. More people than ever want to get out of debt.

You can, however, get yourself into even more trouble by not being smart about how you do it. Whether you're currently in serious financial trouble, worried about your credit debt ratio, have already declared bankruptcy or are simply concerned about the continued fall of the dollar, housing or job markets; you can follow a few simple rules and get debt-free in a few disciplined years.

chasing money

Copyright --  Kativ@istockphoto
Copyright -- Kativ@istockphoto

Good Ideas for Debt Repayment

For most, the first step to get out of debt when in debt is debt management - to really assess where money is being spent, followed by several months of deciding just where fees and extravagances can be cut. Therefore, you will need a plan, and all good plans start with making a budget.

Trim the fat wherever you can. If your budget is like most, there are quite a few places where you can save significant amounts of money you didn't even know you were spending. Some very common sources include:

  • Eating out – including morning coffee, lunch, dinner and delivery
  • Late payment fees on credit cards
  • Bank fees
  • Subscription services
  • Unnecessary driving and shopping

Every little bit of spending you can cut out – even just a few dollars here and there – can really add up over an entire year or even just in time for those monthly payments.

Be sure you make sure to make your payments on time, even if you have to renegotiate the amount you pay each month. Every time you make a payment late, you run the risk of having your interest rate increase even further or even making a permanent mark on your credit record that can negatively impact future credit, debt recovery or job applications.

Debt Repayment Schemes to Avoid If You Want To Get Out Of Debt

  1. Do not, if you can possibly help it, declare bankruptcy. Not only does this stick around on your record for 7 years, but it will color every financial dealing you have for the rest of your life, making it difficult to ever secure a loan, even for a car or house.
  2. Do not rely upon using one credit card to pay off another. Credit card debt is insidious. Even if you can handle this juggling act for a short while, it's sure to cause you undue stress and even the smallest change in the rules of each card can throw a wrench in your works.
  3. Don't ever let your accounts go into debt collection. These debt recovery companies have very few rules they are required (by law) to follow and they'll hound you in ways you'd never dreamed of. Moreover, the debt collection agency will add even more to your debt to cover their purchase of your debt (often from another agency) and the collection costs they accrue. The net effect is to add yet another black mark to your credit record.
  4. It's never a good idea to pay someone else to handle your debt arrangements for you. Debt advice is one thing, but debt relief agencies are most often for-profit companies that will collect their fee whether they're able to actually make a deal with your creditors or not. It is not a good idea to spend money on any sort of gambling with your financial future. You will probably have better luck negotiation for yourself, anyhow.
  5. Avoid debt consolidation unless it really and truly makes financial sense. It can seem an easy way out to take a debt consolidation loan, but can be a slippery slope to even more trouble. If in doubt get dome debt advice - ask for debt help from someone who can help you decide if debt consolidation might work for you.

Summary

With some hard work and discipline on your part, you can beat your budgetary and credit problems and get out of debt - and be in a much better position to stay out of trouble in the future. Do your homework, and don't fall for any schemes that seem too good to be true.

This hub brought to you...

by Julie-Ann Amos, professional writer, and owner of international writing agency www.ExquisiteWriting.com

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Comments 6 comments

DarleneMarie profile image

DarleneMarie 8 years ago from USA

Excellent financial advice! Also check out http://hubpages.com/hub/How-to-Solve-Common-Money-...


Julie-Ann Amos profile image

Julie-Ann Amos 8 years ago from Gloucestershire, UK Author

DarleneMarie your link doesn't work! Please fix for me.


esocial profile image

esocial 8 years ago from California

GOod tips. Get help, bottom line, and stop spending now.


Julie-Ann Amos profile image

Julie-Ann Amos 8 years ago from Gloucestershire, UK Author

Yes, it's not rocket science, is it?


I Know Credit 8 years ago

Would you say you are pro or con when it comes to debt consolidation?


Julie-Ann Amos profile image

Julie-Ann Amos 8 years ago from Gloucestershire, UK Author

I'm pro consolidation so long as it is handled wiisely. The issue is that many people consolidate, then use the money they save to spend more, not to pay off the debt faster (or at all) - and then get into further trouble...

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